The high five of a cosmic smile

As far as serendipitous involvements are concerned, there are few cooler moments than tuning in to someone’s hum of a song that was busy playing through your head moments earlier. Unfiltered, unfettered and so very fine. As in . . all feng shui with none of the aforethought. That’s how it happened for me yesterday afternoon, after work; as I waited on my pal so’s we could get busy with some much needed java whilst ruminating on the carnival of NFL free agency buzz.

I was busily strutting through the big fat middle of freshly pressed varietals when I passed this kindly looking retiree aged woman who was throwing down on some Gladys Knight. She was wearing an olive green turtleneck sweater and a white beaded necklace and a hat straight out of Carly Simon’s closet- a brown cowgirl hat with figure eight patterned leather hugging its waist.

“Save the Overtime” is what this lady was humming, and I just locked in. It was a metaphysical evaluation, gone to the solid quick of my way back in time preferences. And by the time it was too late to turn back, I was already digging in.

“Gladys Knight.” I said.


“You’re humming Gladys Knight.”


“Save the Overtime For Me.”

“Yes!” She smiled.

“Love it.”

There’s a definite restorative quality to such a simple thing as this. And especially so when the song in question wasn’t plucked off the FM dial. And it wasn’t fiddling off the roof of this Starbucks coffee bar. And it sure as hell wasn’t something easily found on the A side of an album’s 9-5. Nope. This was solid gold, half court prayer, power ball chance. It was solid? Meeting gold. Yeah it was.

So from there, I had to share something, anything.

“I saw her in Vegas back in 2005.” I said.

“Oh, I’ve seen her live . . like everywhere. It’s my church time.” She giggled. And she pulled this amazing fucking laugh all the way from the ’70’s, and the smile that lit her face in the doing left my skin bristling with the kind of harmony that is far too brilliant for a price tag.

“Thats . . . some crazy stuff right there.”

“Yes!” She laughed. A laugh so resonant that it will reside in my noggin for a spell. And I thought to myself that I might remember this particular occurrence that long, and longer. To the benefit of absolutely no one but me and this wonderful lady dressed in Gloria Steinem. It was a mighty fine place to find myself in the middle of a Thursday afternoon.

“Thank you.” I said.

“Oh, honey . . that was fun.”

A few moments worth of magical trespass, sent straight from the cosmos and delivered right to the tip of my nose- betwixt my moon risen eyes and my slack lower lip that was too busy chewing on the some kind of wonderful to worry about manners.

It was found money. No, fuck that. It was so much better than found money, because with found money you’re just gonna end up blowing it on stupid shit because . . . it’s found money. This moment was more similar in nature to found bacon (the gold standard of delicious occurrences). Found bacon . . attached to a humongous breakfast spread . . . no, wait . . brunch. On Sunday. With Bobby Flay at the wheel and candles spiraling in perfumed agony, with the moon’s silhouette going all last chance opera. And, of course, with Gladys Knight peeling away the innocence of a vinyl wrapped prayer.

My pal arrived and I shared the story with him, and then we were making Darth Vader jokes and then he was trying to convince me to go see the movie Logan sometime and then everything else got lost again. Gone to the hard burn of a still happening day. But not forgotten so easily, or at all.

I’m still smiling.

(This just felt like the musical spill to hop on. Because this is what drove me home, and it’s got a supernatural fix on me currently. Yes, I’m that easy.)




17 thoughts on “The high five of a cosmic smile

    • Thanks Jeff. I loved her reaction to my query. At first she was like “Wha? . . ” but in that moment of recognition, when she knew I had tapped into her song? Priceless.

  1. Only you could connect work, humming, Gladys Knight, bacon, and NFL free agency. … and Bengal fans are reeling today with visions of following the Reds by sinking lower into the abyss.

