The mystic number for luck, both good and bad, is supposed to be three. As much as I hate to admit it, in a tough situation I’ll let superstition guide my thinking. If I missed the six a.m. alarm, then burnt Emmy’s breakfast toast, I could be as sure as Joan River’s next plastic surgery I’d be slicing my face when I went to shave. It just comes in threes for me. Now I’m not the only one who sees luck coming in threes, we all see the world in three dimensions, Christians have their holy trinity: the father, son and holy ghost. Our entire life cycle is based on a form of three: birth, life and death. Three is a prime, magical, metaphysical, spiritual and for some of us emotional number. That’s why when things start to turn either bad or good for me I’ll start counting the happenings until I can gather together the destined three.
The latest round of numerological coincidences began on last Monday. I managed to make it through the morning routine without burning the toast or shaving off my chin but soon after that, things started to get a little weird. We had a huge meeting scheduled for mid-morning with a potential Madison client that could potentially put us on the Madison design map. I squeezed myself into my best go-see costume and then began the rush to get out the door so I could get Emmy to school, pick up my mom, get her to the studio and then high-tail it back to pick up Rick and get to our downtown meeting. I had gotten Emmy into the car and the ignition started when I remembered it was junk day. I cranked off the ignition, bolted out of the car and ran to the garage to make sure I had pulled out the recyclables and trash before the garbage trucks made their rounds. All of this got done except for a very large box that our friend, Susan Johann, had used to ship us one of her extraordinary photographs we were going to be hanging in our store. I had debated throwing the box out or keeping it in case I needed to send the piece back. I was too flustered to figure it out on that fateful Monday morning so I left it in the garage thinking I’d deal with it later.
All my fires seemed to have been extinguished until I tried to locate my cell phone so I could double check with Rick about the meeting time. We were in the school parking lot dropping Emmy off when I reached for the phone I thought I had dumped into my suit jacket breast pocket. Emmy’s a stickler about not using the cell phone while driving and rightly so. I’m absolutely incompetent when it comes to doing two things simultaneously so I’m really an accident in the making when I try to drive and dial at the same time. The problem was my phone wasn’t in breast pocket. I searched all my other pockets and came up 21st century technologically deprived. I couldn’t worry about it now. I had a mission and a meeting to get to. I had probably inadvertently left the phone at home.
After all of the human deliveries had been made I was still able to make it back home in time to do a once around in search of my phone before we had to leave for the meeting with destiny. I searched all of the logical places: the crack between the cushion and the arm of the sofa, under the unfiled papers next to my side of the bed, and in the frig next to the Greek goat’s milk yogurt I had wolfed down before I bolted on my weekday morning chauffeuring rounds. Time ran out without having located the little voice, picture and video transmitter. I had to give up the search and live the rest of the day like a communication leper untouchable be the ring tones of the world.
The meeting went well, very well. Here’s where you all have to cross your fingers. I’ve meddled with karma enough here to not expose any more about this meeting until we know for sure that it’s a done deal. Anyway it was back home with enough time to do one more check of the house for the missing phone before it was back out on the road to retrieve Emmy from school. This time I enlisted Rick in the hunt for my precious two inch by four inch verbal communicating devise. I had him call my number to see if I could hear the dulcet tones of Vivaldi and locate the little sucker. No dice, back in the car, past the grunting noises of the garbage collectors on the other side of the complex, barreling down Stoughton Road and into the Monona Grove High School parking lot where Emmy stood waiting behind a pillar doing the teenage dance of embarrassment at having her parents pick her up in the oh-so uncool Sorency mobile. When she finally hunkered on down into the car we began our ceremonial repetitious verbal exchange.
“How was your day?”
“Fine.” And then it was back to the complex.
As we turned into the complex driveway I broached the subject of my lost phone with Emmy to see if she remembered anything I had done in the morning that might prove a clue to the whereabouts of my missing phone. Her response as we pulled in past our unemptied trashcans was, “I don’t know Papa. Did you check the trash?” The odd thing about this was that trash collection at Prentice Park had an kept to an iron tight schedule with the regular trash truck picking up at eleven and the recyclable truck making its pass at one. It was now four in the afternoon and the trash was still there. On this now holy Monday it seems karma had cut me a break. For some unknown reason the trash collectors had left our trash smoldering in an unusually warm October afternoon sun. I held my breath and began fishing through some slimy soup cans and there hidden under an organic egg container and next to a plastic gallon jug of Arnold Palmer iced tea was my phone, unclaimed by the mechanical iron arms of the recycling truck. Coincidence or karma…you be the judge.
Now with the first good luck notch carved into my triad of good fortune I went back upstairs and fell onto the couch, laptop in hand, to check my email. Email has become my compulsion. My addiction has become an hourly obsession. I even open offers for reduced rate “Depends” or how to get a degree in cosmetology. Now here’s where the karma thing starts to get a little freaky. Susan Johann had sent me an email with a time arrival indicator of earlier in the day giving me some pricing information on her photography and then very tactfully asking if I had received the framed gift she had sent with the large photography. She wanted to make sure the glass hadn’t arrived broken. The subtext of this was, "Did you get the photo and if you did etiquette would prescribe an acknowledgement". I ran down to the garage and began throwing cardboard corners and scrapes of bubble wrap out of the big beautiful box that fate had told subconsciously told me not to discard and there in amongst all the packing debris was this gorgeous silver framed magnolia print wrapped in several protective layers of cardboard and tissue. Susan, if you read this do so with all my apologies and love. Step two in my trilogy complete I wait for part three to occur. Fingers crossed, it has something to do with our downtown meeting but I now know karma will figure it out. All I have to do is sit back and let it happen.