Friday, December 14, 2007

Altered Perception at McDonalds following Meditation

Long ago, I regularly meditated. Techniques and objectives varied according to mood and interests. Visual meditation and vision quests are my favorite. The other night, in my hotel room, I took a short journey to contact my primary animal guide. I've not visited him in years. I'm not sure why I had strayed so far away for so long.

Instead of taking my normal route back to awakening, I decided to try something different. I kept my mind in the dream state but allowed my body to awaken. The result was a very trippy, mild psychedelic state which I was able to hold onto for about an hour. The state wasn't so intense that the walls were breathing but everything did seem a bit exaggerated. For example, colors were intense and hills seemed steeper than normal. It felt very much like the early stages of an LSD high when you notice more and more details and your peripheral vision is crystal clear. Everything in this state is slightly exaggerated. This is both in physical appearance and situation. In some ways, in this state, everything seems to be part of a large, complex cosmic joke. I strolled outside and walked down the street. The stones and broken glass on the sidewalk were unusually sparkly.

A Christmas tree within a near-by McDonalds was calling me. The blinking Christmas lights were unusually interesting and the tinsel was excessively flashy. The tree sparkled and seemed to glow. I decided that while I was there, I should buy something. At the register, I awkwardly fumbled around with my money, noticing the eye over the pyramid on our one-dollar bill. I contemplated it's significance. What is meant by "Annuit coeptis, nevos ordo seclorum"? Is it spiritual or political? It's interesting how I never really think about the money that I use everyday. Anyways, I paid for a chocolate dipped ice cream cone.

The people working there all seemed rather odd. They were totally focused on their day-to-day grind. They were "in the now". Such a mundane thing, shopping at McDonalds was about to get more and more absurd. The lady behind the counter made an ice cream cone but could not find the chocolate. She threw out the cone and everyone worked together, trying to help her figure out where the chocolate had gone. I was quietly watching, not saying a word. They eventually found the chocolate. Someone had put it in the refrigerator so it was now rock hard. After a rather serious discussion, the employees decided to microwave it. But the big stainless steal container was too tall to fit in the microwave. I was secretly wishing it had fit as I wanted to see the sparks fly when they tried to microwave a metal container. The manager suggested placing it under heat lamps to melt. So, they removed the french fries from the warmer and set the metal tub of cold hard chocolate under the lights. They all seemed to think that this would work. I wondered how long they'd let it set there while I waited at the counter. I seriously didn't think it would melt enough to dip anything into it. But, to my surprise, a few minutes later, they pulled it out and were able to stir it. She returned to the ice cream maker. The ice cream now was too runny to stand on the cone. She tried 4 times to make an ice cream cone and each time the ice cream flopped over, hitting the floor. At this point, she returned to the counter and informed me that the ice cream maker wasn't working. She told me that she was getting me a shake instead. I informed her that I didn't want a shake. She looked at me in a confused manner like she didn't know what to do. I told her "don't worry about it, just give me my money back."

On my way out, I was thinking that a shake might not have been so bad after all. But, I didn't want to go back and order it now. So, I went next door to Wendy's to order a frosty. They had just locked the doors to the main restaurant. There was a big sign that read "drive through open until 2:00 AM. So, I walked around to the order station outside and said "hello" a few times. No one answered so I proceeded to walk up to the take-out window. I knocked on the window and a girl gave me a confused look then tried to ignore me. So, I slid the window open and told here that I'd like to place an order.

She said, "sir, I can not help you," as she slid the window shut. I knocked again. She cracked the window and I inquired why not. She said, "sir, you'll have to get in your car and drive up to the window.". I explained to her that I was staying in the hotel next door and didn't have a car. She repeated, "sir, I can not help you unless you are in a car."

I then had an idea. I told her that I'd walk up back to the order station and she could take my order there and then I'd walk back to the pickup window. She didn't like this idea. So, I asked to speak with the manager.

The manager came to the window and said, "we can't take walk-ups.".

I argued that this policy was crazy. You are standing here talking to me. There are four employees in sight none of whom have any work to do. I want to give you money but you are turning me away.

He replied that the drive through was on camera and they could get in trouble if they served somebody who wasn't in a car. And, once again, I was told "just get in your car and drive up." Obviously this man was dense as I had just explained that I didn't have a car. So, to drive the point home, I explained further that their restaurant was surrounded by four hotels and was just next to the airport. Many of people staying in these hotels were just like me, without a car. I asked how he could turn away the business.

He replied again that their policy was "no walk-ups." And, this time, he apologized for not being able to serve me. I asked if he'd serve me on a bicycle. I think I stumped him as he didn't seem to know the answer. He replied with a "uhhh." I could see the that finally something clicked and he finally understood the situation. And he turned to the girl that I was originally "helping" me. And, he told her to take my order. Ahhh! Triumph at last.

And, this time, the ice cream machine wasn't even broken.

Now, I ask you. Is everyone else's confusion at all related to my dreamy mixed up state of mind or was it all simply a coincidence?

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