Thursday, January 09, 2014

Good luck charm

When I started my job last July, Lucy bought me what she called "possibly the most random gift" she's ever given me: a marimo.

Basically, a marimo is a ball of algae that you keep as a pet. Marimo are native to lakes in Japan and Iceland and probably some other places (I am not an expert) and, in the Japanese culture, it is a gift to bring good luck and love to someone close to you. As a bonus, taking good care of your marimo will make your wishes comes true.

My marimo has been living happily on my desk since July, surviving a close call when I tipped over its home and dumped water all over a ton of paperwork. A few weeks later, my grandma picked up my marimo's home and, thinking that it was a snow globe of sorts, shook it and shot a geyser of water and pebbles all over my office.

My marimo is very resilliant. My marimo proves this to me over and over.

First thing one recent morning, before anyone else had showed up to work, I was changing my marimo's water. I tipped it to the side, let the water run out and then I held it up to the light before I filled it back with water and MY MARIMO WAS NOT THERE.

I dumped my ball of good luck algae down the sink.

I threw the baby out with the bathwater. 

In a complete panic, I stood in the office kitchen trying to figure out what horrible, horrible fate awaited me as a result of flushing my good luck down the drain.

And how I would explain the loss to Lucy.

In my panic, I took off my bracelet and I rolled up my sleeve and plunged my hand down the drain. Of the office kitchen sink. Is there anything grosser than a shared office kitchen? When you're elbow-deep in it and digging for a tiny ball of algae among all of the other slippery, squishy questionable artifacts chilling down the drain?

No. No there is not.

And I got my hand in that damn sink and I had absolutely no luck.

Which obviously meant bad luck. For probably ever.  Which is something that I try to avoid.

I fished around in the drain and I swore and I laughed at my misfortune. I gave up after a few minutes and I was ready to break out the hand soap and accept my marimo's burial at sea but something -- the power of the marimo? -- made me stick my hand back down the drain.

And then there he was, pinched between my fingers: my little ball of good luck algae. Back from the brink of death.

I'm not sure what this means for my good luck and love but I'm glad I don't have to explain my marimo's untimely death to Lucy the next time she visits me at work.

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