Friday, 13 November 2009

Friday 13th: Is when they send the angels out

 The phenomena of Friday the 13th occurs when the thirteenth day of a month falls on Friday, and is considered by many as a bad luck day. This year  saw no less than three Friday the 13th’ taking place, today’s being the last. The next time we will experience such a trilogy will be in 2012. 
                                                                             Abstract Pain at Saatchis

Very Superstitious.. writing on the wall

There are many superstitions and folkloric stories around it - as you all very well know. But like with all superstitions which lodge themselves in the collective unconscious, it is very hard to pin-point  how the propagation of this myth took root. If you are interested in this, WIKI has an excellent entry on the matter.

All I know is that Friday 13th has always been an especially lucky day for me, and today is no different. The number 13 is a very lucky day for my mother as well, who was the 13th child, born on the 13th hour on the 13th day. I KID YOU NOT.
I have only just realised that today is in fact the 13th because I was quite taken aback by the number of good things that have taken place, and was trying to figure out why it was a particularly great day for me today (I got shortlisted for  my dream job, received an invite to attend the Tatler Little Black Book party...).

The Canterbry Tales - London style
One particular  good thing  that took place today stands above the rest though and let me tell you why:  A  friend of mine dropped off a frail looking incapacitated old man to his "house" yesterday, after picking him up from the hospital (he is a cab driver). As he helped the wheelchair-bound man into his home, he later recounted to me how utterly shocked he was by the sheer poverty this person was living in. It was not even poverty, it was like something he had never ever seen, not even in films.  For starters, the door was left ajar throughout his time in hospital because he had lost his keys.

Everything was freakishly bare: ripped off carpets and wall paper, no furniture.  The bed was a dirty mattress on the floor with no sheets and a bucket for his sanitation next to it – just sheer poverty. My friend left the house to attend another job, and just cried as he had never ever seen anything like this, and did not know what to do to help this incapacitated old men,  who was not very friendly (can you blame him!)

Anyway,  he called me to recount  the devastation he had witnessed, the pits of misery, and so we hatched up a plan for him to call social services  and talked about how we would follow up on the man  by dropping off some shopping and making  sure someone in social services was out there  pushing for this abandoned human being to have his dignity restored and enjoy some quality of life.

Well, let me tell you dear reader – my friend spoke to social services today – and even before he could finish telling them the man’s full name – they knew exactly who he was and said that they have been looking for him for months. The man, who was previously under supervision, vanished from the system somehow, and they were very worried about him because his mental state did not allow him to care for himself. They were genuinely happy to hear that he had been located after months of searching.

So there you have it – now that they have his address, they will be visiting him and will hopefully put him in a care home before Xmas. My friend and I will follow it up and make sure that it has been done. My friend was like an angel for this man  - It's as if  the Universe conspired to make sure that he was there to help save this man from a terrible fate.

It has truly made my day to know that even when all the doors are closed, the universe always leaves a window open so that hope can gracefully creep in and shine some light on those who are forgotten.


  1. What a great story.

    See you also got your follwers up and running here.

    So following you here as well as BC.

  2. Lovely story with a happy ending. Have had similar experiences in the US but with drearier results. Care and compassion here for the poor and elderly without sufficient funds is practically non-existent.


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