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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Angels, homemade porn, good deeds and karma

Posted By on Wed, Dec 5, 2012 at 8:51 AM

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The weather was unseasonably warm during the first few days of December, with high temperatures reaching into the upper '60s and hovering there through the night. Great weather to do some holiday shopping, for enjoying a walk through the neighborhood, for putting up Christmas trees and lights. The grocery stores are filled with tantalizing holiday treats.

However, the squirrels aren't taking any chances. They're not betting on a mild winter. A few extra days of gathering and feeding is an unexpected bonus to them and they seem uneasy with such a gift. They quarreled with each other as I walked the sidewalks of southern Meridian-Kessler, my home base.

The city has replaced many of the old, crumbling sidewalks in our neighborhood with brand new ones, painted brightly white and now gradually browning under dirt. My tax dollars were well-spent on this project.

The other day, I was walking north on Meridian Street near 48th Street at twilight and saw something flash in the leaves. It was a phone, a nice Samsung Galaxy, still powered on and unlocked. Someone had obviously lost it here very recently; the battery was almost fully charged.

They needed this phone back so I tried to think of ways of getting it back to the stranger who had lost it. I was unfamiliar with how to work the phone so it took me five minutes or so before I could pull up a list of recently dialed numbers.

The last call on the phone had been made about 45 minutes prior, to someone listed as "My Forever Angel Baby." I called the number.

"Hi," I said, "you don't know me, but I found this phone on the ground near 48th and Meridian and figured you might know who lost it."

"Praise Jesus," she said. "I was hoping someone would find it and call. It belongs to my husband and he's been looking for it since he got home 20 minutes ago."

I told her where I was and she said she was on her way. I ended the call and stared at the home screen of the phone. I wanted to see a picture of My Forever Angel Baby. What does someone have to do to earn an address book description such as that?

Feeling slightly bad at the invasion of privacy, I pulled up the photo menu on the phone. There she was, a pretty woman in her early 40s smiling shyly at the camera from what appeared to be the dining room of a Red Lobster. There she was at the Circle Centre Mall, rushing ahead of the photographer, turning her head back and smiling.

There she was with some older people who might be her grandparents. I swiped the screen for the next page of photos. And there she was, in about 30 or 40 photos and videos, fully naked, performing sexual acts in interesting and unusual positions. I wasn't titillated as much as I was surprised and suddenly uneasy.

I exited the photo menu and put the phone in sleep mode. Approximately 30 seconds later, a car pulled up and idled near me. The phone rang.

"We're here," My Forever Angel Baby said. "We just want to thank you so much for returning the phone to us. Not everyone would have given it back. You are a real angel."

"You're so welcome," I said. "If I lost my phone, I'd want someone to give it back to me."

Then a man, also in his early 40s, exited the car and approached me for the phone, smiling sheepishly.

"Thanks," he said. "It must have slipped out of my pocket as I was walking. I feel so dumb. You did a good deed for me."

I handed him the phone, wondering if he was worrying about whether I was a lecherous busybody who'd immediately skipped to his gallery of homemade porn with My Forever Angel Baby.

People didn't believe me when I told them the story. It sounded too much like a tall tale. But I wasn't telling them the story to boast about seeing a few thumbnail photographs and a few seconds of cell-phone sex for free.

I was wondering about something a little more metaphysical than that. I kept wondering if the benevolence of returning a lost item was somehow canceled out by the wicked, sinful deed of looking at someone else's private sex photos.

Is it a case where the good outweighs the bad or the other way around? Is it a wash, meaning the kindness of returning it created exactly the amount of good karma that looking at the porn pics created bad karma?

Hopefully, the husband of My Forever Angel Baby isn't a NUVO reader or, if he is, at least a very inattentive one. I've changed a few of the minor details just in case. And if he is, I think I apologize to him for violating his privacy.

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