Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Bad Luck, Good Luck: “I Shouldn’t Have Been a Pirate Whore.”


You ever wake up with an epiphany? Words flowing from you like St. Elmo’s fire, ( y’know not the creepy red puppet, but the legend) and you pick up whatever writing utensil is at hand and whatever scrap of paper, box of tissue, back of a receipt you can find and write it down as fast as you can, and then set it aside, pleased that you have captured brilliance, that exact moment of divine reckoning where Truth (capital T) has been revealed to you. So you fall blissfully back to the cushions, sigh a contented sigh and embrace sleep only to wake abruptly and realize that on that massive pile of paper and books surrounding your bed…


you’ve lost your treasure.  That precious, nay, sacred gem is buried somewhere deep within the  folds of chaos, and like blinking right before the picture... you know you've been caught with your eyes closed, and you'll never figure out where you put that damn scrap of paper, and you don’t even know what that paper looked like, or what color of pen, pencil, crayon you used for the text because you didn’t even bother to turn on the light before you began penning your serendipitous verse down?


Maybe it’s just me.

Anyway, this post is about luck. Why some people seem to have good luck, and some people seem to have bad luck. My oldest daughter seems to have the worse luck of anyone in the family. She’s been to the emergency room more than all my children combined. She trips, a lot. She hits her head on things, a lot. She’s dealt with the suicide of two close friends. On reflection, she’s come to a point where she’s developed a healthy does of sick humor to cope. .

Now when something bad happens, like she hits her head or stubs her toe or cuts her finger somehow on a box of cereal (really, how does one CUT their finger on a cereal box?) she says: “Dang it! I shouldn’t have been a Murdering Pirate Whore!”

and we laugh.

Now there’s Ben. He has found so many four leaf clovers in his life we stopped counting after a hundred. One time the child found twelve of them, all at once, during soccer practice. (What he was doing looking for clover rather than practicing, I can’t tell you.) I find them too, every once in a while, only one or maybe two at time. But almost every time that child goes outside, viola’ there’s a clover. My other children have invested time in attempting this feat. The youngest two will try on and off to find them. They’ll spend twenty or thirty minutes looking before they give up and Ben will come up, bend right over in front of them and pluck it out of the bunch.

I asked him how he did that.

“I don’t know, I just sorta feel like there’s one there. When I feel like there’s a clover there, I just go over and get it.”

Now, I wonder can our expectations MAKE bad things happen and good things happen when we want? Does Ben believing he has the power to find four leaf clovers, give him that power. Does Halee believing (somewhat) she must have done something bad to have bad things happen in turn make bad things happen?

I don’t claim I know. All I know is that, for my own part, my luck would have it that the epiphany I was going to share in this post is likely lost forever.

Dang it. I shouldn’t have been a pirate whore.


  1. A few more thoughts on good luck bad luck. I wasn't implying Halee had a thing to do with the suicide of her friends, I need to make that perfectly clear. When I say maybe her believing bad things, in turn perhaps could have made bad things happen it was more a which came first, the chicken or the egg. Did she begin to expect bad things to happen (little accidents, stubbing toes, etc.) and thus create the possibility for them to happen OR because bad things HAVE happened she's right to expect them, just has a case of bad luck. Like I said, I don't know the answer to this one.

  2. when it comes to finding that slip of paper with my brilliant 2am words written on it....i find the slip of paper but end up dismayed over what i've written. if i can read it, it makes no sense/doesn't score at all on the Brilliance Scale. more times than not, i can't read what i wrote. right now i am walking around with a slip of paper in my back pocket that says "reinvented lime", but i think i meant "reinvented light"...but neither actually tell me why i thought i had a brilliant idea last night.

    in regards to your daughter, mine is much the same way. LOVE her attitude about being the *pirate whore*. lol.

    in regards to luck-i like to think that each of us are tuned to a certain wavelength/channel. your son has found his sooner than others.

    your daughter, perhaps she is especially caring and those in need of her care are drawn to her, which could increase the percentages of conflict in her life. this speaks warmly of her.

  3. "Reinvented lime"

    That's beyond wonderful! I know what you mean. I remember little of what "came to me" I was going on about circles, small circles...something about a small circle. But that's all that is left of the epiphany.

    Thanks so much for your kind words. I get a kick out of the stories you share.

  4. I found my epiphany. It was bad. Really, really bad. I'm glad I didn't have it to post. It's a declaration about the dawn, reiterating everything Galileo has already said only with the prosaic grace of a one legged grasshopper. Woe. Note to self: Never trust epiphanies!!!!