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Maybe it will be dragons


Tonight it is quiet and calm. I’m trying not to worry. We’re here, right now, at this anniversary of everything, and if it should seem that I am more anxious than usual, it’s only because I am more anxious than usual. For good reason. I’m really trying, but anything could happen. Maybe it will be dragons this time. Or a storm again. Or the end of the old days. There’s no way to know, really.

This week is my annual near death experience.

Jamie left. You know this. It’s been six years today. I almost died, five years next Monday. And it’s hurricane season in Houston.

In my life where nothing ever happens, everything that happens happens this week. There was the year when my car blew up. Yes, that one. I remember. I said, “Of course it did,” and all my co-workers laughed. At me. They said, “You’re superstitious after all, Harry.” That night, our server room exploded and the firemen ran up twenty-seven flights of stairs, each one wearing a hundred pounds of equipment and nothing was left but the ashes. The mayor came out. In tacky pajamas. I walked out under helicopters and the world stank sharp with electrical fire.

This was no surprise. I’d warned them. This was the anniversary of everything.

Nothing is cursed and no week and no one. You will always find a logical explanation. That’s the rule. No magic, no magic at all. So okay then, let’s have it then. I’m game.

Logical Explanation 1. There exists a strange cabal of very cruel people who are targeting me. They blew up my truck and they blew up the server room, damn them. Made Jamie leave, and Ruby. Got Veva to marry. Chose the day for my new firm to gobble up my old. Alright.

But what about the hurricanes? What about my total loss of platelets and sitting at lunch, watching my arm fill up with blood in 2013? What a strange cabal that would be.

This is the part where I get to Logical Explanation 2 and it’s the one where, in my paranoid state, I’m bringing it all upon myself. My paranoia stirs up storms! Breaks underground pipes. It kills my grandfather and the world goes up in sympathetic explosions. No good, no good, that seems even more fantastical than a curse, Occam’s razor and all that jazz.

I’ll stay in, with the lights out, this year. Maybe I will call a priest. A handyman. An anesthetist. Dial 9 and 1 on my phone in preparation. In expectation. While I’m waiting.

The Universe is rubbing its slimy hands together. I think I can hear it. If this is the last thing you hear from me, you’ll know: Anything has happened again.

Comments

  1. I've kind of had feelings like that before. If it weren't for my dreams I'd have nothing but reality.

    Interesting story approach. Love Genesis--I don't remember this song (good one).

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Thanks, Arlee. I really do start to worry in August.

      The Genesis thing is a 1972 bit from a longer song called "Supper's Ready." I think it's my third reference or use of part of that song in the last year. I need to find a new song.

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  2. The month of August generally sucks for me. Whenever it doesn't I always feel like I've dodged a bullet.

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    1. This August being no exception for you, from what I can see. Seeing as to what you've been through, I really need to stop complaining.

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  3. Buy some duck tape too, and a can of Raid, and start praying.

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    1. Those were all better suggestions than what I put! I feel silly for not thinking of them myself. Duck tape is always a good idea.

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    2. Yes when in doubt always buy duck tape ... and bubble wrap.

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    3. Bubble wrap rarely lasts around me for long enough to be used for its intended purpose. (I'm assuming the intended purpose isn't for me to pop every last bubble, although it should be...)

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  4. Jack used to say there was an international conspiracy to discredit him. He called it the "get Jack foundation"... dial 1-800-GET-JACK. He said that he knew we were all informing on him to the foundation, but that was probably OK because he figured he also probably got the odd cheeseburger or two from our ill-gotten gains.
    Once when Briana was foreman on a construction crew that was tasked with removing a bunch of old water heaters from what had become the basement of the building they were renovating, one of the guys set the whole thing on fire with his MAPP gas torch and the crew scrambled to extinguish the blaze before it took the whole building out. Briana was directing them with "When in danger or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout" when Jack walked up and asked what the problem was. She told him that the foundation was on fire. He got that look in his eyes and replied "And you put it out."
    That is an odd animation they did to "Supper's Ready" isn't it?

    -Doug in Oakland

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    1. I am not a conspiracy theorist. It's a terrible way to live, not thinking the universe cares about you enough to conspire. Jack was probably a much happier man for it.

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    2. He characterized himself as a "recreational paranoid", and he did seem fairly happy most of the time.

      -Doug in Oakland

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    3. I like that term. I'm going to steal it.

      Since I've already used a comment of yours for two posts this month...

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    4. Dragons?

      http://www.eastbaydragons.com/history.html

      -Doug in Oakland

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  5. For the safety of the entire planet, isolate yourself on this day of evil intent. Wrap yourself in bubble wrap and stay in bed.. No good can come from your being out in public.
    October is my bad month...it used to be the best month and then it became the worst. Still, I approach it with hope.

