I stopped to pick up take-out from Ghazi’s. I parked at the back of the little quasi-strip-mall they’re in, and walked around to the front as usual. Just as I was passing this little sporty black car that was parked kind of illegally in an area between the sidewalk and the First Choice salon, I had the sudden and weird sensation that someone had jumped from the shadows and was prodding or poking me, or that something had been thrown at me, or that something had dropped on me from above. It was so sudden and it felt so assault-y that I shrieked loudly and jumped a few feet.
When I spun around to try to figure out what had fallen on or been thrown at me (because there were no other people within 50 feet of me), I realized that I had walked into an antenna or aerial that was poking out from the little black sporty car… the antenna was black, so I didn’t see it in the dark, and it was poking out horizontally from the car, so it was completely unexpected, and, in the nature of antennas, it kind of bounced against me and sproinged, which was what made it feel like an assault.
I was then completely embarrassed to have screamed so loudly in this busy area, but when I looked around, no one among the many people going in and out of the nearby restaurants and parking lots was paying a bit of attention to me. (And then later I was a bit depressed about that, that no one paid attention to a blood-curdling scream. But it’s a student housing area, too, so maybe blood-curdling screams are the norm.)
This incident seemed to meet my eccentric definition of "zen" because only a few weeks ago I described my efforts to do a barre exercise in terms of a sproinging car antenna. After posting that entry I realized that my little simile really dated me… car antennas rarely stick up from cars anymore; you have to be old to remember how it looked to see them all waving about on the highway. So it’s weird that I’m even having an encounter with a car antenna…. but maybe they’re retro cool or the owner of the car has some kind of special radio or CB or whatever.
OK, maybe this strange incident is more about synchronicity than zen, but it was definitely weird and numinous for me. And it reminded me of the image above, from English National Ballet publicity a few years ago, which I love. I love the fact that the dancer is leaping in a parking lot and I really love the precision of her leap. She is demonstrating beautiful technique in every aspect of this leap, from toes to nose. I always like ballet action shots better than poses (but I think most people like the poses).
Anyway, so then I realize that ballet leaps are sometimes called aerials and that "aerial" is another word for antenna and I look at the odds of ballet and broadcasting devices and parking lots coming together like this in such a multi-layered way, and I just have to make a note. :^)