Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Three Penny Day

I should have known the day would unfold auspiciously because I found three pennies on the pavement in front of the ticket machine at the train station. Of course, I picked them up and stuck them into my pocket. One penny is lucky. Two pennies are really lucky. But three pennies? It was unprecedented.

Tom and I showed up at the holiday party only a little bit late. We hovered around the garlic shrimp and the cupcakes and I started talking with a guy named Larry. Larry had recently been elected to the board of a condo association. He and four other revolutionaries staged a coupe and overthrew the earlier board. I inquired if there had been any defenestration* involved in the coupe but was told no.

*Defenestration. noun. The time honored tradition of throwing somebody out a window, generally in the context of political uprising.

Larry introduced me to his friend Michael, who almost immediately revealed that his lucky number was 13. I, of course, rebutted that my lucky numbers are 11, 3 and 7 to which Michael replied that I had exceeded the permitted lucky number maximum by at least one number, maybe two. I could tell by the look in his eye that he was thinking I was one of those greedy OCD bitches.

At this point, our important conversation was interrupted by a real estate agent who had a friend with a phobia for pickles. If there were pickles nearby, this friend would scream and run away.

I told Michael that my most lucky number was probably 3. Or maybe 7, but 3 really is quite awesome and that I knew something good was going to happen because I had just found 3 pennies. I pulled the pennies out of my pocket and Michael was appropriately reverent, but then Larry chimed in that the day was winding down and the window for luck was narrowing. I snorted. Larry of little faith.

Michael showed me his latest project, a photography website, and then we discussed Robert Mapplethorpe’s Polaroid series, which both of us really liked. Then Michael mentioned that he had known Mapplethorpe. In fact he hired him once to take a picture of Tracy Chapman for her Fast Cars album.


Turns out Michael signed Tracy Chapman and produced her first album. He was an A&R guy for twenty five years. He also produced Nina Simone’s last album. I showed him the remixes I had of hers on my iPhone primarily due to the lovely K. Marcus and secondarily due to the illustrious M. Goodson.

That’s when Michael mentioned quite casually that he also discovered Metallica. “The guys” had sent him a demo tape, and Michael went out to the Stone Rose in Shakeytown to see them play. He loved them. Although he couldn’t describe their music when he told his boss the next day that Electra should sign them immediately.

I said that I had a friend named Andrew who would love to be me right now. I gave a short descriptive oration fraught with wild hand gesticulations about how much Andrew loves Metallica.

After that we discussed Patrick Wolf, growing roses on a north-facing balcony, and the pros and cons of living in a redneck town in Pennsylvania. Michael said he had to head out and went upstairs to get his coat. He came back a couple minutes later and asked me, “Is this friend of yours really a huge Metallica fan?”

I gave him a brutally wide eyed and utterly sincere look and he jammed a white envelope into my hand and said, “Well then he’ll appreciate this.”**

So in conclusion, it might not have been my personal lucky day, but I’m calling it even with Andrew and am no longer indebted in any way for the intensely delicious turkey named Carl or for my treacherously sweet new/old tshirt.

** Obviously I opened up the envelope and obviously I cannot reveal what was inside said envelope until I give it to Andrew.