“Why,”I wondered, “is there a homeless man walking around my backyard?”
I parted the blinds and watched him, in his work boots, ratty jeans and Harley Davidson t-shirt, circle round the side of the house and over to the back gate where he fell into conversation with some guy standing in the alley, on the other side. I opened the back door and stepped out onto the porch to confront him. But instead of making a break for it, Harley Davidson smiled, waved, and asked: “Do you have a key to your gate here?” And then, reading my hesitation: “I’m here to fix the leak in your skylight.”
Oh. Oooooh. Right. The guy was here to fix the leak in my skylight, the latest in a long line of bad luck turns that had started, I realized this morning, as far back as early 2011 – coincidentally, not long after my Tokyo trip with my buddy Ivon. I had been reluctant to go with him at the time, not because he’s bad company mind you, but because he suffered from notoriously terrible travel luck. Every time he went away somewhere, some THING happened: earthquakes, accidents, tooth abscesses. Ultimately, I decided to throw caution to the wind, figuring his travel luck was no one’s business but his own – and our arrival at Narita airpot seemed to bare that out when we were informed HIS luggage hadn’t made the flight. Beside the inconvenience of having to wear the same outfit two days in a row, however, Ivon experienced no further mishaps on the trip – so I assumed he’d exorcised his travel demons. In retrospect, I think they merely transferred over to me.
Think about it. 2011. I end up accepting a job in Toronto and suffering through a The Year from Hell. And then it was downhill from there in a series of trips, stumbles, and faceplants that, while incredibly frustrating, have certainly made for interesting blog material.
Take today for instance. Ivon texted to suggest a taco lunch. Great! The guy had come by this morning to fix the gaping hole in my ceiling so my day was otherwise free and clear. We agreed on a time and I was about to get ready when Akemi informed me someone was coming to install the new oven between 11:00 and 1:00. Damnit! I’d completely forgotten. So much for lunch. I texted Ivon back to inform him I was out, then redirected my focus to other matters: fantasy football, my latest script, the suspicious guy skulking about in my backyard. Close to noon, I receive a call from the oven installer informing me that he won’t be able to make it and will have to push his visit to somewhere between 3:00 – 4:00. I grab my phone and immediately text Ivon back, hoping to catch him in time. His response:
Clearly, I have to find a way to foist this bad mojo onto someone else by way of spell, Federal Express, or other means of transferrence. I can think of at least ten possible worthy candidates.