Tuesday, March 23, 2010

(sugar)Crystal Ball

The other day I came back to my desk after a brief turn in the garden (read: sitting on a tree stump in the parking lot) to find a curious little trinket just in front of the keyboard. It was a plain little fortune cookie, still in its plastic wrapper.  No note, no clues, no likely suspects.

My colleague/uber-boss who generally shares a cube with me was not in town that week, and the only other person who even might possibly leave me such a gift had dined much earlier in the day, and had not gone out for any sort of Asian cuisine. Nobody else leaves me treats. I just don't reach out to people that much.

Tragically for the fortune cookie, I lean much more heavily toward gluttony than toward mystery. Untroubled by the thing's origin, I was sure it contained sweetness, and thus made with the nom-nom post-haste. No, I wasn't troubled at all. Until, that is, I read my fortune.

"04, 12, 19, 25, 31, 35 - LUCKY NUMBERS!"

No, the other side of the paper.

"Don't be surprised by the emergence of undiscovered talents."

Didn't this happen in some comic book somewhere? Is an agent of SHIELD trying to tell me something? Am I going to become a superhero?

Maybe I left it for myself. Maybe I came back in time from the future, where I own a fortune cookie company, to tell myself in a not-too-obvious but pretty classy way that my life was about to change, thus saving myself from months or years of acclimation. Maybe putting fortunes into cookies will be my superpower!

The point is, I ate a mystery last week. Now, even the fortune has disappeared, either through my own carelessness with small pieces of paper or through some metaphysical tunneling event. Though, if you've seen the notebook I still have from high school, I doubt it was the former. I don't know if forensic analysis could have answered my questions, and now I never will. Sure, the cookie was delicious and whimsically-shaped, but was it worth the loss of a lifetime's worth of answers?

The moral: if a mysterious cookie promising superpowers enters your life, think before you eat.

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