What the Shuttle Driver Told Me
My spiritual education began when I was broke, dead broke.
I went to a park, sat down and cried.
A man in a black suit stopped in front of me.
He said, I’m a magician.
I have one trick no one else in the world can do.
No, I won’t explain. It’s magic.
God sent me to give you a blessing, he said:
Don’t worry about money.
Oh, and feed the birds.
Three days in a row I sat on that bench.
Three days in a row, that magician found me.
Each time, he repeated his impossible trick.
He always had a big bag of bread
and fed the birds:
pigeons, crows, sparrows,
They waited for him.
Those birds knew him.
Growing up in El Salvador,
I used to catch little lizards and kill them.
I thought I was a hunter.
As an adult, I realize I’ve caused a lot of damage.
I have to pay it back.
That’s one thing the magician taught me.
You can feed a bunch of birds really fast, every day.
Those are little blessings.
You can give away blessings easily.
It’s not that hard.
Every day I look for a new way.
After the third blessing, I went back to the garage,
told the other drivers about my magician.
Oh I know who you mean! He wears a top hat, right?
Yes, I said, and a long black overcoat too.
Wait, when was this?
My friend was looking at me funny.
Today, just now, I said, and for two days before that.
Oh no, Eduardo, my friend laughed,
That can’t be right.
That’s old so-and-so (I can’t remember his name), he was famous.
He died ten years ago.
I’ve never seen that magician again.
Was he a ghost? a spirit? an angel?
I always remember what he said:
God sent me to give you a blessing.
There is a little bit of truth in all religions.
I’ve never worried about money since then.
I’ve never been that penniless again.
What he did was teach me how to give blessings.
I wish I had some rose quartz to give you.
Rose quartz is for healing.
The first time I touched it, I fainted.
It was like an electrical shock.
Now I still tingle all over,
but my body absorbs the energy.
I’m hungry for it, like a vitamin.
I’m giving you this story—
is this your destination?—
Take your receipt.
Remember me in your prayers, okay?
I will do the same.
I will do the same.
Deborah A. Miranda