By Vishnu, All-Pervading essence of all beings, master of and beyond the past, present and future, creator and destroyer of all existences, one who supports, sustains and governs the Universe
- - -
This is bad. So, so bad. I cannot even express the ongoing badness this is going to create. Like, a thousand years of scorn from Brahma. That kind of bad.
The thing is, I knew it, man. I knew it before I even walked out the door. I've been doing this long enough to know better than ignore that sinking feeling I got when I left the office early Friday. I was so anxious to drop the sacred Nadanka and Sankha and get out of the salt mines that I ignored all the warning signs. I got sloppy. You think everything is finished, the plan is in place, karma has guided every atom into the exact position to fill its purpose in the Dharmic blueprint. But then you get that feeling, like maybe I haven't covered all the bases? Matt Flynn's ankle was doing just fine, right? Andre Caldwell's knee? Ron Zook will be on the sideline? This is the universe, people! It was the same feeling I got right before my sixth incarnation on Earth, as Parasurama, killer of the nefarious King Kartavirya, who had made off with the holy cow Kamadenhu, granter of all desires. We were certain Dan Hawkins hadn't gotten his hands on that steer?
I could feign innocence, but I knew it from the start: I picked the wrong weekend to spend at the lake.
It seemed so perfect. Too perfect. An entire Saturday with only one game between ranked teams. What could go wrong? I should have known: everything. But did I listen to my doubts? Of course not. Does Vishnu ever listen to reason? All I heard was Lakshmi promising everything would be okay, the eternal cosmic order would still be there when we got back. And foot rubs (she knows me too well - although I think we all know the next immortal deity that turns his head at one of Lakshmi's foot rubs will be the first). "What's going to go wrong?" she said. "Maryland's going to beat Rutgers?" I have to admit, when we got to the cabin, out in the open, fresh air, laying beside the lake, moonlight sparkling and shimmering off its placid surface, it did sound pretty silly. Maryland, the offense that failed to gain 300 yards against Florida International? With Jordan Steffy at quarterback? Against one of the country's top ten statistical defenses? What was I worried about, here, in this paradise, after all the work my branch had put into establishing the inviolable march of Dharma? Brandon Cox?
Auburn mocks Florida, predetermined fate of known universe.
- - -
I slept well that night. It will be the last time in a long time.
I wish I could say I had nightmares, of West Virginia blowing coverages downfield or some white guy shredding Texas' secondary and punt return team while Colt McCoy serves up interception after interception. Maybe if I said that, I could at least pretend I tried to find a phone, to warn someone what was going to happen. But that kind of thing, it just doesn't enter into my thought process anymore. Maybe I'm getting old. After you order every element of the universe to align itself along a certain divine path for a few millenia, you think you've seen everything. I guess nothing can truly prepare you for Anthony Morelli.
Now: no Oklahoma-Texas. No Florida-LSU. No West Virginia-Rutgers. Oh, we'll still go through with it. The cosmic order is nothing if not flexible. Do you think karma was going to allow Mike Ditka to win a Super Bowl? We adjust to the anomalies and hand out retribution later - O.J. is ironically arrested for trying to steal back the items he had to sell as a result of getting off for murder; Ditka coaches the Saints (they had it coming, too; cosmic efficiency). We like to keep it creative.
But none of that was going on Saturday, while I was lounging in the hammock, taking in my advance copy of I Am America (And So Can You) (jealous? Dalit!) while Lakshmi absentmindedly sketched out a cover for her pamphlet arguing in defense of the Shudras (I am not okay with this, I mean, how could I be? But you try defending the caste system that has underlied every element of society from the beginning of civilization when she's in one of her moods). No, Saturday was pretty much a Grade A fuck up. Probably one of the worst ever. At least since Mangal Pande. Two hundred years of meticulous planning, oversight, genetic manipulation through intricate social engineering and oppressively selective marriage specifically designed to produce the Tebow Child for his dramatic role in the culminating battle of Florida and LSU in Baton Rouge...and that 18-year-old kid hits that field goal? Twice? Where did he come from? How am I supposed to explain that to Brahma? Oh, he is going to be so pissed.
That may be the hardest part, waiting for Brahma to come down on me. The other shoe could drop any minute. Look, I know I screwed up. I know how many people we lost over the centuries in literal rivers of blood in order to set up a showdown of 5-0 rivals in the Red River Shootout. I was in the meetings. He doesn't have to tell me I screwed up. It's not like it happens every day. But after that Appalachian State thing...man, this is not going to be pretty. If he would just come out and yell at me already and tell me to get my head out of my Padma, maybe I'd feel better about it and be able to focus on fixing it. Cuz I gotta say, man, right now, I don't know what the hell I'm supposed to do about South Florida and Kentucky.