“How lucky you are,” Donovan said, with a flippant raise of his right brow, “to have found a girl like Daphne”.
We were sipping cheap Korean beer in a cheap Korean restaurant in the cheaper drag above Wilshire in the Cheapest part of Korea Town.
”It’s luck, man, pure luck. I’ve been looking, and longing, and surfing websites, and browsing profiles long enough to know that there is no soft spot in the world’s bitch-cold heart for lovers. The world made itself big enough to swallow up any chance that two soul mates might actually meet.”
Donovan spoke in a light, “it-is-what-it-is” sort of way, but Theo knew where his words were coming from. It came from a deep purple bruise, just under the breast pocket of his tailored button down, that remained tender from three years of hurt. Three years of trying to forget the slightly older lawyer who opened his mind then broke his heart. Three eternities of blind dates, meaningless sex, smoke screens and a sea of Miller High Life. He was smiling tonight. But there are smilers and their are criers, and Donovan was the latter.
”So I’m drinking to luck. Here’s to you, Mr. Lucky!” Donovan raised his glass but it was empty already. The bar tender replaced the empty glass with a full one, and Donovan drank long enough to let Theo reply.
Theo sighed a little. “It isn’t luck, Don. I don’t think you can ever give the credit to luck when you see two people get together like me and Daphne have. Luck is a mistake.”
Donovan wasn’t looking at Theo. He delivered a little speech into his glass of warm beer. ”Sure, and some mistakes can lead to incredible things - Romeo and juliet, Ben Franklin, Tesla - good can come from a mistake, but it’s still a mistake.”
Theo wondered if Donovan’s electricity references were meant to be ironic. ”No, man, i’m sorry, but no”, he was looking at Donovan looking into his beer: “Even in all of the completely unrelated examples you provided, there were still far too many well-aligned circumstances that occurred at the same time, in the same place, to the same person. Luck would have happened to anyone. So if all of that magic - falling in love, discovering electricity, alternating current - if it had been luck, than it would have fallen into the laps of infinitely many people. But it didn’t. Because luck isn’t real. And me and Daphne aren’t lucky. We were put here together. It’s just too right for it to have been anything else.
Theo had looked away from Donovan as he spoke, and now returned his glance to find his man in a different air. Donovan wasn’t smiling. His glass was empty now.
”So say you’re right,” Donovan replied, “Say you two aren’t lucky. Say you two were cut out of star dust by the universe, and shot down in little swizzle straws to land in Mid-City Los Angeles at the same time, on the same day, in the same place. And you’re magnetic fields connected, and you were pulled by the particle force-field of love to join each other forever. No luck, no mistakes. Do I have it right, Einstein?”
Theo chuckled curiously, “Sure, I guess. Yeah, we can paint the picture with all that color if you want.”
”So there’s no luck, no mistakes - then what does that make me?”
Theo felt the weight, the tragic implications of his joy, and saw it hanging above Donovan’s friend. For all of his new-found happiness that rose to the ceiling and filled the space around his head, Theo saw the implied sadness of his man’s lot dripping, like wax, or sour molasses, onto the thinning hair of the sad clown Donovan.
But sympathy doesn’t shake the knowing. And a true believer doesn’t alter his faith when confronted by the cynicism of the nonbelievers.
“Don” Theo brushed a peanut shell off of Donovan’s shoulder, “I’m not changing my story. I an’t fight the truth to save your sad, wasted heart. If I haven’t convinced you, then so be it. And if you refuse to believe that love has come and gone from you by design, I guess that’s your call.
“But if you can assume that there is a plan for you, and if you can believe there is a a little woman out there for you - a paper doll cut out of the stars - then you might be willing to leave your apartment, or leave this bar, and make your self a little more open for divine intervention. There is no luck in love, like there is not luck in poker, or the track. You can’t win unless you sit at the table, and pick up the cards, and place a bet. You can’t invite divine providence if you don’t let her in! So shut the hell up about all this mistake bullshit!
How the hell are you gonna let that girl into your life if you stay cooped up in that disgusting studio of yours, or if the only place you ever go is a dive filled with old Korean men. I mean, the universe has a woman lined up man, but she ‘aint sending her into this place. You gotta work with love a little bit. You gotta throw fate a bone. Get out there. Invite the reality of love to work it’s magic on you, man!
“Love is not lucky, and it’s not a happy mistake. The only mistakes in love are the one’s you make.”
My dad’s, sophomore year in college, 1968, Ohio Wesleyan University
Marvin Gaye billboard on Sunset Blvd in the 70’s.
Three Day March for Migrant rights in Israel:
Today over 30,000 asylum seekers from Eritrea, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and other African countries as well as supporters marched on the streets and sidewalks of Tel Aviv in Day 1 of a proposed 3 day protest organized by the asylum seekers, most of them coming from Eritrea and South Sudan and most of the protestors being Eritrean, demanding that the Israeli government recognize their status as refugees and end the detention without trial policy. Men, Women and Children were present for the protest. Entire families came together to demand that their voices be heard. Flags of Eritrea, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Israel could be seen flown in the air among the tens of thousands of protestors joined together in a protest even the Israeli Police called peaceful and well organized. In December the Israeli Government implemented a law called the “Infiltrator Law”. The law allows the Israeli government to detain African migrants for up to one year without trial. The “Infiltrator Law” was revamped and changed from the original law which stated that migrants could be held up to three years without trial. Israel is notorious for it’s open racist and xenophobic practices. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has remarked that he thinks that the refugees from Eritrea, South Sudan and other African countries serve as a “threat to the Jewish State and Character.”
At the end of the day, protestors even cleaned up their own messes. Helping and picking up bottles and trash left behind (see picture on the bottom), as many of the street and other cleaning jobs are left to the migrants.
"We have fled persecution, dictatorships, civil wars and genocides," Dawud, an Eritrean asylum-seeker at the protest, told Agence France-Presse. "The Israeli government must study our requests for asylum and treat us like human beings."
Images from AFP, and Hotline for refugees and migrants Israel twitter.
a bubble freezing at -10º F degrees