Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Weirdness of December 8

Looking back through years and years of this blog, I was surprised to see that I'd never before written about my one true superstition. I do have one, and it has nothing to do with black cats, walking under ladders, breaking mirrors, or spilling salt (I have no problem with any of those). Rather, my idiosyncratic superstition is an odd one, since it's based on a date, and that date is today... December 8.

Before I even tell you anything about the significance of this date (or lack thereof), let me explain something. You know that phenomenon that makes it seem like "ever time I look at a clock, it says 9:11"? The point is that you glance at a clock many times during a day, but significant patterns of numbers make you take notice more. Well, that's how it is for me on December 8. Odd things happen to me throughout the year, but since I seem to have had an inordinately large number of meaningful events happen on this date, I've become aware of it over the years, and therefore tend to take note of things.

So that's really the deal; December 8 isn't necessarily a bad day, per se. Just a weird one, with a seemingly high proportion of significance. It all goes back 31 years ago, to December 8, 1980. I was 11 years old, and it was the day of my very first guitar recital. I was excited and nervous as you'd expect a kid to be, but it went very well. If you're interested in the details, I performed "Spooky" by the Atlanta Rhythm Section, and "Honesty" by Billy Joel that night. But then, on our way home, my dad turned on the radio, and we got the news that John Lennon had been shot and killed in New York while I was playing my first gig.

The events of that evening encapsulates many of the subsequent December 8 days I've had since, though none were quite as drastic as that. Some years have been quite benign, and I shrugged at the end of the day upon realizing that nothing much had happened, and it was for the most part like any other day. But other years, I've had girlfriends break up with me, lost jobs, gotten promotions, had minor car accidents, been arrested, and -- in a less personal way -- have seen news events happen that affected me. Have these kind of things also happened on days other than December 8? Sure, of course. But much like my clock example from above, when things do happen on this day, I tend to take notice. "A-ha!" I proclaim to myself. "The curse of 12/8 strikes again!"

Last year's December 8 (2010) was mostly good; we celebrated the 30th anniversary of my first live performance by having Bunny come over, and we put on a live video/SL show that went well. However, in doing so, I missed my son's performance with his band at school, so once again, the dichotomy of goodness and badness tempering each other was consistent with other years.

So, that's my only real superstition, and even I don't believe in it, being the cynical and scientifically-minded bastard that I am. We'll see how this December 8 turns out (it's not even 9AM while I'm writing this post, so the day is young enough for just about anything to go down). Meanwhile, I'll try not to be the purposeful instigator of any oddness, consciously or otherwise. I am looking forward to a show tonight in Second Life that I'm playing along with my pal Lyndon Heart, and hopefully that goes well enough that I start forgetting my unfounded apprehension about this silly day.

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