“I didn’t quite catch your name,” I tried again.
“That’s because I never told you,” came the reply. “Besides, you couldn’t pronounce it if I did. Not even in your head.”
This last comment reminded me that we were communicating without actually talking. We were just thinking things at each other.
“Can you at least tell me what you are and how we’re able to communicate like this,” I asked.
“We can communicate like this because this is the way that I communicate and you’re with me. Actually you have communicated like this yourself, but you haven’t thought about it in a while. You haven’t forgotten, you just haven’t given it any attention lately.”
“And what are you,” I persisted. I sensed a smile in the response.
“You can think of me as a messenger.”
“Are you here to deliver a message?”
“Well, what is it?” I demanded.
“Always impatient,” came the reply. “The little boy who was almost apoplectic from Thanksgiving until Christmas morning. The teenager who woke his father well before dawn on his sixteenth birthday so he could finally get his driver’s license. Always impatient.”
“You seem to know a lot about me,” I replied impatiently.
“I told you, I was there.”
“You told me that you were there at my Statistics class.”
“I did. I was. But I’ve been with you all along.”
“As if being semi-disembodied wasn’t creepy enough,” I offered. “This is getting really, really creepy.”
I sensed the translucent ethereal equivalent of a sigh.
“Let’s see if I can put this in terms you’ll understand,” came the reply. “It’s my job to know what you’re doing – to look out for you. That’s why I’ve been permitted to bring a message to you.”
“What do you have to show for your life?”
“That’s a question, not a message,” I replied, perhaps with a little bit too much smugness.
“I think I’ve done alright.”
“Don’t forget I was there – every step of the way. What do you really have to show?”
“If you know me as you claim to,” I replied, “then you know I graduated magna cum laud from Columbia. I have an MBA from Harvard Business School and a law degree from Yale.”
“You have a Bachelors and a Masters in business from the University of Akron.”
“With which I’ve done pretty well,” I retorted. “I’m making good money, top salesman at work, drive a Porsche…”
“And that’s what you feel is important? What did you do with the dreams that you had? Where are the ideals you believed in when you were younger? You now believe that money and a fancy car is what’s important?
“You drive a fancy European car with a racing engine so you can average 15 miles per hour during rush hour in stop and go traffic? Your money that sits in some brokerage account because it lost half its value when the economy tanked?”
“Not quite half,” I weakly replied.
“Don’t you think there are other things more important?”
(To be concluded)