Make Your Own Damn Fortune

I owe Zoe Muth an apology.

She and the Lost High Rollers opened last night at the Berkeley. We loved every bit of their set.  We can’t wait to hear them again.  And then after the set, Julia went to buy an album at the merch table.  She said, “Has everybody got $2? Because we are getting matchbox fortunes.”


I was All In, for matchbox fortunes. 

I got the guitar, because, seriously.  When you have a choice, always go guitar.  Julia went mermaid. Willow went devil.  Nobody got the cactus.  We are none of us cactii. At least not on purpose.

We went back to our barstool with all the beers on it and did a ceremonial opening.  Julia read hers, and Willow read hers, blah blah blah, if I’d been listening better I’d have something sweet and thoughtful to say about their fortunes and how nice they were, but I wasn’t, and I don’t, because I was absolutely offended by mine.  I couldn’t even get it out, trying to read it.  I stomped and sputtered out, “It says ‘Accept things as they are. It will be good for you.'” And they fell out laughing and said, “oh, perfect,” but I was already stomping back to the merch table saying “oh I will not stand for this.”

I traded my fortune without even asking, I just plain told Zoe behind the table I Don’t Like My Fortune and  and I Am Going To Trade, and she had the grace to laugh nicely and didn’t try to stop the Crazy Lady.  I stomped back to the barstool, around which we were gathered as if it were a campfire, and my next fortune was something lame about listening better, whatever, I was still undone from the last one.

“You are really refusing to accept your fortune about acceptance?” they said, still bent over laughing.  “DAMN STRAIGHT I AM,” and I was sputtering so hard at this point that I was doing a lot of sideways pointing and “and-another-thing” kind of pointing.  “I ACCEPT NOTHING.  What if we all just went around ACCEPTING everything all the time? I demand a better fortune than that.  I am going to FORCE a better fortune than that.” And that was the point at which I “and-another-thing” pointed so hard that I turned over Julia’s beer, and I had to cut in front of very sweet and patient Zoe in line at the ladies’ room to get a stack of paper towels.  Sorry, Zoe. Twice. 

It took me half of the Honeycutters to put myself back together.  Accept, my @$$.

So…it may or may not be that I am working through a situation or two requiring some decisions about acceptance vs. action.  I am tired, just full up to the top of my head, with waiting, wondering, wishing, accepting.  I’ve accepted a lot of things, in my time, that I didn’t need to, and who the hell knows why.  I’m fed up, and I’m blaming that song, the one they didn’t play tonight, the part about “mostly I’m just tired of riding shotgun in my dreams.”  That line has unraveled me.  I’m in a New Era, people.  Nobody expect me to accept much, right this minute. It’s 2013.  I have a new job.   We’re in forward motion now. 

I leaned on the back door of the Berkeley, the one next the ramp sloping down to the bar, and looked wistfully up at the disco ball, and the strings of colored lights over the stage, and the stickers on the wall, and even the sticky floor where I spilled Julia’s beer.  I’m not quite ready to accept that this particular good thing must come to an end.  But I’m sure it’ll have a proper send-off. So, fine.  I’ll work through that, too.  I’ll even accept it, sooner or later.  But I’ll be making my own damn fortunes from here on out.

I got home and accidentally dropped my iphone on the floor and shattered the screen.  I am uncoordinated, but wise enough to have purchased insurance.  Shattered screen: unacceptable.  I deserve better.  My new one arrives tomorrow.

Accept THAT, fortune.

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