The short, stout man rounded the neat masonry wall which separated civilized domicile from raw canyon slope and stepped into the eight stall garage. He was wearing coveralls and his hair was sticking up funny but the late afternoon shadows failed to conceal his familiar features. Neal perked up right away for this was the moment he had been waiting for, ever since his service at the res started last October.
Of course Neal knew the Lord often came out and sat in one of the cars, smoking, smoking and staring at the wood paneled walls for hours one end. During those times, Neal was told to cut brush for fire prevention, something he hated to do. That was all right, though. Can you imagine being chosen to be chief detailer and routine maintenance manager for the Perfect Master of Our Time? “Why, he’s the freakin’ Lord of the Universe,” Neal thought to himself and an intense shiver ran up his spine.
Neal didn’t articulate his feelings about M much these days and he really didn’t know what the proper title was for the object of his longing but he knew inside: This is the Lord. In every age the Lord incarnates to gather his devotees to Him and it was no different now than in Jesus’ time. Neal automatically tipped his head down at the thought of Jesus, not even noticing that little tidbit left over from 12 years of catholic schools.
Neal knew he was not to approach Maharaji or any of the Holy Family (well that’s what Neal called them even though he knew he wasn’t supposed to) so he ducked down behind the new BMW X5 SUV that was just gifted to Maharaji by grateful premies. Premies like him. Neal sold most of his gear when Yoram came calling last time. He knew at age fifty six he wasn’t gonna be a rock star anyway. Might as well give the money to a good cause, spreading Knowledge.
From his position behind the new rig Neal could clearly make out the details of Maharaji’s face. He was ashen, not golden, something which surprised Neal. And he looked quite a bit older than Neal expected but, he chuckled to himself, don’t we all. But what shocked him was how M’s eyes were barely visible between two huge teabags that he supposed M got when he took on the karma of his premies, a huge burden, if Neal himself was any indication.
Maharaji fiddled with this hand underneath the hood looking for the release latch. Evidently he was having a hard time getting it up (oops) and was now beating rather ferociously on the hood of the car. A car Neal had just spent six hours washing and polishing ever so gently and with a great love bursting in his chest.
Neal was in a quandary; he wasn’t supposed to be privy to this scene and his hiding proved it. But he could open that hood in seconds and relieve some of the great man’s burden and maybe even the Master would grant him a boon, a samadhi or enlightenment even. Heck, it happened with other Past Perfect Masters and their disciples, so just maybe…
Neal was a team player all the way of course. The trainings had seen to that. But this was a chance of a lifetime even if it meant he was being a maverick, but that didn’t mean he was in his mind. No, not there in THAT place with the Lord right there. “Fuck it,” Neal muttered, “the Lord needs my help!
Shyly, Neal made his way over towards the now enraged man who still hadn’t noticed him. It was a bit shocking and would have been comical otherwise to see such a little man jumping up and hammering this great big hood with his tiny pale hands and wrists. Neal thought about Danny Devito and a scene from Taxi but quickly put his tongue back and tried to get on the Word.
Suddenly the Lord whirled around and screamed at his intruder,” What the fuck do you want?” Neal though he smelled a hint of alcohol. He was very sensitive to that as he himself hadn’t had a drink since before the ashram days. The man loomed forward and looked into his face. Neal instinctively stooped down to meet his gaze. Now he was sure about the alcohol and it was making him queasy.
“I, I thought I might be of some assistance, Maharaji, Neal stammered. Quickly he moved to open the hood. It sprang up effortlessly and Neal was proud of his competence.
Maharaji’s face reddened. “Maybe I should make you head mechanic instead of that other asshole I got working for me.” Maharaji’s eyes rolled up and to the right. He’d fix this wise guy.
“Here,” the Lord said, handing Neal a can of engine oil, “Open this for me and kneel down. What did you say your name was?”
“Neal,” he replied, handing the container back to Maharaji.
“Perfect,” God shot back in return as he dumped the entire contents on the unsuspecting devotee’s head, neck and shoulders. Shaking the last bit of oil out he threw the plastic container straight into the shocked man’s face.
“There you go asshole,” the little tyrant snarled as he stomped out of the garage, mad beyond rage the worker had dared approach him. “Consider yourself promoted.”