NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2008

THE TRUE STORY OF
THE BAD LUCK PAINTING

CAN A PAINTING MAKE YOU LOSE YOUR WALLET?

Can it kill your cat?

Back in 1996, a friend of a friend of my mother’s said a painting was bringing her bad luck, so she was getting rid of it. “I’ll take it,” my mom offered. I noticed it in her garage, and she told me about how it came into her possession. I immediately asked if I could have it.

I took the Bad Luck Painting home and hung it up. Nothing especially bad happened to me, and I took it with me when I moved to New York, in 1999. It hung over my bed, where it remained until August 2000, a difficult time for me. I was on strike from a job I had just started (in the Museum of Modern Art’s marketing department), I was chasing after a woman who was sending me mixed signals at best, and I had just been told that a major freelance writing project was probably going to be awarded to somebody else.

We hope you enjoy this excerpt.

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Mark Swartz is the author of the novels Instant Karma and H2O.

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