Since I’d already passed my 86th birthday and no supernatural marvel had ever occurred to me personally, I did not, of course, anticipate or expect one. In fact, I absolutely and resolutely could not believe what happened and I was so shaken up, I accidentally swallowed my fresh piece of Juicy Fruit chewing gum.
A glass of cold seltzer, a chunk of salami, and a few minutes respite on a hard kitchen chair restored me (salami is a miraculous East European medical restorative), though I still find the whole miracle quite difficult to believe.
Frankly, I had dismissed miraculous possibilities decades earlier when I longed fiercely to be a platinum blonde and nothing happened to my muddy-colored, gray hair. PLATINUM BLONDE ME would have been a noteworthy miracle. But apparently it is not commonly bestowed on elderly Jewish women. The beauty parlors, however, do a commendable job if one is willing to spend the time and money – which, of course, I am not.
I solemnly swear the following happened. And the supernatural or extra terrestrial – or whatever – is out there and had a hand or two hands or even a foot in it.
Let me tell it exactly as it happened.
I was about to check my email. Alas, Firefox was not to be found on my screen. This has happened to me often before, and I immediately panic and phone a grandchild for help. But it was 6:00 AM on Sunday morning! One has no phonable relatives at that hour.
Tentatively, I tapped several keys on the computer lightly, pretending I wasn’t touching them. I prayed. I shut the machine down and started it up fresh. No Firefox.
I was close to weeping. Here was this mechanical behemoth on my desk and out of reach. I know how bad I am with machines. (I once tried to learn to drive, but after three lessons the teacher refused to go on. I was a menace, he said, and should be barred from the roads.) So I am NOT a machine-friendly person.
I paced. I willed the phone to ring. It didn’t. My beautiful Sunday morning with its immortal prose possibilities was disappearing. I made myself sit at the computer and prayerfully tapped some innocuous keys.
Happily, I came upon a key with the legend RECENTLY USED. We had not been formally introduced, but I boldly took liberties. I tapped it respectfully and – I GOT FIREFOX! I immediately rose, bowed my head, and spent minutes in reverent silence.
So here I am now, sitting on my kitchen chair once again, celebrating with another glass of seltzer, which I sinfully diluted with a spoonful of Hershey chocolate syrup. After all, proper ceremonial attention must be devoted to sacred libations.