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Very Superstitious




Are you superstitious?

It's okay, you can tell me. I can keep a secret.

For the sake of discussion, I'll assume you are superstitious. Like me.

It is kind of embarrassing. Irrational. Illogical.

Still…when I come across a crack in the sidewalk…I step over it. Hey, I don't care what you say, I'm not gonna be responsible for hurting my mom. The odds may be ridiculous, but, statistically, there is a possibility. They may be incomprehensibly remote. But those odds are there. It's not that difficult to avoid the cracks.

And the lines left in standard crosswalks to allow warp and wrinkle don't count. It's only the other cracks, the jagged, monster-teeth-looking separations, that can bring about spinal injury.

Just…watch…your step.

And therein lies the problem, well, one of the problems, of successful crack management. You miss all the scenery going by you. Who knows, I might have found something really valuable in my environment whenever operating on foot. My ultimate home? A prized drinking establishment? I'll never know. Blind, to possible bliss.

Because of a superstition.

So…I've shared. Your turn. Tell me you have an irrational idea about some thing or another. Give me company in my misery!

What's that? No, I just didn't hear you. Say again?

Is that it? If I understand you correctly, you're asking if that's the limit to my superstitious behavior?

Sadly, no.

I won't kill a cricket in my house. This adviso comes courtesy of my grandmother, may she rest in peace. And when I say I HATE crickets, I ain't lying. So, eliminating them from my life involves a gruesome ritual of fetching a tissue to pick the thing up, removing it from whatever corner of the domicile it has invaded and then conveying it out of doors.

Where I proceed to kill the thing.

Hey, I know it's a wasted war of attrition. I'm never going to outnumber the crickets. Lordy, when I lived on Portland I lived in a veritable sea of crickets. Oh my god, they would flow, in sheets! Like rain, only horizontal. Had to get out of there, largely due to the freakin' crickets…


Listen, I'm as down with "do no harm" as the next jack Buddhist, 'kay? For real, I'm by and large at peace with the vast majority of the animal kingdom. It's just the crickets. That's the only animal I have an objection to. Just the crickets and the flies. Oh, two…animals. That don't deserve to live. Crickets and flies and maggots. Three! Just those three repulsive little monsters. The crickets, the flies, the maggots and anything too small for the eye to see! God, can you imagine? The hordes! Of microorganisms!

And it doesn't stop there.

Ladders. Step ladders, that is. Do not walk under a step ladder. Bad ju ju is sure to follow. Same if you open an umbrella indoors, oh em gee, never do that.

And of course, there's the knock out punch of superstition, the mother of all irrational thinking—the broken mirror. Seven long years, my brothers and sisters. That's a long time. To be bereft of luck.

There are other behaviors. I treat inanimate objects as though they were not only alive, but have thoughts and feelings of their own. I'm not going to run down the inventory in that regard, suffice to say at the top of the Inanimate Kingdom is my bicycle. All I'll say is it does not like to be kept in the garage.

Enough! I know by now you'll never read another thing I write. Right? I mean, how can you choose to keep up with a kook. Who believes in the illusory, who responds to the delusory, who often comes to the understanding that the real identity behind the wheel is 'the boy'. Yeah, yeah, I admit it—I let the boy drive. A lot.

Like right now, Ima let the boy get on the bicycle and ride me around the neighborhood. 'Cause, for real, there's no harm to rolling over a crack.



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