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Just My Luck


Absolutely and completely senseless.

Lives, forever ruined in an instant. Endemic terror reverberates from the epicenter shattering our collective sense of normalcy.

We dupe ourselves into believing we’re immune.

The news seems so far from our insulated bubble. Nevertheless we’re intermittently confronted with the reality that we’re no more than a series of chance reactions happening on a pebble hurtling through space towards no particular destination.

Gunshots ring out. Another mugging’s gone awry in our imperfect world.

Tires and sirens screech and scream.

It’s too late. He’s already bled out.

The entire block and adjacent shopping plaza are shutdown. My two-thirty hair appointment with Leonardo now numbers among the casualties.

There is no doubt: man is the cruelest animal.

No recourse exists. I’m gripped with a sorrow that can’t be undone. My appointment, Leonardo, yet again derailed—even after I already had to reschedule twice when his dopey kids were struck with tuberculosis, or some shit, all last week.

Too late. The benefit dinner’s tonight and Leonardo of Leonardo’s Hair, Nails, and Pre-Paid Cell Phones is the only one in this city I can trust with my looks. Had I known a murder was happening I would have rescheduled yesterday’s spin class and made time.

Rude. Inconsiderate. All of the above.

I’m a magnet for tragedy. I suppose now I’m just expected to persevere through the tears, numb myself with a few solo afternoon drinky-poos, and primp as best I can.

What’d today’s assailant even gain, some petty cash?

Dear God, egoism is absolutely heartbreaking.

I desperately did need this appointment.

And, yeah, I suppose the callous snatching of human life is also never ideal.

It’s just that, everyone’ll be there tonight. I know Julie Henderson, that queen bee, will just have a field day with my, unfortunately, homespun appearance. How I despise that smug, toothy tart and her mole-faced lemming, Barbara. There’s no doubt in my mind they’ll spend the evening goading their twofaced following into persistent, behind-my-back mockery.

I see your game, Julie. I’m not dumb. I completed three semesters at Brown before parlaying an unplanned pregnancy into extortion and then later into a marriage with my contemporary culture professor and a life of stay-at-home luxury. So, yeah, Julie, I know a thing or two.

But smarts don’t matter now. No amount of intelligence or partially completed art appreciation degrees can un-cancel my lost appointment. Now I’m just a survivor, taking life as it comes, coping with forever being cemented on the new money B-list.

Jesus, tragedy can really hurt.

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Almost Strangers Almost on an Almost Train

“Honey, we’ve gone over this; Jane and I are just catching up today.


“No, no, no, I’d never do anything like that; it’d be like eating Jif when you’ve got Skippy waiting at home. Look, you and I have been married eleven wonderful years. I wouldn’t—I couldn’t—throw all this away for some choosy, opinionated mom in a railcar-style diner.


“Don’t worry about a thing. Jane and I were together for, maybe, three weeks back when were fresh out of college. She’s essentially a stranger at this point, a boring, weak-tea-and-water-flavored-oatmeal-ordering stranger. You’re the keeper. Fun, a little daring, you’re the one I chose to share my life with. Jane’s no keeper; she’s more like taupe wallpaper: static, particular, and painfully bland.


“I couldn’t tell you specifics; it’s been close to twenty years since I’ve seen her. Really, I’m remembering across-the-board average: not pretty enough or freakish enough to turn heads. Made-for-TV-movie forgettable. You’re much more attractive, okay? Is that the ego boost you’re looking for? Fine, yes, if we must, we can rehash that everyone I ever dated before you was a filthy tramp crafted out of nothing more than wickedness and cellulite.


“Wait, honey, that’s brilliant. Jane would be perfect; she’s oozing with pure nondescript unremarkableness! I can see it now, ‘Be on the lookout for an ordinary, possibly Caucasian, bipedal, carbon-based maybe-woman wearing muted tones and being likely some number of years old.’ The police would be stumped; Jane’d never be caught, let alone ever linked back to us.


“No, stop, no more second guessing; it was a good idea and it’s the right thing to do. Uncle Rich has been squandering away his fortune, our owed inheritance, in that assisted-care facility long enough. Sponge baths, cable, electricity for his breathing machine, glamor enemas, he’s become unbearably frivolous! We get Plain Jane in there, she inadvertently pulls his plug, I’ll yank out a life-sustaining plug or two in her life or maybe, like, clean her gutters or something, and we’re good. A little guilt-riddled, but financially set. Crisscross.


“It just makes sense; the numbers don’t lie. Neither of our parents will give us the money to support our lifestyle. Neither of us can get the hours at work. We’re already on our second mortgage and creditors are calling every day. At this point we just need to do what’s right for us. It’s the best option. Family comes first, and immediate family comes before nearly-dead, flush-with-cash uncle.


“We can’t waver. This could solve everything. It’s our Hail Mary but desperate times call for desperate measures and if we’re going to have the funds in place to buy a new speedboat in time for summer we need him to die ASAP. I just can’t wait to see our so-called friends, green with envy, as the two of us zip around the lake on our new forty-footer, no longer the laughingstock of the club. This will be our summer, baby; an uncle murder is a small price to pay to finally achieve affluence and social status.


“Now don’t you worry your pretty little head. I’ll press Jane to get this done quick; I think the boat show’s in town next weekend.”

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