[This was cut in the drafting process, but it always makes me laugh]
When Kelly and I were working on this book, I flew to Appleton, Wisconsin on a sub-zero night in December 2009. He picked me up from the airport at 11pm, having just finished watching the Green Bay Packers play football. We drove back through the freezing streets towards his and Vicara’s home, making small talk about the game and the flight.
“Jun Po,” I asked, “When I tell people I’m coming to spend a week with a Zen roshi, I’m always amazed at the response I get. People act like you have to be some kind of holy man sitting on top of the mountain, like all you’ll do is spout wisdom for the entire week, float around a foot off the ground, and talk only in metaphor. How do you deal with that kind of projection — with people thinking you must be something akin to the Second Coming? Doesn’t it get in the way of trying to actually reach people? How do you deal with that?”
Kelly, illuminated by the passing streetlights and the gentle glow of the car’s instruments, looked over at me. An eyebrow, wild gray hairs coming off at odd angles, cocked dramatically.
“That’s easy,” he said, flashing his most devilish grin. “I just keep fucking up.”