Bad Luck Meditation

R. Daniel Foster

I’ve had my share of bad luck and you don’t want to know what kind.

After three solid years of bad luck, I took action. I started my Bad Luck Meditation. I’d sit on my black zafu cushion and picture bad luck as some sort of person—not necessarily ugly as you might expect because bad luck often wears a good face.

I’d stare at bad luck’s snarky eyes, grab a crowbar and wind it back, hitting it square against bad luck’s spine. Morning after morning I’d break that fucker’s back.

It made me feel good.

It’s not what the New Age People tell you to do. Instead, they have you focus on inviting good luck in—by opening windows while recounting all that you’re grateful for, including having windows and two good arms to open them with.

That’s not how you deal with bad luck. That’s how you air out a stanky room while pretending you’re Mary Poppins. I saw bad luck in traction, moaning in pain, his lips parched and begging for relief, and no one ever brought him flowers.

When I met Steve I knew that my life would finally turn. One way to become good luck, you see, is to hang around other Good Luck People—the sort who can tolerate the final bitter finger bad luck’s snarled around your big toe, right before the bastard finally lets go.

Steve was good luck. Steve was Double Good Luck. He created anything he wanted and made a fortune selling it to people who didn’t know they wanted it.

So this is what I learned:

You can be determined. You can shatter bad luck’s back with an iron crowbar or a baseball bat every morning for two years and then meet a man who tolerates that whiff of despair you wear while together, you court better times.

Steve and myself: we became Good Luck People for each other. It’s a thing that we guarded. That’s subtle business.

But here’s the thing. You never see it coming, but one day you wake up and discover that Good Luck Guy you’ve been sleeping with for six years has become bad luck, and then you can’t pull the crowbar maneuver because both of you have become Bad Luck People—and what’s the sense in breaking both your backs?

R. Daniel Foster writes for the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, and other national publications. He also works as a visual artist creating short films and documentaries.