On Luck, Dented Skulls & Monsters

Goldfish is my name because I’m hiding from two very horrible monsters. They really are monsters and there are two of them. One is a pedophile, the other is a violent sociopath, which brings me around to what I was planning to talk about today: luck.

Depending on the fullness of your cup, I’m either incredibly lucky or incredibly unlucky. You see, a lot of things have nearly killed me, yet I’m still here.

For example, things that have nearly killed me:

  • Pneumococcal meningitis. The treatment was penicillin. I’m allergic to penicillin.
  • Attacked by a large dog at roughly five years old.
  • Monster #1 – a sadistic pedophile (he didn’t technically try to kill me, but he did threaten to kill me if I told anyone. I think it counts.)
  • A boat accident. I nearly drowned. Instead, it just knocked a tooth out and left me with part of a bone jutting out of my jaw line. It still juts.
  • Skin cancer.
  • Crack cocaine. Lots of it.
  • Being homeless in the middle of winter.
  • Prostitution.
  • A stage light. It dented my skull, gave me a 4.5 inch scar and left my brain way less useful than it found it.
  • Many, many car accidents.
  • More skin cancer.
  • Monster #2 – an abusive sociopath. He tried to kill me more often than anything else on this list.
  • More substance abuse – heroin, alcohol, cocaine, more crack, etc.
  • Myself. Well, really it’s major depressive disorder, but close enough.

Am I forgetting anything? I’m not sure.

That’s not a very long list, but most of the bullet points are things you really don’t want to have happen to you. Some of you have experience with some of those things. If you drive a car, you’ve probably been in a car accident at some point. I really hope most of those things leave you aghast instead of nodding your head.

The circumstances of my life–the injustice and unfairness of it–have led me to believe in not much of anything. I am pretty sure that the last thing I took on faith was Santa Claus. That ended by a thorough handwriting analysis around the age of five. Since then, I don’t recall believing in much of anything. I take nothing on faith. I have none.

I used to want to believe in justice. I wanted to believe so badly that the monsters would get what they deserved. It was the only way I could keep going. I had to believe that evil could not triumph.

Had I known then what I know now–that both monsters would live free for at least fifteen years without ever being brought to justice, that they would still contact me from time to time as if nothing had happened, and that they would continue to create fresh victims–I would have done something. It might have been something I regretted, but it might not. I might have killed them myself. I would be in prison, but at least, there would have been no more victims. Sometimes, I really think it would have been worth it. Fortunately, I didn’t know the future so the point is moot.

There’s a thing called survivor’s guilt where a person perceives themselves to have done wrong by surviving a traumatic event when others did not. I experience a variation on that every time I do an internet search for the monsters. It’s not that I feel guilty for having survived necessarily, but that I couldn’t stop the monsters. I really don’t know how many victims there were after me, but there shouldn’t have been any. Things like that shouldn’t happen in this world, but they do. And it makes me very angry.

So, luck–I don’t believe in it. I believe in odds, chance and coincidence. When I’m playing Mahjong, there is a certain amount of chance involved, but it’s also not all that random. There are only so many tiles and the tiles that have already been discarded are visible, so if I’m looking for a green dragon and I see two green dragons already on the discard pile, I know that the odds of getting three green dragons are nil.

Mahjong, Chengdu, China. Flickr.

The best game ever. Mahjong, Chengdu, China.

Life is pretty much the same way, only you don’t really get to see the discard pile and there is no limit to the number of tiles. Some people get green dragon after green dragon, while others get nothing but 2s, 5s and 8s of different suits, but not enough to pong or kong.

The green dragon. Image from www.casinocashjourney.com

The green dragon.

If I did believe in luck, I’d probably have no choice but to say mine is rotten. You glass half-full types might think I’m incredibly lucky to have survived all that. Sometimes, I think that, too, but mostly I think luck is a shitty thing to have to worry about, so I don’t.

So, what do you think? Do you believe in luck? Am I lucky to be alive after all that? Or have I had some really awful luck to have experienced all of those things in the first place? Also, do you play Mahjong?

There are 27 comments

  1. NotAPunkRocker

    Even though I haven’t gone through half of what you have, I have been through enough to also not believe in luck. You put it well: that luck is a shitty thing to have to worry about.

