boston tThe wind gusted toward the house and the rain hit the picture window. As the drops trickled down the pain they joined with others, became larger and formed unexpected shapes. Warm inside on the couch, Aaron watched Super Bowl highlights on the big screen. Upset with the loss of his team, he comforted himself with a family size bag of Doritos. Comfort food. He floated through life on a bed of comfort food, and if it weren’t for the increasing effects of gravity on his body he wouldn’t give it any thought.

A strong blast of rain hit the windowpane like a smack to the face and when Aaron glanced away from the game highlights he swore the splattered raindrops had taken the form of the Pillsbury Doughboy, hat and all. His glance turned into a stare as the Doughboy’s little donut shaped mouth began forming words. Aaron hit the mute button on the remote. At first he heard nothing but the rustle of leaves in the wind outside, but then he might’ve heard a high pitched squeaking but couldn’t be sure. He scooted to the edge of the couch cushions, heaved himself up and went to the window.

Feeling a little foolish and a little scared, he put his ear near to where the mouth was and to his shock, he heard a small voice speak.

*   *   *

Completely unbound and eternal in its soul dimension, the soul was currently incarnated in a meat sack named Aaron who was intent on plugging the hole in his face with Doritos. The part of the soul that had joined the Aaron body and become Aaron had taken on the characteristics of his physical form, including its bottomless cravings for junk food, and could no longer be reached from the other side of the incarnation void.

The soul didn’t think of itself as Aaron, though Aaron was its current incarnation. The soul had incarnated more than a thousand times in human bodies of various types and in some beings that were other than human. Its name couldn’t be spoken on the physical plane of Earth, it was more of a simple thought, but its equivalent was Da’Wayne.

Da’Wayne thought of himself as male, though on the soul plane he was neither male nor female, but he tended to incarnate as male most of the time. He enjoyed being a woman too, but for the past few thousand years he’d been exploring every aspect of what it meant to be filthy rich and powerful, without need to heed anyone, and until recently most of those opportunities came in the male form.

It was always understood that after he joined with the Aaron fetus at around four months of development he’d use the remainder of the gestation period to intertwine his ethereal energy with the delicate tendrils of the Aaron fetus’s brain, and that after birth he and Aaron would be one, and together they would forget all about Da’Wayne, his many incarnations and his exploration of all aspects of power and manipulation of others, and such was the case. It was the case with every incarnation on Earth.

Da’Wayne liked to take as much of his soul energy from the soul plane with him into his incarnations as he could because on the physical plane more energy equated to more opportunity to use it for power, but this time he’d heeded his guide’s advice and left behind enough so that he could simultaneously incarnate in a second physical form on Earth. Currently, he was also embodied in a young woman named Gigi getting her masters in business administration at the University of Washington in Seattle. Times had changed, female power was on the rise in the current era and was something Da’Wayne was excited to experience.

Besides, it wasn’t possible for Da’Wayne to take all of his energy with him into a single body. The human brain couldn’t handle it. It would be like plugging an overhead power transmission line, the kind that crackle in the rain and cause neighborhood wide headaches, into a twenty amp house fuse. It would melt the fuse in an instant, or the brain.

While he was embodied in Aaron and Gigi, he also had left a fragment of his energy back on the soul plane. It wasn’t much, and to other souls who were in between lives and not currently incarnated he appeared as a dim five watt bulb to their brilliant hundred watts, but it was enough to maintain awareness and keep tabs on Aaron’s and Gigi’s progress in case something came up.

And something had. Aaron was supposed to be a corporate tycoon by now, hopping about the globe in his private jet making the incarnations miserable for countless souls, not sticky with a layer of nacho flavor crumbs, like a second skin encasing him as Dorito Man. He’d become the epitome of the couch potato and had lost all drive for the goals Da’Wayne had planned for his Aaron incarnation. He was lost in the void between the Doritos bag and his mouth, but he kept thinking just one more chip might be the answer to everything.

Though amnesia of the soul once born was the norm, enough pre-life planning went into an incarnation that the life usually stayed on the planned track or near to it. Da’Wayne had made pre-life agreements with other souls, like who would be his parents, his wife, his children, and they were depending on him to honor them so that their own incarnation life plans would stick to plan.

