Friday, December 28, 2007

Just because my thinking is magical doesn't mean there's no such thing as luck.

Kate had a great time in Vegas recently. I really love Vegas. I mean really. I've been to casinos in the Caribbean and Europe and nothing compares. I like to gamble and my preference is to shoot craps but I also like to play blackjack and play the slots. I'd like to go to Monaco one day but mostly because I loved the movie The Good Thief. It's not so much about the gambling itself, but rather gambling in the midst of the crazy non-stop glitter party of Vegas. I win a bit but then I don't gamble much. I play $20 at a time, I take frequent breaks and usually leave up about $200 but once I won $400 in one spin at a progressive slot machine.

Besides the casino gambling I have found $10's and $20's in the back of cabs and on the street several times and occasionally I win some money on a scratch-off instant lottery ticket. Did I mention that I like to gamble?

The biggest luck that ever came my way is something that I haven't told many people about so let's keep it between us OK? About 10 years ago I found an old desk on the street. I asked the building superintendent if the desk was garbage or was someone moving in to the building (sometimes you can't tell the difference in NYC) and he told me that an elderly woman had died, her family had cleaned out her apartment and that they lived out of town so I could help myself. "Died in her sleep," he said. I remember that I wondered how he would have known but it's just one of those things that people say to make themselves feel better about their own eventual mortality. As if saying that someone died in pain and awake might somehow jinx their own personal demise.

I brought the desk home and I turned it upside down to clean it and to make sure that there wasn't a termite nest hiding in a drawer. There was a jagged piece of wood attached to a corner with poorly hammered rusty nails. It was obviously not a part of the desk so I ripped it out and tucked away inside the makeshift pocket was a plastic Ziplock baggie with a manila envelope inside. After stacking up all the $100's, $50's, $20's, $10's and $1's I found I had over $2,000. I went back and asked the building super if he knew some way to reach the dead woman's family and he did not. I guess this was her little nest egg. Perhaps she had even forgotten about it. One thing for sure, she didn't need it where she was going.

I told one person about this and her immediate response was, "Did you do everything you could to find her family? You did? Well then I suppose it's OK to keep it." I decided to not tell anyone about the found money after that comment. She questioned the good fortune and looked for a way to justify having it.

I had a hard time understanding this as it had never really occurred to me to work very hard to find anyone connected with that money and truthfully, even if she had been alive I would have had no discomfort about keeping that money. I held that green stack of bills in my hands believing that God had sent it to me to as it was pretty much the exact amount that I needed to pay my back rent and not be evicted. If it came to me then it was meant for me - no luck about it.

But that other viewpoint, the one about questioning whether or not it's OK to have good fortune come my way has crossed my mind in terms of my body image. I have lost weight and thought (believed, hoped, prayed) that I would never be fat again. And then when I gained the weight back I felt like I hadn't deserved it because, as everyone knows, thin is good and fat kills. I was thin and I was a winner. I gained the weight back and I was a loser.

I love my life. I love my strong, healthy, size 18/20 body. I have made my peace with my wild curly hair and hot temper and I continue to make my peace with my body every single day of my life. I deserve everything good that comes my way. And I keep my eyes peeled for desks with hidden compartments.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I had a hard time understanding this as it had never really occurred to me to work very hard to find anyone connected with that money and truthfully, even if she had been alive I would have had no discomfort about keeping that money. I held that green stack of bills in my hands believing that God had sent it to me to as it was pretty much the exact amount that I needed to pay my back rent and not be evicted. If it came to me then it was meant for me - no luck about it.

Have you made your peace with being a truly awful human being?

Corinna Makris said...

Yes. Yes, I have.

Gale Rainwater said...

Full figure girls are beautiful!!

Karen said...

This is my first visit to your site, and I am now sitting here stunned by anonymous' comment...I guess our definitions of "a truly awful human being" are completely different.

Your writing is beautiful and I am looking forward to getting to know you.

Corinna Makris said...

Karen thank you. I appreciate your comment, especially as this is your first visit.

I thought about deleting anonymous' comment but then I figured if they were actually going to take the time to copy and paste my words and then add emphasis just to let me know that they think I am "awful," well...I kinda admire the chutzpah.

And thank you for the compliment on my writing. I particularly love your New Year's Day resolution.

I look forward to hearing from you again.

klk said...

I once paid $2 for a messenger bag at a neighbor's yard sale and later found $2.57 in change in a pocket. I didn't tell the neighbor, who is still alive, and just enjoyed the thrill. I am a truly awful human being.

Corinna Makris said...

klk,

Good for you! Maybe we should start a club? Do you think we could come up with 12 steps?

klk said...

Take six steps, get the rest for free. Thanks for your blog, and other size-acceptance-sort-of blogs. I think they're really helping (me, at least).