Bardo Without a T

He started reading a book about
Bardo – no not Brigitte who is
French and her last name has a “t”
on the end, which, leave it to the

French, is silent and a movie
actress he really liked when he
was a kid and not for her acting
ability. It’s Tibetan for “inter-

mediate state,” only with
several states and roughly like
a Buddhist version of Catholic
purgatory only about karma

and not sin and a lot more
is up to the person in Bardo
than in purgatory where
residents are pretty much

helpless without someone like
his Catholic ex-brother-in-law
who prays for about a thousand
souls in purgatory every day

in the hope that he can pray
those people’s sins away. So
he conjured his “intermediate
state,” imagining that he could

overhear what people were say-
ing about him at which point
he exclaimed, “Hey, it isn’t
nice to speak ill of the dead,”

which no one could hear except,
apparently, his chocolate
lab who always had that sense
about something being wrong

and would come over and give
him sympathy, which is where
the dog was just then at the
foot of the couch and who hear-

ing those words from the beyond
spoke in perfectly clear English
and not French, “I always thought
Brigitte Bardot was a fine act-

ress.” And he was sure the dog
was going to say something nice
about him. “Merde!” the man
shouted, which is French for

shit and the “e” is silent, and
the dog jumped. He reached
over and gave the dog a pat
and said, “Sorry, Buddy. I’m

awake now.”

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