I am a superstitious girl of epic proportions. They probably shouldn’t have let me read the 800 page Dictionary of Superstition because it only got worse. I knock wood, won’t walk under ladders, and hold my breath when driving by graveyards. I refuse to walk over piles of dust and always feel guilty that I didn’t buy a new broom when we moved. I never have red and white flower arrangements. The tips of my candles are always burned. I could never figure out how to sleep with wedding cake under my pillow without getting fondant ground into the sheets, but I was working on it. I blame the first year of my marriage partially on the fact that the ceremony was on Thursday.
“Ooh! A penny!” I said to Brian one day.
“What the heck are you doing?” he asked.
“I have to put it in my shoe.”
“It was tails and tails pennies are bad luck. So you put them in your shoe to turn it, and you get the luck after all.”
He looked at me like I was absurd.
I don’t know if I should admit it as this is fairly easy to hide, but judge the quality of every day based on a complex rubric of symbols I have made up for myself. For instance:
Trains are good luck. The Metrolink used to be a vague part of my day when I worked in Claremont, but now train tracks cross my route to work in five different places. My bedroom looks out on the train tracks, and the window rattles when the Metrolink blazes past. There are hierarchies to trains, because not all of them are Metrolink in Orange County. In fact, Metrolink are the lowest rung of luck because they’re so prolific. Surfliner trains are lots of luck, and freight trains are the ultimate luck bonanza. Trains that I see but don’t have to wait for multiply the luck as well.
Beatles or Simon and Garfunkel songs on the radio are good luck, but only if on the radio and not purposefully played. Also lucky are the numbers 9, 4, and 6 (in order of luckiness). Things like the Disney cafeteria having baked potatoes at lunch time are also wrapped up in this, and the way the elevators work at Dodge College.
Since the failed attempt to write my third novel (Psychopomp, about a man who starts to be followed by a murder of crows and then finds out it’s because he’s the next Death) I have also been followed around by crows. Not in large groups, but one is generally around somewhere waxing fat and glossy and giving me a dirty look. I’m not sure what this means yet, but I know that I like them. They make me feel like I’m in an epic. Standing on the Misty Mountain and looking for advice on what to do about the dragon, perhaps.
So now that I’ve admitted to being crazy, would you please excuse me? A black cat walked in, and I have to leave before it tries to cross my path.