What are your personal superstitions?
Hmm. I feel like a superstition requires a certain amount of cognisance. I don’t…I think I have a few tics and oddball repetitive behaviors, but I don’t think I do them out of a fear. Well, I try and get out of the bathtub before all the water drains out and don’t have a belief about it, just this odd little story that it feels like it’s akin to spilling salt. All your luck drains away with the bathwater and if you sit in an empty bathtub, you’re asking for bad luck.
Okay, so maybe I have some superstitions.
But I don’t believe them. Like I don’t believe that, I just behave in accordance with it. Does that make any sense? It doesn’t really, to me.
I do believe in the power of a single person’s innocuous behaviors to fuck the fate of an entire sports team. Sitting in the back row of the bleachers, watching the Cardinals get creamed, the few scattered fans in and amongst a sea of purple sigh and shift. Just a few runs, it’s not fair for us to embarrass them so totally with our incredible skill at knocking the ball over the wall, at stealing bases, at destroying redbirds. At least not so early in the game, it’s only the third inning. Just a few runs. Suddenly, the Cardinals sense my weak heart reaching out to them, encouraging them, hoping them to erase some of the devastation of a six-run lead in the fourth. And they perpetrate a grand slam. No, I cry, they are the villains! This is villainy! How dare they raise a bat against our heroes? I look about at the smug fans leaning forward in their chairs. Look, look what I have done! The home team being cruelly routed upon their own field! I must save them from their loathsome fate and allow my lovelies to eke out a slim, but serviceable victory over their canny lessers. Luckily, their obedience to my magical will can only be demanded when I am free of distraction, so I have not properly driven them to the World Series, well, for some time. When I am prepared to take the reins of the organization back, well, the universe had best watch out.
I also don’t step on cracks, not because I believe it will ruin my mother’s back, but because I like to count in French, how many squares and spaces it takes to get from wherever I am to wherever I’m going. I don’t throw salt, because that’s silly.
I had this book of Irish superstitions, one of those slim, gift books (the sort of gift that seems odd to even consider giving but I was delighted to receive. It mentioned such worries as if you get your shirt wet while you’re washing the dishes you will marry a drunk. Or if you see three magpies on the road it is very unlucky, but if you see two of them on your right-hand side then it’s good luck. Bird luck. It also said that those who kill a Robin Redbreast will never have any luck again in their lives. I don’t know if the Irish have Cardinals, so I think we’ll let the whole thing rest awhile.