I’m Friday the 13th. I’m the baddest of bad luck. Black cats and broken mirrors like left jabs and right straights from Muhammad Ali.
So what the hell is going on?
Nothing is working anymore. I can’t hit my spots. Today, I saw children jumping on cracks in the sidewalk with no concern for their mother’s backs. I saw movers drop a mirror, shattering it into bits of self-reflection, and they were more concerned about the cost of the mirror, versus the consequences.
“At least you have the athletes,” Nature says. Nature is beautiful, but the last few years have been hard. There’s streaks of ashy grey in her green hair, and her face is heavily lined and there are flecks and scars, as if she’s been sitting in a harsh wind for weeks.
Me and Nature have an off and relationship. Always good friends, and when bad luck and Mother Nature get it on, oh man the calamity that hits the earth, but we can never sustain it. Now, the remnants of our relationship are semi-weekly bitchfests in gas station parking lots, at picnic tables where employees chainsmoke.
“Oh, I have the athletes? Barely. I’m losing them, too. Analytics and computers are taking away all of my power. It’s not bad luck to them, anymore. It’s science.”
Nature groans and leans her elbow on the table, resting her forehead on her palm.
“Tell me about it. These people are killing me. I sent a hurricane-,” she flicked her hand, “destroyed a city. They rebuilt in two weeks. I’m exhausted. I don’t know how much longer I can do this.”
I’m not listening. A homeless man is rooting through the trashcan near us, and I’m thrilled to see my vibe affecting him. Is he going to find sustenance in that trash can? Fuck no, not if I have anything to say about it-,
The homeless guy pulls something out. It’s a scratch-off. He examines it like a paleontologist looking at a velociraptor claw.
It’s a loser. He’s a loser. Bad luck is here, baby, read it and weeeeeep-,
“I won! Heh! Fifty bucks!” He waves it in the air, grinning.
Nature doesn’t even have the heart to make fun of me. “Damn.”
I turn back to her. “I’m losing it.”
“Face it. We’re worn out, washed up. We have no power.”
“You killed thousands of people last week.”
“And thousands more were born each day since.”
“So keep doing it.”
Nature gives a meek shrug, which is entirely out of character because nothing about Nature has ever been meek. I’ve known her forever, and she was a force of devastating winds, colossal storms, blistering colds-,
“Stop looking at me like that. I’m just tired, okay? Don’t you feel tired?”
“Of course I do,” I respond, quietly, as if anyone can hear us. “I feel like battered superheroes, desperately trying to hold onto something that has long since vanished.”
“Maybe we need to accept that the world has moved on. Maybe we need to move on.”
And with that, she disappears, leaving behind a bit of swirling dust and a single, fluttering leaf.
Her depression annoys me. She was supposed to cheer me up, instead, I’m the one who has to give her a half-assed pep talk?
I start walking, staring bitterly at the ground, causing three fender benders and a dropped cell phone. I cause dozens of minor inconveniences, wondering why I seem to have all the bad luck.
The juxtaposition throughout this is really nicely done, and honestly there’s something really funny but exceptionally fitting about nature and bad luck just chilling in a parking lot, fed up and exhausted. Also “I cause dozens of minor inconveniences, wondering why I seem to have all the bad luck.” love this finishing line.