By: Alan Berger
How the fuck did I get the nickname “Lucky”, lucky asked the mirror before him while attempting to hold his razor steady as he started to shave.
Maybe it’s like when they call a bald guy “Curly”, or a fat fuck, “Slim”, Lucky pondered.
He had had that moniker for at least forty years for who the Hell knows why.
Although still handsome in his golden plated years the mirror was no longer a pleasure cruise to travel.
It was still dark out which was good since for a long time he felt most comfortable in it.
He had no love, he had no love life and always laughed at the thought that you can’t buy love, but you can rent it, yet he could not afford even that kind of “Beauty on a budget”, as the song song goes. That became his anthem.
The only time he used a mirror to look at himself was to shave and that was touch and go.
He was never a vain man, but if he was, those days were over.
Others still found him very attractive in a manly man way, but he himself did not.
He looked out the bathroom window and even in the darkness, he saw it all.
He was no longer his best friend, but a man going through the motions of emoting.
He was so fucking tired of forcing himself thru his life, but, what can a poor man of body and soul do?
He had no pets, only cigarettes as his little buddies. His constant buddies.
He wished he could smoke during his uneven sleep.
He was a long-distance memory to all he once knew including himself.
He had a wife once. The kind that you were lucky to have not once in a lifetime, but a million of lifetimes.
But, as a child, he was not a child, and as a husband, he was not a husband.
When she was visiting her folks in Europe, he wouldn’t go with her because, “Who the fuck wants to sit on a plane for 18 hours, have a nice trip”, he cheated on her.
Without a conversation or inquisition about it, she knew right away when he went to pick her up at the airport. She read it all just looking at his face. She knew. And he knew she knew.
He wanted to kill himself, but she left him before he had the chance and after she left, what was the fucking point? He would punish himself in many other ways. Like staying alive and suffering in his mud pile he so unskillfully created.
Wife number one was forgotten in a zero. Wife number two, who he was once a hero, was never forgotten and sometimes his steps were broken syllables of her full maiden name.
Oh well he thought, you win one and you lose the rest.
He ran into the parents of wife number two once when they were visiting America and all he could think about during that encounter, was that were smelling his stench. But it was too late to say, “I’m sorry”, and yet too early to say, “Goodbye”.
He liked to be a loner but didn’t like being left alone.
They had no children, just like the wife before her, so thank Christ, they were not bound to each other for life after the disaster like so many other “Poor souls’”.
But life goes on and on and on and someday it would, with or without him.
It was still dark when he left his modest little house on a modest piece of land and opened the garage in the back.
He rolled out an old Harley -Davidson-chopper that he considered one of his closest, if not only friend and pushed it down the block a bit, as it was so loud, and he was too considerate to fire it up behind the house and wake the neighbors.
He liked the full-face helmet he wore on account you could not tell how old he was.
He kicked it over in front of the same deserted lot he always did. He could have used the electric start but kicking it over was fun for him, and, also along with pushing the heavy machine, it was his morning exercise routine. After a few kicks, as always, it came to life. Now if only he could.
That Harley-Chopper was his yoga and it afforded him the peace to think his favorite thought, which was. “If, I can only last thru the last round of fighting and pain in life and in the final seconds land one sweet science beauty of a knockout punch, I just may break even”.
He rode a few miles to a storage unit facility and opened the unit and shut the Harley off and closed the unit door.
Soon he came out on a retired cop bike complete with him wearing a retired police uniform. He shut the storage unit door, locked the Hell out of it, used the electric starter on the off duty-on duty vehicle, and headed out to “Work”.
He got to the movie set that he would be working on for the next two days in thirty minutes, and the sun was just starting to rise while Lucky thought it would be nice if it just stayed dark forever, but that would ruin the filming he was hired to “Serve and protect”, along with his other retired motorcycle brothers in blue.
They all enjoyed hanging out on a movie set and getting paid better when they were all younger and still on the force.
The set was located in a residential neighborhood, and Lucky gilded in by the catering truck that was there already for his wonderful burrito breakfast sandwich and a gallon of coffee to wash it down with.
His buddies welcomed him as did the owner of the catering truck who he had worked along with on other sets.
As he was about to sit at the table for, ‘The boys in blue’, a piercing wail pervaded the morning air.
It was coming from a 10-year-old girl, whose house they would be filming in.
It seems her precious kitty cat got himself stuck up in a tree and no one in the crew, (maybe against union rules) would go up the tree to get him down.
They called the fire department, but the fire department said recusing cats from trees only happened in the movies and not the filming of them.
Lucky, against his training as a Marine, had a mindset that said, “Never volunteer for anything”, volunteered to go up the tree.
The director, producer, and the little girl thought that was a good idea since if they could not get the fire department, this would be the next best thing.
So down went the burrito breakfast and coffee on the table, and up the tree Lucky went.
As he was climbing up, he thought about what a hero he would be and maybe it would buy him some long overdue good Karma. But most important, it would make a nice memory for him and the little girl.
He got up close to where the cat was and felt like he was a Python snake and the cat was a deer in the headlights. That how scared the little fella was.
There must have been a real professional and gentle secure sound to his voice when he asked the cat to ,”Make it easy on yourself and come with me”, like cops say on T.V., because not only did the cat come right to him but butted his hand with his head. A cat thanks.
Lucky put the kitty into his inside jacket pocket and headed down.
He heard applause and the little girl calling out, “Felix, Felix, yay!”.
The climb down was going so well Lucky started to just think of his waiting breakfast, until, the tree limb they were on, broke off.
Down about twenty feet they went.
The cat stayed in the pocket as lucky landed on his head and everything started going dark.
Like the sun changed its mind and went back into the night.
There was just enough light in Lucky’s last sight to watch the cat scamper away and run to the little girl.
He thought that for a sec, the cat turned to say to him one more thankyou but was not sure.
Didn’t matter. All that counted was that he believed it along with the belief that he would not finish the day. Or any other day, and that was just fine with him.
He got his final knockout in, in, the last round that he always wanted.
His last thought was that that cat, was some lucky bastard!