Whereas Gigi was on track, the president of her sorority and about to graduate at the head of her class, Aaron was such a disappointment. Not because he was morbidly obese, nothing was intrinsically wrong with that because Da’Wayne wanted to experience everything, no, Aaron was a disappointment because before Da’Wayne embarked on his current power jag he had spent many lifetimes back in Sumer at the birth of civilization exploring being slovenly and dull and there was nothing new there for him to explore. Sure the food had changed. They didn’t have spray on nacho cheese chemicals in ancient Sumer, but that certainly wasn’t worth an entire incarnation.

Da’Wayne figured it must be the Aaron body. It seemed to have physical cravings that he and his guide hadn’t anticipated during the pre-life planning. When choosing a body, Da’Wayne had been presented with two other choices, two males of average size and dexterity, and in comparison the Aaron body made them look puny and clumsy. When Da’Wayne and his guide studied the future life of the Aaron incarnation, they’d foreseen the Aaron body/Da’Wayne combination being robust and muscular. He was going to be the captain of the football team and give lots of orders, hut-hut-hut. But those powerful muscles that were meant to snap the pigskin far down the field in a perfect hail marry pass to win the civil war game of the century between the U of O Ducks and the Oregon State Beavers, instead became skilled at quarters, caps and other drinking games in the Delta Tau Delta house. He didn’t even hold office in his fraternity.

Da’Wayne was bored being Aaron, experiencing things he’d experienced before. Maybe the boredom was what he was supposed to experience, not as Aaron because Aaron wasn’t bored, he was too busy satiating himself with food to be bored, but to experience boredom and frustration as a soul with an incarnation. Maybe his guide had tricked him with all that pre-life planning and knew all along the Aaron body would be a calorie junkie, ready to repeat old lessons from former incarnations. But he doubted that. His guide was secretive at times, but not manipulative in the way that it would take to do that, and it went against the trust that the soul and guide relationship was built on.

Never before had Da’Wayne incarnated in a life that had deviated so far from its pre-life plan. It was as if he’d incarnated in the wrong body in some other soul’s life plan, but those kind of mistakes were never made. He’d never even heard of such a thing happening.

Something had to be done, an intervention, but with only five watts, what could Da’Wayne do?

*   *   *

With his ear against the cold glass, Aaron heard the words clear and concise.

“Stop eating,” the doughboy squeaked. “You’ve had more than your share.”

Aaron jumped away from the window. He was hallucinating. Maybe some psychedelic mushrooms had gotten into his Doritos. He looked inside the bag, still held tightly in his grip, but saw nothing suspicions. Besides, he would’ve tasted them. Or would he under all that nacho flavor?

He glanced at the doughboy on the window pain. His mouth was still moving, but now he also had eyebrows that were arched with concern. This is nuts, Aaron thought and looked away. He sat back down, turned the sound up on the television, and went back to eating his chips, stuffing even more in his mouth. Don’t look at him, he told himself. He’ll go away. It’s just rain. And maybe a mouse somewhere in the wall squeaking for his own bag of hallucinatory chips.

When the window began to rattle with more than just the rain, then vibrate, Aaron couldn’t help but look. The doughboy was angry, brow furrowed, and was waving his hand at Aaron and giving him the finger. The vibrations from the window grew louder, deeper and more controlled. They became words.

“Put down the bag,” the doughboy commanded in a bass voice.

The shock of it stopped Aaron’s hand halfway to his mouth and the bag fell from his other hand.

The doughboy smiled. “That’s a good boy. You and I need to talk. When I was a general in roman times I had a war dog that saved my life in battle on many occasions. I’ve asked him for help.”

The doorbell rang.

“Good ol’ Craugis, always on time. Go answer it and heed what he says.”

“Says?” was all Aaron could say.

When Aaron opened the front door, there stood a Boston Terrier, ears as big as his nose and sticking out wide from his head. He barked once and trotted inside. Aaron followed him to the living room where the dog lifted his hind leg and peed all over Aaron’s dropped bag of Doritos. At least the doughboy on the picture window was gone, but Aaron could’ve sworn the dog was smiling at him over his handy work and not just in need of house training.

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