Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday the 13th

I thought I wrote a blog post about Friday the 13th. It was a number of months ago, and there wasn’t a Friday the 13th coming soon so I stored it away somewhere on the desktop computer that is today deep in storage.  Now I have that forgetting feeling. 
Did I really write it? 
Did I already post it? 
I hate that forgetting feeling.   
Worse, I can’t remember what the point of the blog post was.
I had to wake up early today to catch a train to the city for a dentist appointment. Yes, I imagine that there are dentists in Westchester with perfectly decent credentials, but when we moved here there was urgent need of a dentist for someone, and we were in the city, and we found a good one right in midtown. So it is worth the train trip in to the city just to see the dentist.  I had the same nice dentist in Seattle from about 1993 onwards.  Someday, if you ask nicely and I am in the mood, I will tell you the story of the terrifying dentist that I saw as a child.
It is a sad reflection of the current state of enslavement that I have to my iPhone, but just as soon as I silence the alarm on my phone I check my email.  I was immediately suspicious, because twelve are too many emails for an ordinary night, and there were twelve unread messages. There were one or two actual emails, and then several automatic replies for folks out of town, and then many automatically generated failed delivery messages from the “postmaster” of Hotmail. I did hear from one actual contact, who sent an empty email with the subject line “have you been hacked?”  Yes, readers, my email had been hacked in the night.
The first step, of course, is to change the password on email (and everything else), and to run a dreaded security diagnostic to see if I had malware (I didn’t). My second step was to send a text to My Technology Department (otherwise known as the Relentless Troubleshooter, or the Bacon Provider). He responded right away, which was something of a surprise: he has been on a West Coast business trip this week. My 5:50 am text was answered from the West Coast.  That Technology Department is sure prompt! I was advised to change my password. Wasn’t I satisfied that I did the right thing?  So satisfied was I that I forgot about being upset about sending spam to people, forgot to hurry off to the train station, and forgot to apologize to the Technology Department for waking him up for nothing.   I drank some tea at a leisurely pace and drove unexcitedly to the train station and made my train by only a matter of second: it pulled up just as I descended the last step onto the platform.
Making this train was something I would call lucky.  I do not believe in luck as a magical power one can wield, or store up, or lose, or be due.  I believe in luck as a word to describe a near disaster that did not occur (like remembering your purse under your train seat at the last minute as you get off), or unexpectedly surviving something dreadful (like walking away from a train wreck), or having something fortuitous happen by chance (like meeting s person on a train who offers to interview you for a job).  Of course, Friday the 13th is thought to be an unlucky day. 
I was very superstitious as a child, believing somewhat insincerely in the magical power of sidewalk cracks, chanting on the first day of the month, crossed fingers, unspoken wishes which could come true and spoken dreams which could not.  I do not recall having special feelings about Friday the 13th, but I might have. Maybe that’s what I wrote about.
More likely, I wrote about my mother, who was the more rational of my parents and who actually died on a Friday the 13th after a long illness. 

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