Why Bo Was A Lucky Man

A Harlem Legend

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“Riders on the storm, riders on the storm
Into this house we’re born, into this world we’re thrown
Like a dog without a bone, an actor out on loan
Riders on the storm…”

The Doors

Some people are just born lucky. Others get lucky for various reasons. 

Lucky people are sometimes called survivors. Bo was the luckiest kid born in East Harlem. All the residents pointed him out to strangers and friends, telling them how lucky he was.

“He had white horses
And ladies by the score
All dressed in satin
And waiting by the door
Ooh, what a lucky man he was…”

He Was A Lucky Man by Emerson, Lake and Palmer

Car went right over him the other day,” one woman said to another, as he walked by with his funny gait, and a twinkle in his eye.

“He was just lying there in the middle of 4th street and a car drove right over him, but didn’t even mess up his suit,” the woman told her friend. Her friend noted she saw a stuntman do that, and only someone looking for trouble would lay in the road in the first place.

“Maybe you don’t understand,” the first woman said. That Bo has been shot seven times and you just watched him walk by like the lord of Harlem.

Bo could hear them as he walked down the street. He smiled for a moment, then let out a heavy sigh. He recalled when his luck first started. Six years old. Everything was so wonderful back then.

His mom, on a whim one day, asked him to pick some numbers for the next lottery drawing. He did. She used them, and the next day she won $250,000! She couldn’t stop smothering him with her joy.

It made him feel a lot better about the deal he made the night before with his new friend Lievd.

But lucky as Bo was, he still ran into a lot of trouble. He did dumb things like jump from a second story window during a party, because he thought he could fly while high on LSD.

He survived. He wasn’t surprised.

For twenty-one years Bo had the art of being lucky down. He was banned from the game rooms in Harlem. His reputation as being lucky had it’s setbacks. Having to stay in Harlem was one of them.

It was in his deal with Lievd. As the years slid by, he forgot about how he got so lucky. But not everyone envied Bo. Those that knew him felt sad about his phobia…that he couldn’t leave Harlem.

His entire life was spent roving the streets looking for adventure. The decades slid by and Bo outlived his family and friends in Harlem. But he was still mentally sharp and went to the senior center twice a week to play chess.

One day he was playing a letter scamble game with the center director where the object was to make a word out of the letters given.

The letters were; evlid.

Bo tried to sort out what the letters said, re-arranging them in numerous combinations until he came up with a word that stopped him short: devil. He thought about Lievd and his deal.

It was only then that Bo realized he’d made a bad deal. He didn’t know what a soul was at six! At that moment he heard someone chuckle behind him. The Devil said, “Time to collect, with a wicked smile.

As It Stands, there’s been many variations of the devil making deals with helpless humans. This was my take on the genre.

Author: Dave Stancliff

Retired newspaper editor/publisher, Vietnam veteran, freelance writer, blogger, married 43 years with three sons and five grandchildren.

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