Do you believe in curses? I don’t mean the Drag Me to Hell variety but rather a man always on the wrong side of every – and I mean every – equation. We all have that friend with the hunched shoulders as if he is cowering from a metaphysical flogging, Droopy Dog sullen and always quick with the latest rape and murder statistics. He’s usually single and sexless, in constant need of rides because his car caught fire on Deerfoot, or a spare futon because the Terror Dogs from Ghostbusters ripped through his couch.
Is it possible for a man to see every anticipated disaster come to fruition no matter what he does to avoid it? Is he a bum; an unprepared, disorganized simpleton who doesn’t have the foresight or life skills to avoid these catastrophes?
For my sake, I hope I’m cursed. I’ve had my car stolen, everything I’ve loved and cherished chewed through by a dog possessed by Pazuzu, a broken hand, two torn tendons, a nose ring torn by a drunken ex-girlfriend, chased by the police for being so uppity as to walk my dog after midnight and to top it all off, I lost my passport last night, a mere two days before I was to go to Europe.
As I’ve become aware of my repeated misfortune, I made certain – on every single trip – to set the passport on top of my luggage before I head to the airport. No matter. It still vanished. The most depressing part of the ordeal is, I didn’t even panic when I realized it was gone. I expected this to happen. I saw the space the passport should have occupied and sunk to the ground a defeated man. In my life, I have only been so soundly broken on two occasions.
1) When KFC had forgotten to include the large Popcorn Chicken in my Mega Meal, and I was already home before I noticed; and
2) The first time my dog beat me in a race. As I lay gasping for air on a beaten path by the Bow River, I shit you not he launched into a leaping, yelping two-footed victory dance around my body while I clung to life. We’ll see who has the last laugh when chase another squirrel across 17th Avenue, you little shit.
I found the passport eventually. It was in Mason’s kennel. I will never know how it got there but I can say this: as I crawled on all fours, into a den of bone fragments, saliva, dried peanut butter and hardened flecks of feces, the dog padded into the living room after me. Then, as we locked eyes, I swear I heard him laugh.