Six stories up in the middle of the night there’s an owl in my house. ‘It’s actually a frogmouth,’ Arris says, ‘tawny.’ Sat at the head of the dining table, still as old growth in variegated shades of eucalypt bark. It stares at us with deep amber jewels, calculating our worth from its strange stoic perch. A partner waits from the balcony, on guard for prospects and threats. ‘They mate for life,’ I hear. Arris takes my hand and we breathe in the night together. I want this to be good luck, I tell her, reading signs of life.
I read omens in everything now, so desperate am I to cling to her love. What portents might the weather tell? What aching in my bones belies our fates? I find myself steering clear of minor obstacles, around a ladder or opting out of mirrors, and lately, wondering when might a black cat cross me. I was never superstitious, now I am become unilaterally suspicious. Life, you see, has been recently quite good to me. While not uncommon in circumstance, my own awareness of such happenstance is frightening, a little enlightening, and idiosyncratically contrived. I’ll take mine with salt.