Suerte

There’s isn’t a record in my family history of a no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing great great grandfather, but I do attribute the majority of my misfortunes to a shouting match I had with a former landlord about three years ago. It ended with her keeping my deposit and also, I still believe, putting a spell on me. 

If you consider winning board games, flights being on-time, or spotting celebrities “luck” then you could say I have haven’t had much of that. However, I have had a healthy dose of being hit by uninsured drivers, forms lost and faulty cell phones.

Some circumstances and people in general are just lucky.

I’ve seen my friend Chanelle cash out on video poker machines, two times now.  Though I’m sure she’s probably about even in her wins and losses, the last time I saw her sit down at a machine in Slim’s, a place described by one UrbanSpoon user as “Dressed like a dive bar but clean, welcoming and without the smoky haze,” she was feeling very lucky. 

She hadn’t even been at the seat for 15 minutes before she was up 50 bucks.

Holding her tall can of PBR ($1.75 during Happy Hour: 7 AM to 2 PM) she said, “All in a day’s work,” and cashed out her pay slip at the bar.

One of my luckiest days I can remember was when I won a Costco sized bucket of Red Vines at a networking event. It rode in the passenger seat of my truck during a road trip and I used handfuls as currency to thank friends for their hospitality. 

Another time, I was leaving the Rogue Valley and Google Maps told me I could get coffee at a place called Lumpy’s. A small shop next to a sushi bento restaurant and the Drop N Go laundromat. Some of the store front windows are mirrored and from inside the outside world looked dark, despite it being a sunny afternoon. If I’d thought I was going to a mom and pop coffee shop, I was sorely mistaken, but nonetheless intrigued. 

The narrow building looked like it had once been a diner but now the tables were gone and replaced with five video poker machines. Only one patron was there playing and he didn’t take his eyes off his screen as I entered. I asked the woman behind the counter for a cup of coffee. She nodded and walked back into the kitchen.

I stole another look around again, one of the machines was marked off with caution tape. Lady Gaga was playing. The woman returned and handed me a small styrofoam cup. I tried to hand her a dollar and she said, “It’s free.” I explained that I wasn’t there to gamble, I just wanted some coffee. “Throw the dollar in a machine,” she said, “You might have some luck.” I took a seat at one of the machines next to where the man was sitting. 

As soon as I sat down he got up and moved to another. The coffee was probably Folgers and definitely had been made over 5 hours ago. After two unsuccessful max bets, my dollar of credit was gone and I went back outside. I stood next to my truck and choked down the coffee, I guess it was worth the dollar. The man walked out as I finished my tiny cup.

“Any luck?” I asked him. “Won a lot yesterday, guess my luck’s out today,” he answered. “You got a cigarette?” I told him that I was out of both of those myself. He spat and then started to walk up the highway. 

When I think about the fact that I’m alive, some of the things I’ve done, and the amazing people I’ve gotten to know along the way, you could say that I have all the luck. I still eagerly await the day that landlord lifts her curse. But each time I find a fresh spot of bird shit on my truck, it feels good to have someone to blame. 

Taken from traffic on i5 outside of Salem

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