walter peyton

Luck Schmuck

Written for my sister, Kim, for her 37th birthday, and read at the Lucky & zine reading ,both on January 7th 2016. 

Today is my sister's 37th birthday. My favorite number. My favorite sister (though also the only sister I grew up with). 37: Prime number. Odd and indivisible.

My sister was born January 7th 1979, the thirteenth day of Christmas--unlucky day of clearing the plates, taking down the tree, sweeping up after the wise men and getting back to work. Unlucky birthday of too close to Christmas, and extra unlucky if you care about football, playoff season and your 7th birthday party (here we go again) was held on the same day as the New England Patriots AFC playoff game versus the Miami Dolphins. Its bad enough to have your birthday smushed up against Christmas but then a tailgating themed party? Our 8 year old neighbor Josh Ross was almost sent home for wearing Dolphins colors in a strictly New England Patriots household. They tolerated my interest in the Minnesota vikings because it was never a contest and they all knew I just liked the purple and gold---ominous foretelling to my years at LSU live Purple bleed Gold.) Back to the party; we were an hour north of Boston, not Florida, you could tell by the snowdrifts, and the winner of the game was heading to the Superbowl against the Chicago Bears (and my birthday twin Walter Peyton) in New Orleans, my future home (this is too much!) but I was more interested in the Superbowl Shuffle. But who could blame an 8 year old boy with his lucky/unlucky red hair and freckles to choose the soft tropical turquoise and orange over the staunch red white and blue. It was just a game. The Patriots won the playoff game but then lost the Superbowl by a million, a few days after that the Challenger spaceship burst mid air on a million televisions. That was weeks later. On this day, my family relented and let Josh in for cake.

I was born mid-summer , July 25, 1977 so I've always believed in the number 7. Seventh month, 25th day , 77th year. The 25th is a good day too: Christmas, the day I got my braces off, an anniversary. Christmas in July. 2 plus 5 equals 7. Lucky 7. By the way, Walter Peyton, the aforementioned running back with my birthday was born in 1953 and wore uniform number 34. Thirty four: 3 plus 4 is seven. Also his nickname was “Sweetness” which is just about my favorite sports nickname I know.

There is a flaw to my 7 love. If you want to be strict about the rules of numerology--add all the digits of . 7th month, 25th day, 1977, 7 plus 2 plus 5 plus 1 plus 9 plus 7 plus7 equals 38-- so close! Add those digits: 3 plus 8 equals 11-- one plus one equals 2. Two! Such a solid, reliable number, firm like 2 feet, a relationship, but also a line, two endpoints. But what is religion without a little wiggle room, even science gets reformed according to needs sometimes. So ill take 7, soften the edges, no corners, a little lopsided, asymmetric, that sounds about right. I'm romanticizing numbers here but I will get back to my point. You're 37, sister. From here, you make your own luck.