Karma is like God—I want to believe it exists, but there’s just too much evidence to the contrary.
Exhibit A: good people. I surround myself with folk who are sweet and friendly and kind, because hanging out with bastards gets old. And these amazing friends of mine have, almost without exception, shitty luck.
I’ve never witnessed a verifiable example of karma. Instead, I’ve watched assholes like Steve Jobs get rich and survive cancer. Whatever the opposite of karma is, that’s what I’ve seen. Anti-karma.
Michael Vick. Kim Jong il. Paris Hilton. OJ Simpson. Near as I can tell, there’s often a directly proportional relationship between how awful someone is inside and how generously they’re rewarded in life. The opposite, unfortunately, does not seem to hold true.
My roommate is a perfect example. Despite being a genuinely well-meaning person, the guy has rotten luck. I get nervous every time he steps outdoors. He’s like Wile E. Coyote, without the homicidal roadrunner-obsession. If anyone is ever going to die via airborne piano, my roommate is that guy.
When I first considered moving in with him, I wondered whether I was setting myself up for disaster. Could bad luck be contagious? As it turns out, nope. Which brings me to…
Exhibit B: me.
I don’t deserve approximately 90% of the good stuff in my life. (This is an optimistic figure. It may be that I actually deserve zero percent of the good stuff, but I’m generous enough to give myself the benefit of the doubt. Wait—generosity is a positive quality. See? I’m not all bad.)
Even though I have a tendency to be a right bastard, my life is peachy. I’m actually beginning to wonder if, via some horrible cosmic mixup, my bad karma is being inflicted on my roommate. Could it be that as I go bumbling through life, leaving a path of destruction in my wake, my roommate plays whipping boy to my spoiled rich kid?
Every time the universe kicks my roommate’s metaphorical ass, I think back on the last year of my life and wince. With each new car accident, broken heart, twisted ankle, pulled muscle, and unexplained medical condition he suffers, I can pinpoint a correspondingly stupid and/or terrible thing I’ve done that potentially resulted in his misplaced physical or mental anguish.
Maybe it’s just a matter of time. It could be the case that the universe achieves equilibrium only in the long term. If there’s an afterlife, I’m supremely fucked. But until then, it seems to be my destiny to keep riding this swell of undeserved luck.
And my roommate will just have to stay on the lookout for falling anvils.