About a year ago, I received a letter from a well-known organization in the "sports world" indicating that according to their records, they owed me two hundred dollars. All I had to do was verify my address and mail them back. Now, I have absolutely no recollection of having had anything whatsoever to do with this particular organization, as I have always regarded sports as "something that hits me in the head." (I regret that I cannot divulge the name of the company, you'll see why...) Naturally, I was curious and I did indeed verify my name and address, also inquiring as to why they owed my money. I could not imagine a reason and months passed by without a reply, so I forgot about it.
Then, sure enough, a check arrived in my mailbox, just last week. No explanation. Nothing. Just this small, unexpected fortune. I mentioned this to a friend, who pointed out that being in the film industry, especially in the commercial world, isn't it highly likely that at some point maybe I had worked for them? I guess so. My memory is for shit and the amount corresponds to an entry level day rate... Did this mean I didn't have to feel guilty about cashing the check? Could I abort my plan to send it to victims of some horrible natural disaster? I decided I would have to think about it.
So, the check sat on my desk and I tried not to think about it. But I did think about it. Should I just recycle the karma? Or was this some kind of karmic payback? Surely, a giant corporation would rather just pay up, such a small amount, whether it was legitimate or not. I thought about the things I would buy if I had two hundred dollars, just for me. I thought about people starving, homeless, and desperate. I thought about how horrible and selfish I am. I thought about all the money I have given in recent years, to causes I believe in. I thought about all these things and then suddenly, I picked up the check and went to the bank.
This was Saturday, so the line was really long, criminally long. I decided to skip it and went outside to deposit through the ATM. Now, the money was in my account and I still had a choice. I could keep it or give it away. I left the bank and drove, no particular destination in mind. I mulled over what charities could benefit the most from my generosity. I circled a parking lot, waiting for a space to open up. I watched two teenage girls, beautiful, healthy California girls, get into a Mercedes and drive away. I parked in their space. I thought about how horrible it would be to have a major earthquake here in LA. I walked up the steps to the GAP.
Inside the store, I was in a dreamstate. I watched helplessly as I tried on a corduroy blazer. Then, another and another. They were on sale. Unable to make a decision about the color, I took three and wandered into the pant section. Another sale. Where was my size? 32 now, not 36 like before... I only found two pair and headed for the cashier.
"That will be one seventy three fifteen, debit or credit?"
"Debit," I replied, handing her my card. Within moments, I was out the door. It had all happened so fast. I bought three corduroy blazers, one navy, one tan, and one charcoal, and two pairs of pinstripe pants, both brown. What had happened? Who was this person dressing me in GAP clothes? Had I gone completely mad? I spent $173.15 in less than five minutes! That only leaves $26.85 for the orphans! What was I thinking?
After the initial shock wore off, I readied myself for a gallery opening that night. "Rebel Angels at the End of the World" was the name of the show. How appropriate, I thought as I wandered through impressionistic paintings of James Dean and Captain Kangaroo. Normally, I despise the pretension that goes along with events like this, but that night I was especially calm, knowing that I looked fabulous in my navy corduroy blazer and pinstripe pants.