I lived in South Florida for four years. Broward County. Ft. Lauderdale, specifically. While there, I worked for a name brand credit card company that I prefer not to name – as I came to dislike it rather quickly. I worked from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. I disliked the company….I disliked my schedule…………and I had come to have a vast dislike of Ft. Lauderdale as well. The workers who joined me at this particular job every evening were of a varied type…….including an occasional hoodlum, such as the manager who was arrested right in front of me for stealing credit balances from accounts – this was money that was supposed to go back to the account holders, due to a convoluted banking rule that I do not now, nor then, understand. It was a rule that she thought was alright to bend and subsequently break.
It was nearly midnight, and I had my head phones on listening to music – trying not to fall asleep. I had just over an hour to go before I would be in my care, with the windows down and the moon roof open, driving off into the warm night. Suddenly, an unusual movement to my left caught my eye…security was escorting two Broward County sheriff deputies to my general direction. They stopped at the desk of the manager just over my left shoulder. She was made to stand up, was handcuffed, and as they made her start walking, they began the Miranda Rights recitation……..damn, just like on Law and Order. My headphones had come off and my music had stopped, as was the case with the 35 other employees on the 3rd floor. The quiet exceeded that of a funeral home. A seeming eternity passed as we sat, with our mouths open, and as the blood that had rushed from our heads chose to remain in our feet……..in spite of our hearts beating like a marching band drum corp.
Finally, my desk mate grabbed a cigarette and lighter out of her purse and announced she was going to smoke. I began to laugh so, that tears welled up in my eyes out of sheer hysterics. Others began to laugh along with us…..until our supervisor came over, snapping his fingers at us. By now, I no longer gave a damn. I got up and followed my co-worker to the fifth floor balcony. Thankfully, nobody else was out there, as we did not wish to have to answer questions from nosey co-workers that we did not even know. (Gossip ripped through that place like a prairie fire.)
My sleepiness had subsided, and the adrenaline was succumbing to my control. The moon was full, and the earlier clouds were being pushed westward by the winds off the Atlantic. A bright, clear, star-laden sky laid out in front of us…..indeed, it was as though the Universe had either laid a blanket of stars over us, or had painted a canvass…in 3-D. A cooling breeze was blowing over our face and hair, as we outwardly debated how many stars were REALLY out there, on that astral canvass. Palm trees flapped in the wind as we talked about how golden the moon looked tonight.
Quickly and with no warning, two stars streaked across the sky…….the second one arcing underneath the first one, as if they were performing a dance. I was unsure of what I had just seen, and asked my co-worker and new friend if she had just seen that……..she had!!! We did not speak another word. Something that occurred to me: this astral site had the appearance of a curtain that fell to and met the ocean, just a few blocks away. Yet, it is NOT. It is a vast opening into the Universe, showing the endless possibilities. It also shows me how insignificant my objects of disdain are. I myself could feel insignificant, but the Universe allowed me to see not one, but two shooting stars. I may be insignificant, but not necessarily unimportant. When I begin to feel I am insufficient, I recall the astral plane I was viewing that night. And the two shooting stars that left a streak of light in their wake. And I smile again.