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    1. This could be the year when your Octobers finally balance.

      I thought about taking off work for this week, but I live in an old building and my health ought to be worse than what it is, so even hiding might not save me!

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  6. Congratulations on your doomsday!
    I'm a firm believer that everyone has these, doomsdays. Or, well, not specific days, as you've found out. The mechanics of these aren't *that* accurate. But it's true, without a doubt, that you will die during this time of year. These are merely the signs of what's to come, echoes from the future, and expect them to get worse. Yours seem particularly violent though, even this early. I wouldn't want to sit by your deathbed no way.
    But like osmosis, it can equality, and like fundamental forces, they can negate. Surround yourself with the right people, maybe you can not destroy the world around you.

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    1. "These are merely the signs of what's to come, echoes from the future."

      I've always liked this concept - that there are some events so big, causing such big ripples, that some of them travel out and even the "wrong" way in time.

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  7. I don't think I've had a close to near-death experience. They closest I can recall was jumping into the deep end without a life-jacket as a kid. It worked out.

    Or did I die and all this is the afterlife? Ooga booga!

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    1. That's something I've thought about, too: If I died and didn't know it, at what point did I die? I have a few ideas for dates, most of them right about this time of year.

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  8. So, did your coworkers laugh after the server went boom? And, do they now avoid you during the week of doom? I wonder if you could manage to get yourself a priest who is also a handyman and an anesthetist... I'm thinking of your wallet.

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    1. Considering that everyone at work seems a little jittery when the anniversary of the fire approaches, they have no room to laugh at me anymore.

      I think I might know a guy like your combined priest/handyman/anesthetist. I seem to attract people around me who are jacks of all trades and masters of none.

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  9. You better post again soon or we're all going to think the worst has occurred.

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    1. I've survived all the other years, so the chances of my reporting back are good. If history's any indication.

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  10. Any updates yet? Is it an option to drink a bottle of Nyquil and just sleep it off? Best of luck and hope all is well.

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    1. Still a couple days left before I can say I'm definitely out of the woods. So far, it's been delightfully uneventful.

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  11. You're still here Harry? I hope so! I've came close to death 3 times in my life and I'm still here! We can do it Harry!!!

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    1. I thought about you as I was writing this. After what it sounds like you went through, I didn't want to make it sound as though I was making too much of my old problems.

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  12. Damn, server rooms can explode? My office is right next to the server room. I'm going to sit there VERRRY carefully all day tomorrow.

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    1. Apparently it got very hot. Granted, we had no IT person at the time and were stuffing tons of computers, plugged in, into that space. Hopefully, y'all are more competent than we used to be!

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  13. I think I'd sit home, alone, all week, too.
    But then, after the week passes, and I'm fine, I will tear shiz up.

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    1. I'm afraid to sit home and do nothing because that will just mean that something will happen to the house. I can hear it now: "The irony is that if you hadn't just sat at home with the a/c on for a whole week, you would have been fine."

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  14. I have complete respect for your superstitions even if mine line up a little differently. I think anyone with a few brain cells would come to the same conclusions after enough office fires, death, and hurricane seasons. I'll be waiting for your notice of survival.

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    1. I still have a couple more days before I'm out of the woods. In the meantime, someone I work closely with broke her arm and another employee flipped her case. Because it didn't happen to me directly, I'm not counting either of those things.

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    2. I assume you are out of the woods now. Unless a super cell hurricane turns out to have enough umph to cross half a dozen states on it's way to you.

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    3. I think I made it through! Now I can live recklessly until next August, when i have to start worrying again.

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  15. "Dial 9 and 1 on my phone in preparation" - thanks a funny one. Thanks for the laugh.
    While we can't laugh about a tragedy as it unfolds (maybe the insane do?) typically we can laugh about it long afterwards. Near tragedies do make good stories.
    Are there certain dates of the year that are bad for a person? I don't think, so but I've heard we have cycles.

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    1. I have clients who seem to have bad luck. I don't believe in bad luck, but there's no other explanation. Not even utter recklessness and incompetence can explain the variety of things that happen to some of them.

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  16. The Universe must have cycles of doom, it kind of functions in a fluctuation from chaos to anti-chaos, and either of those can be experienced as good or bad. I find a good nap helps but if you work 9-5 it's hard to fit into the day. I think that's why office workers are more vulnerable to fluctuation effects. Possibly.

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    1. That sounds about right. There could be something about living constantly with artificial light in places where you never see the sky that screws things up.

      I am fortunate enough to have an office job where I live only about 5 minutes away. I get home with enough time in the afternoon to have a nap, usually. Dividing my day into two parts has been helpful.

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