Recently, after a long series of unfortunate events, I put my faith in the fair but firm hands of Karma.
I have never been one for self-pity – what’s the point after all? Self-pity is ineffective, attention-seeking and thoroughly irritating to everyone else. Self-pity is for victims.
With such an unforgiving attitude you can imagine how surprised I was to suddenly find myself wallowing in it. Here was I, playing the Femme Fatale, indulging in the very sentiment that I condemned in others. How had I allowed myself to become a ‘victim’?
Yes, I had been hard done by, but it is nothing compared to some of the hardships others have faced over the ages. I have Rosie the Riveter on my bedroom wall, and yet here I was lying down in the dirt to lament my suffering. Who was I to play the victim when I do vengeful so much better?
So up I got, and with a montage of Christina Aguilera songs and scenes from Kill Bill playing in the background I began to plan my rise from the ashes. After all, if there is one thing that women do well, its spite.
I had kept my silence, I had played by the rules and I had been cheated, betrayed and left to clean up a mess that wasn’t mine. Over the years, women have articulated the rage and grievance I felt with eloquent, ground-breaking speeches of power and strength, but the words that came to my mind were those my mother had uttered on more than one occasion: “Fuck this for a game of soldiers.”
So I went to war.
And in this type of battle it is always reassuring to know that Karma is on your side. If I fail Karma will kick ass on my behalf in the long run.
I’m prepared to sit it out.
I have faith in Karma.
With such unrelenting faith in the powers that be, it’s a strange thing to suddenly be on the receiving end of Karma’s ass-kicking.
On Friday morning I found myself hands and knees on Hope Street after manoeuvring to avoid a man in a wheelchair and losing my footing in a pool of someone’s vomit. With black and blue knees, and a little blood split I limped on with a severe sense of injustice. I was on the way to an exam, if going arse over tits in someone else’s boke wasn’t a bad omen, what was?
As if that wasn’t bad enough, the following day I found myself sitting opposite two middle-aged gay men who had enjoyed more than one afternoon tipple. Usually, this wouldn’t be a problem, but after a less than satisfying lunch, the slice of apple crumble perched on my bruised knees was much more than dessert. It was to be the redeeming element of an otherwise disappointing meal. A culinary treat in an otherwise shitty week.
Amid the colourful chatter of Fatty and Crazy (our two flamboyant companions) about failed auditions for Cats and music careers that never quite lifted off the ground, Fatty – plump, drunk, thinning on top – let out a God-almighty sneeze that exploded across the table and onto me, my friend, and devastatingly, my cake. This may not have been the nail in the coffin were it not for Crazy – long mane of hair, layers of clashing patterns, necktie –who piped in that Fatty was probably “riddled” with all sorts after bed hopping his way through the seventies.
Needless to say my appetite was no more.
My slice of hope had been shat on.
And the victim in me cried out – what had I done to deserve this?
Bruised knees and an unprovoked attack on my immune system – I appeared to be the official target for the involuntary bodily fluids of Liverpool’s drunks.
Was this pay-back for the great contribution I had made, as a pushy barmaid, to the sobriety of the city? Was Karma serving justice for the occasions when I too had expelled an evening’s alcohol consumption on a street corner… actually no, it couldn’t be because I have always demonstrated the restraint and respect to only throw up where it can be appropriately flushed away… or on myself, but even then the responsibility of cleaning it up falls almost entirely on me.
And the sneeze?
Have I unknowingly inflicted my own ill health on others with a disregard for tissues? I have spent the last few weeks interrupting morning classes with regular, loud sneezes, but never have I directed them at anyone’s confectionery delights. That’s just cruel.
I can’t imagine what I have done to fall out of favour with the powers that be, but I’d like to believe my friend Alex’s theory that enduring the bad luck now means I will reap the good luck when the exam results are announced.
Time will tell.
Here I thought my days of being on the receiving end of a drunk’s bull shit were over. But apparently not…
However I shall trust that Karma knows what it’s doing, and whatever it is that I am serving penance for with the weekend’s misfortunes, I will see the benefits of it in the long run.
Don’t let me down Karma!