Chicago, O’Hare: I found myself having to investigate my packaged chicken salad a little too closely for comfort. Finding my own little private piece of real estate, sitting cross-legged in the only dark corner I could find amid the blue-toothed hoards carrying on with themselves, I had noticed a little rust around the edges of my romaine lettuce after a few blind-eyed ravenous bites. Part of me wanted to put my trust in the whole healthy-food-on-the-go-scheme and not tunnel any deeper than the top layer. But then again, I remembered, the tendency is towards decay, according to Stephen Hawking. Thus, either my chicken salad was a heap of rotting leaves by din of human neglect, or ineptitude, or, in accordance with the laws of Nature, the salad itself was well on its way to parting company with space-time continuum all by itself. Either way something was rotting in Chicago.

As I peeled back the bumpy layers beneath Newman’s dressing, I suddenly realized I really ought to stop eating, hungry as I was. No telling what I would find if I burrowed my plastic fork and mined any deeper. The pale, rusty edges soon became shades of vermillion until by the middle of the stack there was hardly a green leaf left. I could have mistaken the contents of my plastic holder for some steamed rhubarb, except for the other diverse shades of brown and yellow here and there. “Why not excavate a little deeper,” I thought, “This is beginning to feel like science class.” I dug till at last I found proof of Stephen Hawking’s statement. There it was in all its mysterious viscous glory: lifeless black pulp floating in what looked like a small oil slick or octopus ink. “F…in’ gross,” I whispered to myself. Like the proverbial worm-infested apple, it wasn’t so much discovering the black ooze at the bottom of my dish that troubled me, but wondering what part of the ooze had worked its way up to the top leaves that I chowed down without looking.

4 Comments
  1. Over the oceans and in the winds
    between storms and summer breezes,
    now many are the over crossed obstacles.
    Rich of the spirit of the warrior,
    a little explorer feeds the curious thoughts.
    If not against old ‘n far advices
    he’s now found the passage,
    through gardens and courtyards,
    that reality was not ready to hold yet.
    A strong rising had come along the path.
    Here now facing the trough from above.

  2. Firstly, I’m never going to look at a chicken salad again without thinking of you and Stephen Hawking; who surely have it down pat what it means to consume a lettuce leaf in great scientific debate. I can identify with the rusty lettuce leaves, having come across a few myself while on a healthy food kick. But I swear, it’s a voyage of discovery the further down you dig, huh. Oh, chuck!! What was the black ooze?? Man, I would have gone hungry too. Sometimes you just gotta make sacrifices…LOL. Thanks for the laugh this morning, I needed it! Moral of the story: bring your lunch box to the next airport…;)

  3. The investigative mind! It has been said that everything conditioned is impermanent and we too will be that rotting ooze someday. A great exercise to look at our chicken salad with clear eyes and an open heart. How much time do we spend really investigating, searching for the divine in everything around and within us? Stephen Hawking, Malcom Gladwell, Norman Doige. All of them exploring what it is to be “human”. Science, 2500 year old insight meditations, spiritual awareness, all mixing and blending together. A good time to explore, find ourselves a good mentor, open our hearts to the vast human potential we all share. Find our voice, the voice of exploration and open our eyes with the transparency of a newborn. Maybe then, we will see the glow! Gino, it was a joy to meet you ever so briefly after your performance this past Saturday. You have spent a lifetime of exploration and shared in a way that has inspired many to do the same. Best, Patrick

  4. Just wanted to say i am checking out your Millenniem Collection and i must say how beautiful the Music is. What a nice way to spend a Sunday. I am also from Canada PEI but live outside of New York now. Hey just wanted to say i really enjoy and have for many years your Music.

    Best Regards
    Steve

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