So, let’s start with some advice. If you value your sanity, trust me on this: never, ever, sleep with a god. Not even a minor one. Major, minor, local or pan-universal, it really makes no difference. They are the beginning and end of all trouble. I should know.
What can I say? He was pretty. Not just ordinary drop-dead mortal pretty, but the kind of devastating looks you’d expect from a divine immortal.
He was pretty, and I was lonely, and he was there, looking for – I don’t know what, really. Not me specifically, that I know. A diversion, maybe? Some uncomplicated fun? Something of that kind, anyway.
I won’t go into the details. Suffice it to say, it was an otherwordly night. One I’m unlikely to forget. And I think – though I say it myself – I acquitted myself with honour. He certainly made no complaint. And I had no regrets at all. Not one. Not then.
It wasn’t till later that I realised what he’d done. How he’d taken my remarks, the night before, while we were still making eyes over drinks at the bar. Taken them out of context, and, in one split second of divine caprice, overturned every aspect of my nicely alienated, apathetic, melancholic existence, and left me stranded in a life I could not recognise.
I think he must’ve meant it as a gift. A token of affection, for the good time that we’d shared. But gods move in mysterious ways, and I’ve never been good at gratitude.
Whatever. It took me a while to work it out, that’s for certain. At first I just thought – well, I didn’t really register at all, truth be told. It was only after things had begun to stack up, that I started to notice. The buses I should’ve missed, but somehow didn’t quite. The special offers and promotions, always starting today, not finishing yesterday like I knew they should. The parking spaces – always where I needed them, always sized just right for me. And the surprise of finding the right change for the meter in my pocket, time after time.
The penny, when it dropped, hit my unconscious first. Man, those were a good two weeks. A kind of tentative flirtation with the fates – a stepping outside of the bounds of my old existence. Testing the water, just to see. I bet on horses, at ridiculous odds, and came home with cash to burn. Drove fifty miles just to find a fairground – hardly knowing what I was doing, what impulse propelled me – coming home with a car-load of soft toys and chocolates, and one mournful, gulping goldfish in a bag. I entered an online draw and won a holiday to Nevada, all expenses paid. Entered another four, and racked up two games consoles and a car, and a course of helicopter flying lessons.
And that was when I began to grasp that things had gone awry.
Someone else, I’m sure, would’ve found a way with this. Would’ve embraced it gleefully, and rushed off to try their fun in Vegas, or test their mettle on the stock exchange. Or maybe gone to dodge bullets in some distant war-torn state, delivering food and medicines where no-one else could reach. Something. Anything.
But I’m not them. I’m me. And even the luck of the divine can’t change my personality.
So, now the honeymoon is over, it’s getting harder with each passing day. Harder to make myself go out at all, into the world, where the good stuff of the universe is just waiting to fall my way, to drop into my reluctant, undeserving hands. I don’t know who I am anymore. When I look in the mirror, I don’t see me. I see someone …. lucky. Someone who can’t lose. And I know it isn’t right, it wasn’t meant to be this way. I miss my old melancholy, my lifelong sense of wronged entitlement. And I’m unsure what anything is worth, anymore.
Lately, though, I’ve found myself starting to fantasize in a new way. Trying to think of ways I might outrun my luck, and break this neverending cycle of success. I’m getting fixated on lose-lose scenarios. On cutting off possibilities, and eradicating luck from the equation. The perfect, impossible, unwinnable bet, to release me from this certainty. It’s a tough one to crack, but I know I’ll work it out one day. And then, at last, I’ll be able to start living life properly. Like I’ve always dreamed I would.