Good Luck Charms?
Do you believe in good luck charms? Talismans(men?), amulets? I don’t know if I do. I mean I’d sure like to. I’d love to think the gizmo I wear around my neck or carry in my pocket or in my sock (gross) or in my purse would bring me great good luck.
But I’m not so sure about ‘things’ bringing one good luck, and I guess that’s the problem. It’s the believing of it all that makes the whole deal work, right? If, for example, I were to believe the rock I found at the bottom of my lobster bisque would bring me good luck if I carried it about forever, then of course, it would. If I just chucked it at the waiter and did not believe it would bring me good luck, well then it probably would not. Right? Yeah.
And I don’t have “good luck rituals” I perform before I embark on something scary,like getting up in front of 200 people to read my poems. (You know, the way certain famous pro baseball players go through a series of never changing, repeating, bizarre twitches, adjustments and touchings before they step up to the plate to strike out.) I know one guy who rubs the belly of a bronze elephant bookend before he makes a stock market transaction, and he’s been living in poverty and debt for his entire adult life. And yet another person I know kisses an ancient photo of his “sainted mother” in the dead (no kidding) center of her forehead, mutters a few same repeated words and then goes out and sells every car on the lot. Amazing.
So where’s all this going? I’ll tell you.I’ve already discussed in this column the problem I have in over-packing and carrying stuff with me at all times. I’m sure it’s a big psychological issue, (but I don’t much care) and OK, my right shoulder does hang maybe four inches lower than my left because my right one is my purse shoulder strap shoulder. (You get all that?)And since I carry enough stuff in that purse to survive being lost on an uninhabited island for maybe a month until help arrives,I periodically have to go through it to see if I can lighten it up. (I never much can.)
However, I can occasionally decrease my purse’s weight by about a pound if I scrape out all the accumulated loose change, and that’s what I did the other night. I tossed it all out on a table and went to get The Jar to load it all into. I scooped, and there in my hand, all alone, was an odd coin. I thought “Oh Canada!” and started to toss it, and looked again. This was not a Canadian coin; it was British. It was a six pence piece, thin as paper, extremely worn, nearly flat on both sides, but I could still see old Queen Victoria’s profile and when I squinted, I could see the numbers; 1897. I was holding a coin that is 121 years old!
How on earth did it get here, to me? I am not a numismatist (unless you count The Jar,) and haven’t been able to remember all the places where I was recently handed change in various stores. And besides, considering I don’t shovel all that loose change out of my purse very often, there’s really no way I could retrace my purchase journeys and locate my change-giving givers.
So there it is. I now own this wonderful old coin. I’m not sure if it’s of any value at all, but I don’t much care about that. I’ve decided it’s going to be my Good Luck Piece, forever. I shall drill a hole in it and wear it on a chain about my neck, and let’s see if my luck changes. (I don’t know from what, because my luck’s been runnin’ pretty good these days.)
I wonder if the coin collectors out there are blanching over the hole-and-chain plan. Maybe, but I think I’ve read that if a coin is very worn, its value is lessened, right? Well, this one is as worn as a shell lost at sea for dozens of years and has that same, satiny feel. I stare at it and remember that my ancestors, at least the ones any of us will admit to,came from England, and I wonder if any of my British relatives maybe even held this tiny coin and bought something with it, maybe some bread for dinner, or candy for a child. I stare at this coin and wonder how it got here, into my purse. When and how did it cross the ocean? Why? Did it get here last month or years ago?
But get to me it did, mysteriously, causing my imagination to really churn. Did it come via Canada?
But no. I’ve decided I like the England to LC-Purse story much better, so have decided this old coin is to be my personal talisperson and will keep it with me forever, if not always around my neck then in my pocket, but never, ever in my sock. I’ll let you know when I win the Lottery. Should be any day now.
Contact LC at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her book QUEENIE is in local bookstores or contact her directly. www.lcvansavage.com