Selected Spiritulized Excerpts
Duke had big ideas – really big ideas. The kind of ideas that would qualify him as a character in an Ayn Rand novel. He knew what was wrong with society and how he intended to fix it. It didn’t matter if people knew he started out as a bass player in a southern rock band – he used that to his advantage. He didn’t care if everyone in Boulder thought of him as a guy who used to sell wooden spoons and ice cream makers to retrograde mountain hippies; he was proud of that too. It all added up in his mind – even the way he funded his ambitions with daring drug deals. Everyone worth knowing smoked or snorted or hung out with people who did. He was just a middleman making enough money to build his empire into world-class status.
Everything Duke did had to be cutting edge. He had to have the newest and nicest and hippest stuff. It was his right and he was born to rule because he knew so much more about life and the way things ought to be than regular people. And he was so much more sophisticated than those stuffy white Klanners who were his father’s friends. Their time was up and it was a new day and he was one of only a handful of people on the planet who realized the importance of this moment in the history of mankind. Apart from the size of his dreams, the most amazing thing about his revelations were that they lasted so long after the effects of LSD had worn off. He couldn’t even remember the last time he dropped and it didn’t matter. He never woke up the next day with his eyes buggy wondering what happened. It was like he never came down. That’s why he had stopped tripping. He didn’t need to anymore.
Duke was so confident that it really didn’t matter what anyone thought of him because what he thought of himself mattered more. That was his other secret. That was how he could talk to anybody about anything. And his conversational skills weren’t limited to talking – he was also an excellent listener. But he didn’t listen to just anybody. Like any smart person, he listened to people who knew more than him. They might not know more about life and truth and justice and the future history of the universe like he did, but they might know more about something specific that he was interested in, like aviation.
The Buddhist restaurant where Donna worked was bordering on chaotic when she got there. Nancy was on the phone, giving directions to a lost driver and Joel was unloading the extra supplies that had already been delivered. A permanent aura of sautéed onions and burnt lentils filled the overheated cooking area. Tara, blowing the messy curls that couldn’t be contained by her chef’s hat away from her eyes, was pounding dough on a long wooden table next to stacks of empty baking pans. Restricted by his full-length white uniform, Jampo, a gentle giant who used to be called Jesse, was using a long-handled utensil to joust with an oven full of lunch orders. In one alcove of the irregularly shaped kitchen, Tenzin, a Tibetan immigrant who had taken a vow of silence, slowly worked his way through the never-ending pile of dirty dishes next to his sink, mumbling his mantra with every successful cleansing. Near the back on its own sturdy platform, a sixty-quart electric mixer added to the halo of flour dust suspended in the atmosphere with each rotation, and it was impossible to differentiate the rhythmic whirring sounds it made from the Buddhist meditation tape playing in the background.
Donna mouthed, “Namaste,” and put her palms together when she entered.
“Thanks for coming in early,” Joel greeted her, toting a burlap sack full of carrots. “Can you take over for Tara now? We’ve got a hungry customers practicing patience out there and only one other server.”