    • As if you had any doubt, Frank. 😉

      It was fun, for sure. And hey, bacon is three degrees (tops) from ANY conversation. Any of my conversations anyway. It’s my go to training food. And what of the Bengals? I feel for you brother. I am concerned as to Miami’s signings thus far, but at least we didn’t do anything REALLY egregious. Yet.

      Hang in there Cincy.

      • Bengals lost 2 offensive lineman in free agency … and two good ones! … so they are now relying on a first round pick from two years ago who has struggled. Oh boy! Plus need help at linebacker, D-line, and receivers to help AJ Green.

        • Cincy, 

          This year might be tough sledding (to say the least) in the Queen City. I love Marvin Lewis, but he’s living on borrowed time. He needs something good to happen this year, and I . .  don’t know. 

          Miami has been doing some good, but I’m not as happy about things as the experts. Timmons is a cheaper (much) Hightower, and he should fill the gap effectively. Ted Larsen as a backup catcher for Pouncey? I guess. Nate Allen? Another I guess. We have to ups on Landry. Pronto. I like Stills, but he’s a 2, at best. At best. And now he’s comfy because he’s going into next season above his pay grade, which has plenty of bad precedent staring it in the face. 

          The best I can say about all this? We didn’t have to take out a second mortgage for a big name sign that wasn’t going to deliver us a Super Bowl appearance(Suh). And . .  Jeff Ireland ain’t doing our business any longer. 

          Hang in there Frank

    • Oh yes, the universe will tap you on the shoulder and let you know the way. It supplies all the answers, and if you listen closely, you will lose the questions.

      Hope you find your cosmic moment, Mama.

    • Colorado, 

      That bounce kept going WAY beyond an hour’s time. In fact, I pretty much had the bounce right up until about an hour ago when I walked in the door and reheated some carne asada I had done up the other day. Stuck it in a flour tortilla with some guac, roasted peppers, black beans and rice and jalapenos. But since enough ain’t ever enough, I had to drown it in sriracha sauce. Initially, it provided a kick start for me as I watched up some tourney brackets. But now? The bounce is finally bidding me a sweet adieu. 

      Hey, I have to go skiing one more time to make my goal of three ski outings this season It’s a far cry from my younger days, but it WAS a NY resolution, so there’s that. 

      Mucho gusto Susie Q

    • Oh Mad. Science. 

      YOU are the catalyst. For one and many. You get things started for your peeps, and you have a lovely kick. You have much more power to your punch than you let on. And not for nothing, but the Forrest Gump soundtrack is the best part of that movie. I mean, yes, there are lines and moments and people, places and things. But judging it solely on best movie props, it ain’t best movie. Unless Warren Beatty is shouting out, in which case, La La Land wins anyways.

      Gladys Knight is one mean ass mistress of soul. She is the female version of Morgan Freeman in that she could provide vocals to a toothpaste commercial and I would be You-tubing the shit out of it. She has the cosmic flavor blast that kicks and sways and makes a person believe in the miracle of every day moments. I hope her tunes are tucked safely inside a time capsule for future peeps. 

      Change looks good on you, C. You look good. As per always. 

  2. Dude! I love how you found a “laugh all the way from the 70s” during this amazing exchange leaving your skin “bristling with harmony” after the “magical trespass”. I LOVE IT. These kind of encounters jazz you up for the rest of the day and you just feel like you got that magic released from the jar of awesome. And all of this from a serendipitous encounter with a lovely lady. It’s so great when this happens. It sounds like an awesome Thursday, sorry I’m just getting to it right now. Nice.

    • No need to be sorry Cali.

      I have been lacking in my response time, woefully so. I used April as my own personal holiday from all things wired, and honestly? It feels like a good choice now. Thank you again for including me in your jar of awesome, that’s very cool.


  3. Cali,

    It was a very cool exchange. I would never stick my nose into someone else’s conversation, but if a song is being sung, strummed or hummed . . I believe it’s fair game.

    Ha! The jar of awesome, yes. This was going in that jar, for sure.

    Good to see you, hope all is well on the left coast.


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