    I only play Mahjong on my phone, which I know isn’t the same thing :-)


  2. JackieP

    I’m not sure I believe in luck. Hm, probably not. I also don’t believe in coincidence. I do believe in survival. I do believe everything happens for a reason. even the shitty stuff. One more thing I believe, is that you Goldy have no idea how many people you may have helped. How many may have gotten away from their monsters because of you, how many think, if Goldfish can survive and become a pretty decent person, so can I. Luck? Not so much. You have a reason for being here. As for the monsters of the world, yeah they are always going to be around. I check on mine every once in a while. I’ve promised myself to dance on his grave once he’s finally dead.


    1. goldfish

      I would very much like to dance on some graves too.

      And I would also very much like to believe that my story can help someone. It’s all I can do for now.

      Thanks, Jackie. Here’s to survivors.


  3. Sofia Leo

    I believe that luck is simply recognizing a good thing when it comes along, within that millisecond that it’s there. It’s not good or bad, but what you make of it. I don’t worry about it much and I don’t play Mahjong but I wish I did :-)


  4. DaydreamsInWonderland

    I’m a glass half empty kinda person but I also don’t believe in luck so I can’t say yours is either good or bad.

    If you want to know the truth, I believe everything happens for a reason. Even the horrible things, for reasons we may never fully understand but a reason nonetheless.

    I also think justice is shit but I believe in karmic justice. I could be wrong but almost every person that has truly wronged me has ended up with something worse happening to them. Sometimes, I was even there to witness it.
    The freak that raped me still hasn’t gotten his, though. At least, to my knowledge he hasn’t. I ran into him in a fucking shopping center about 6 months ago. Can you believe that?

    Forgive me for venting, but your awesome at making me dig deep, Goldy. lol (It’s a compliment, trust me.)

    I know you don’t believe in all that stuff I just mentioned above..but you are extremely intelligent & I bet you can’t deny that it’s a possibility, right? ;) *hugs*


    1. goldfish

      I don’t even believe everything happens for a reason.I think there is a lesson to be learned from everything, but I don’t believe there’s a reason. I wish I did.

      Ugh. Sorry you ran into that asshole. That’s absolutely the worst thing ever.

      I’d like to believe that all the monsters will get what’s coming to them. I’ve never seen it. But you’re right that I can’t deny it is a possibility.

      The good news is that the more crime you commit, the greater the odds that you’ll get caught. That’s about the best I can do.


  5. No Blog Intended

    I play Mahjong on the computer. Best thing to do ever whn listening to music.
    Luck is a thing you better not think about too much I guess… Because you’ll never really catch it, and at the moment you think ‘I’m lucky’ something shitty will happen. Unless you knock on wood. That’s about everything I believe in considering luck…


      1. No Blog Intended

        In fact, reality has proven me right on that point! Or at least, Heidenberg. So I really knock on something randomly sometimes, when I think something like ‘it’s not raining!’.
        Oh it is. I try to stay away otherwise I won’t do all the work I have to do…


  6. CB

    I think I’m pretty much agnostic about everything when it comes to believing, even luck. & mahjong is pretty cool. I dig the game occasionally. I also am a huge dork who plays word search. Passes the time.


  7. gentlestitches

    I thought about your post a lot. :) I really enjoyed your commenters. I don’t play mahjongjong but I am very approving of all games. :)
    I believe in hope. As long as there is a tiny flicker of hope in our heart we will be OK.
    Your blog is full of hope. :)


  8. evilsquirrel13

    I don’t believe in luck as most people perceive it. Like you said, chance, odds, random possibility… that is essentially what “luck” is. Superstition is another one that kills me…

    I once got into a spirited debate with someone I consider to be one of the most intelligent people I know, but who insisted that blackjack players in a casino game are in their right to berate the player who does something unconventional and changes the cards everyone else would have gotten the rest of the game.


    Well, because there’s just a certain flow and vibe to the game, and that all goes to hell when someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing is hitting when they shouldn’t!

    But wouldn’t the odds of getting certain cards still remain the same…

    If you played it at a casino with others, you’d understand! The other players all get shitty cards after someone screws up!

    Um… whatever. I see I’m not going to win this argument with logic!


  9. Janie Doh

    I’m sort of inclined to say that you used to be unlucky, but now you are lucky. That’s just because I tend to be a pessimist and think to myself in my worst times that it’s a matter (at least in part) of me having bad luck. Regardless, you seem to have gotten through a lot in your life, so maybe your strength has more to do with that than luck.


  10. shambolicism

    I don’t believe in luck though I did buy a “lucky” bamboo plant in hopes that it will work. I overpaid so it didn’t start out well. Are you lucky to be alive? I think you’re a survivor and that has nothing to do with luck . Also, I haven’t played Mahjong in a while but when I did, I was terrible at it.


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