[passage from my journal, 8 May 1978]
woke up, hearing dogs barking downstairs—aha, the mail, I said to myself—a deduction based partly on hearing the metal cover to the slot clink, and partly on the sound of eighty pounds of dog hit the door at an estimated speed of forty miles per hour. So who cares, back to sleep—it can’t be much later than eleven which means I have hours to go before reaching the nightly quota of fourteen. There might be something interesting, I said to myself. Yeah sure—another offer from the Queen’s Jubilee Centennial Confidence Committee to sell me genuine silver-plated commemorative plaques in an edition strictly limited to one million numbered copies—still another note from Time demanding that I renew my subscription or let them know the reason why—still more mail for Craig Casey, whoever he is (all I know about him is he left no forwarding address and some unfinished business with the Navy). Well, I said, there could be the new British History Illustrated. Right—with such fascinating articles as Celtic Hoe-Handle Production AD 335-431 or The Historic Re-enactment of the Victoria-Camperdown Tragedy June 22nd as performed by Her Majesty’s Royal Naval Tragedians and two of Her Majesty’s ships. There might be a letter, I said. It still isn’t worth it—to actually get up on the mere offchance that there might be something—forget it. Ask the Oracle, I said, then. Yeah, well, the Oracle always says no. Yeah, but it’s always right, I said. The only trouble with that is it doesn’t make sense. I suggested, why not ask anyway? So, Oracle, is there a letter in today’s mail? Oracle: Damn right there is. And there was of course [a letter from my cousin about her travels in Europe] (or I wouldn’t have written out this incident, right?), along with a Trade-A-Plane for my brother. This really happened—maybe not in the form I wrote it—exactly—but it did happen and partially restores my faith in oracles.