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Sunday, July 31

Indian Time

A woman I'd worked with, who'd never been to India, was upset when once I prepared to leave for India and couldn't give her an address where she could reach me there.

But what if something bad happens to you? How will I find you if I go searching for you there?

I was touched by her deep concern for my welfare, that she would think of ripping her life apart and spend money she couldn't afford to search for me in a distant land.

I replied with a laugh, "Oh that's easy. Get on a bus -- "

"Which bus?"

"Any bus, doesn't matter -- "

"A bus to where?"

"Doesn't matter. Just get on a bus and pray to find me. While you're on the bus, there will be an accident. Not a big accident, nobody hurt. But it will stop traffic. People will get out of vehicles to see what's happening. And there I'll be."

She shook her head in exasperation.

Years later this woman got herself into trouble and didn't know what to do, except to run away. While on the run it occurred to her that I would know what to do, but I had moved away and all she knew was that I was living somewhere in northern Virginia, which she'd never visited.

Then she remembered what I'd told her so long ago about how to find me. So she left New York on a bus and this woman -- a lapsed Roman Catholic who'd turned against God --  began praying like mad. She got off the bus at a station in Virginia.

Then she asked where she could find a local bus to northern Virginia. When the station manager asked where in northern Virginia, she asked him to name various places there, then randomly chose and rode to the end of the line.

She got off the bus and aimlessly walked a short distance, then stopped in astonishment. There I was.

"How?" she asked when she could find her voice.

"Indian time," I answered. "I live on Indian time."

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