I'm not particularly proud of this superstitious streak that keeps me quiet when things are going well, but I reason that my mom told stories about my grandfather slamming the car into reverse and driving backwards for blocks and blocks at the sight of a black cat about to cross his path, so I figure maybe I come by it honestly. Maybe this uneasiness between my muscles and my bones is a piece of my history and not a testament to my mental incompetence. Or maybe it's both.
My fear of jinxing things, of undoing good things and setting bad things in motion, dries out my mouth and I forget my words. It's only by accident that I can express how profoundly lucky I feel, how happy I am. And I am happy. Delirious, dizzy and giddy.
My brain makes elaborate patterns out of everyday events, laying strings across doorways, tying knots and sprinkling salt, always with one eye on the moon, every breeze, sound and sunrise a potential harbinger of doom. Everything is an omen and the crazy old woman in my head keeps throwing bones, checking locks, stoking the fire, trying to stay one step ahead of the monster that is always just out of sight.
And maybe she's right. I don't want to take the good things for granted, at any rate.