Friday the 13th

Remember Freddy Krueger?  He’s one of the few scary movie characters to set up permanent shop in the dark corners of my imagination.  That creepy little kid named Gage from Pet Sematary is running around in there, too.  There was this great line in one of the earlier Nightmare on Elm Street films when some hapless teenager declared that he didn’t believe in Freddy.  With finger-blades glinting, Krueger deadpanned, “But I believe in you.”   That’s Yoda level philosophy, y’all.

Despite being a horror writer, I’m not particularly superstitious. The idea of Friday the 13th doesn’t phase me.  I tend to root for the fellow in the hockey mask in those movies.  So, when I was struck with a chain of bad luck events on the ill-fated day, I took a little pause.

The day started out fair enough with a bike ride.  My training partner and I did get our wires crossed on the meeting place, but I hadn’t even thought about the date yet.   Besides, I made it ten miles without crashing on my first partner training ride.  I had the whole day in front of me, a rare treat of aloneness.  My plan was to make a little bacon, do some editing work, and complete a couple of assignments that were coming up due in those grad classes I decided I had time to take.

So, what could go wrong?  There must have been clouds somewhere in the stratosphere over the farm because my internet wouldn’t work.  Yes, I tried restarting.  I decided to pack up my materials and head to that coffee shop in town I haven’t tried yet since I had the whole day to myself.  Just as I was about to go, I got the distress call from my son.  He was on the interstate when an 18 wheeler threw up a tire and he ran over it, tearing up the front end of his car.  Thankfully, he maintained control of his vehicle.  An hour later, I pull into the repair shop just ahead of the tow truck.

Who knows how long we were going to have to wait at the shop, so I pulled out my work to take advantage of their internet while my son took care of his business.  Turns out, we were there for all of ten minutes…this is the place that offers free manicures to waiting customers to while away the hours.  So, no work.  No manicure.  Just a drive back to my internet-less home in the company of my son.

It’s well past lunch time by the time we return and well past any hope of getting any work done, so we decide to take a swim.  That’s when Friday the 13th strikes again.  My ride-on rooster float bit the dust.  It almost made it an entire week.  We had named it Cluck Norris.  Cluck’s partner died after a single session of pool play, so he didn’t even earn a name.

Sun-blind when I walk back into the house, my eyes had just enough adjustment time to avoid stepping in cat puke.  Cat puke is a special kind of gross, like a turd in reverse.  I get that cleaned up and decide to give the internet another shot.  There must have been a hole in the ozone layer or perhaps a seismic disturbance jimmied the cell phone tower a few degrees in my favor because I was in!  My fingers flew over the keyboard as I waxed poetic on the topic of social diversity.  It was poetry, I tell you!  I could smell my “A” on this assignment.  Just as I put the finishing touches on my APA citations, though, Friday the 13th struck.  The discussion board flashed and the connection dropped.  My work dropped.  All of it.  I did not throw the computer, but a few tears of frustration may have been shed.

Like Ole Freddy Krueger validating his existence, it definitely seemed like Friday the 13th believed in me!  And, yes, Gentle Reader, parts of the day were a hot mess (literally, thinking back to the cat puke incident).  Did my vision of a blissful ME-PARTY kind of day work out?  No, but never-you-mind that.  Looking back on my Friday the 13th, I renewed a friendship.  I got to spend unexpected time with my grown son.  I saved a few hundred calories by skipping lunch.  I went swimming.  That rooster float was pretty tacky.  I dodged cat offal.

Shakespeare told us the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.  Whether things are awry or all right is a matter of perspective.

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