Universe’s Comic Timing

Dylan Jack James
Guest Contributor

I’ve been in situations where I should have let something roll off my back or reacted differently. “Man, why didn’t I lighten up? It could have changed the outcome of the situation.” All is not lost, however. Sometimes the Universe steps in with a little humor as a way of balancing things out when it seems they can only get worse.

It was the 1990’s. My then girlfriend, Tanya, and I were on the verge of a breakup; she had gotten very angry with me, throwing one of the drawers from my dresser down our apartment stairs. I calmly walked into the living room, mug of coffee in hand, to see her running down the stairs after the drawer, cursing at me and tripping and falling onto the clump of clothes scattered at the bottom. Just then, when I could feel the tension between us start to escalate, there came a knock on our front door. I opened the door to see our neighbor, Mr. Taylor, and my 11-year-old son hiding behind his back. My girlfriend stayed close behind me looking over my shoulder. 

“Hey Bob,” I smiled, sipping my coffee. 

“Umm, hey Dylan…” He wasn’t able to squeak out another word when his heavily makeup’d wife came storming in our front hall after him. My son was sandwiched in the middle of them, a grim look on his face. “Beverly,I’ve got this!” 

Bev shooed Bob aside and shouted at me. “Your son paid my daughter the sum of one dollar to look under her dress!” she exploded with rage, her bouffant bleach blonde hair-do shaking while she screamed. 

My girlfriend poked me hard in the back with her finger. I suppressed a smile. “C’mere, Mickey. Is that true, son?” I asked. He hung his head in shame and quickly ducked into our apartment away from our screaming neighbor. “I’ll have a talk with him, OK?” 

“You’d better teach that boy some manners, my daughter is in tears!” 

“I’m really sorry, Bev, I’ll take care of it.” 

“You’d better, and from now on your son will not be allowed to play with my daughter! Oh, and here’s his dollar back. My daughter’s not some cheap whore!” She shoved the dollar bill into my hands then turned around and stormed out our front hall, Bob in tow. Bob turned, looked back at Tanya and me, rolled his eyes, then chuckled quietly. 

“A lot of help you were, Bob, just standing there!” Bev shrieked as she sashayed down the sidewalk in her beige mini skirt and low-cut black top. We could hear her stillettos clicking on the pavement as the couple made their way home. 

As soon as I shut the door, Tanya and I busted out laughing. She picked up my clothes, put them back in the drawer and made her way up the stairs, drawer in hand. “Are you OK, honey?” I heard her comforting my son. I climbed the stairs after her and made my way to my son’s room for a father-son talk. “I’ll go start dinner honey, spaghetti OK?” She smiled and kissed me on the lips. I shut the door of my son’s room to give him the birds and the bees talk while I tucked the offending dollar bill into my wallet.

Tanya and I stayed together for many years because of a little comic humor from the Universe that evening. I think if the Universe could speak to us audibly, it would quote from the works of the Persian Sufi poets: “This too shall pass.” Or maybe it would alter the quote a bit to read: “This too shall pass with a little help from the Universe.”

And after that, it would give us a little tickle to remind us not to take things so seriously next time.

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