A friend carries a lucky quarter. Minted in 1975, if I recall right, there's not anything special about the quarter. I'm dubious it's the stame quarter that he first started carrying.
He carries it because that's when his winning streak began at a gambling casino years ago - back when the machines used coins.
Down to his last .50 cents, he put in a quarter, pulled the arm and won some money. Then he won some more and some more, hitting a jackpot, all told, winning over $13,000. It happened in 1981. "That was just about ten times as much as I had in savings," he told me in a gravelly voice. "My divorce had just come through, I'd been passed over for promotion, and I was feeling pretty busted up." When he called it quits that night and went off to celebrate his fortune, hed discovered that quarter from before. He'd set it down to one side with his first win and forgot it. Seeing it, he figured it was his lucky charm.
He told me this story in 1995. He'd been carrying the quarter for five years by then and swore that his luck was different. He put it away in the same place every night by his night stand and picked it up the first thing in the morning. He carries it in his wallet so it won't mingle with other coins. "When I get nervous," he told me, "I pull it out and rub my thumb over it a few times. It calms be down."
I was not even allowed to touch it. He'd only told me the story reluctantly, after I knew him a few years. He didn't want to tell me because he didn't want to jinx himself.
The quarter had become sacred.
I wondered about him and his quarter today. I was settling in at the Beanery. My number one table wasn't available. Nor was number two. I settled at my third choice, a good location. But as I ordered and set up, the man at my number two table got up and left. Looking at the empty table, I considered leaving. But why? My third choice was quite workable. Two tables pulled together, it was by itself back in the corner, by the restrooms. Lot of good writing had been done at that location.
But it struck me, all the editing I'd done on the novel I'm finishing had been at the table just vacated, the one now available.
I stood still between pragmatism and superstition.
The editing and revising had been going well.
I'm enjoying the novel in a way I rarely enjoyed my own work. I have high hopes for it.
What did the table have to do with it?
But, chuckling to myself, I moved my stuff over to my lucky table.
Why take chances now?
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com