Even if I wasn’t a New Yorker, or Jewish – two legitimate legacies of willful anxiety – I’d still be prone to doubt and rumination about how It All is going to Go.
To compensate for this tendency, I have a small mental scrapbook of things that Undeniably Worked Out. Quitting a job to write something and actually completing what I wrote. Falling in love at first sight with Donna, who turned out to actually like me too. Election Night 2008.
I got another one this week, when my friend Laura found her dog Jackie after losing her, for a week. In an unknown city. During a honeymoon. The story is here, but the moral seems to be, as absurd as it still feels to say, sometimes things work out, misfortunes are vacated, and you’re forced to not only set down your sandwich board with “martyr” on one side and “shmuck” on the other, but to actually consider that, for the moment, you are safe.
I had a lesson in this in 2007 when, after my apartment ceiling caved in, and my strange upstairs neighbor and my cold, cold building managers told me there was little that could be done to repay me, a claims adjuster appeared one day (he was kind of like Bruno Kirby) and informed me I would be made whole with a check. Which I was.
In 2001 my iBook was stolen. It was back when I blogged using HTML. Two years later, I got an email from a guy who had bought my hard drive off a blanket at a flea market. All my lost files were still on it, including 20 pages of a novel I had begun but never backed up.
It only stands to reason that if the world is too big to fathom and beyond our control, the conviction that we’re screwed is as foolish and self-centered as the arrogance that we can do no wrong.

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