Genjo was close. He could feel it. In fact this might be his last form before he attained universal consciousness and became light, much as the Buddha had done so many years before. He could feel the grass underneath and the sun overhead. And yet he was also the very grass underneath himself and he was the sunlight above himself. There was no self. There was only spirit. And spirit had no physical boundaries. Genjo had understood this for some time. He had reflected on this simple truth through most of his past lives. In different forms and different lives he had been mindful of this. Yet here he remained, a physical being one glimmering step away from universal consciousness, from Buddhahood.
A smell invaded his crystalline thoughts, breaking his concentration. What is that? It smelled tantalizing, like deliciousness wrapped around culinary divinity, and possibly smothered in savory and highly saturated fats. Stop it! Genjo struggled to focus on the light within, the universal platitudes that had taken him so close to his ultimate goal. No seriously what IS that smell? His eyes flitted open.
"Hey, what up dude?" Brian "Bud" Collins from Newark, New Jersey stood in front of him, chewing a mouthful of food.
Genjo blinked several times. "Who are you?" he intoned. His voice had a certain power that barely hinted at his awesome intellectual prowess and didn't need volume to impress.
"Oh hey, I'm Bud. Bud Collins. Just flew in this afternoon." He wiped his free hand against his jeans and held it outstretched. Genjo eyed the freshly applied grease stains on the man's clothing and made no movement.
Bud faltered slightly, "Ok, no problem. Not into the hand-shaking thing. I can respect that. My wife's the same, she keeps the Purell close by. You know what I mean? You know? No. Ok, no problem." Bud lapsed into awkward silence.
Genjo shifted his gaze to the man's other hand. "What are you eating?"
"What? Oh this. Yeah, it's awesome. Bacon cheeseburger. There's a fast food place at the airport. It's not Mickey D's but hey it'll do right? You know what I mean? No? Anyway..." Bud looked away and sort of mumbled to himself "I mean, everyone loves bacon, right? bacon makes everything better."
If Genjo had known anything about trains, the term 'train wreck' would have immediately come to mind. But he actually didn't know anything about trains, and so the word 'idiot' popped into his head instead. This man was clearly an idiot. But that burger did look tantalizing. Genjo immediately realized the devastating consequences of this line of thought. He had strictly forbidden himself from eating meat at least 17 lives ago. And now he was sooooo close to enlightenment.
But look at that bacon! His eyes kept coming back to the cheeseburger.
"You want a bite don't ya?" Bud piped up again.
Genjo slowly nodded his head yes and said firmly, "No. Definitely not." A strange look passed over his face as he wrestled with his thoughts. Eternal understanding. Melted cheese. Universal oneness. Bacon. Buddha. Bacon. Bacon. More bacon.
"Ah what the hell, bring that bad boy over here." Genjo commanded.
Bud shuffled over. "Sure man, have a bite."
"Oh, I'll have a bite." Genjo reached out with surprising quickness and snatched the burger from the surprised American. He held it at arms length for a long moment as though appreciating its beauty. Then he took a massive bite. He chewed slowly and with deliberate precision.
"Oh. My. God. This is, mmmm ... so, worth it," he managed to blurt out amid mouthfuls of beef, processed cheese, bacon, and enriched flour. Enlightenment could wait a few more thousand years. What the hell did the Buddha know about bacon cheeseburgers anyways?