On my way to work today, I came upon a cat. It was black, and dead. Or, maybe just pretending to be dead. I didn't really examine the creature like some kind of taxidermist. Either way, I thought, "Oh fuck, this can't be good."
I'm surprisingly superstitious. I don't walk on cracks or under latters. Umbrealls are for outside use only, and I avoid both hockey games and summer camps on Friday the 13th. Yet, I managed to stay calm and go about my morning---until the train was late, a lady spilled hot coffee on my foot, and I nearly got trapped in the men's room. But that can happen anyday, I assured myself. There was no way crossing paths with a kitty would do me such harm.
And then, I went to lunch at my usual place--a buffet-style deli where you pay by the pound. I got my basics: some greens, some fresh mozzarella and tomato, and topped it with a few slices of skirt steak. My bill was exactly $6.66.
Yep, black cat followed by the "devil's" number. Now, my thoughts multiply to "Oh fuck, I'm doomed." So, I call my mother (never a good idea in a time of panic, by the way) and ask her to finally come clean about where I came from.
"You adopted me from Satan, didn't you?"
"Yep," she tells me, chomping down on a potato chip. "Those horns were a bitch to cut off and everything."
We laugh for a minute, until Mom decides to do that annoying thing that mothers can do sometimes--read into things.
"Mark, you really don't think Satan's after you, right?"
"Because...wait, never mind."
"Well...if you believe in the devil, then--"
"I changed my mind, don't say it."
"Seriously, if you believe in the devil, then you have to believe in God again, right?
I make up an excuse--work, something or other--and hang up the phone. Because I'd rather deal with spooky, demonic creatures out to get me than getting into a thelogical debate with my mother. Atleast, with the demons, I still have a fighting chance.
Mark Jason Williams
I find trouble wherever I go