BLT

Those who had gotten to know him, and knew about his special talent, called him “BLT,” though never to his face.  It wasn’t that he minded the nickname, he was always just nervous that calling out his gift would somehow make it go away.  But, it never did.  Beginner’s Luck Tom, could always succeed at something the first time he tried it.

It started at home, and took him a long time to realize there might be something there, when he would attempt a trick shot and always make it the first time but then never repeat it again.  It was always just that first time.  Eventually, if he spent hours shooting from distance or going for crazy banks, he could get one or two more to fall.  But, the first attempt at a new stance or trick always went in.  So, while he excelled at halftime gimmicks, he never joined a team.  Practice never seemed to help him improve even the most basic of shots.

He was never a great student, always confounding the teachers because he seemed to grasp an idea immediately only to then struggle to replicate it.  When something new was introduced, Tom could give the answer to the first question confidently, as if he’d been studying the subject for years, but then he would be able to answer the next related question or the one after that.  Eventually, he would improve, but he wasn’t an A student.

By the time he turned 18, most of his friends had already started calling him BLT and he begun to trust in that luck.  On his birthday he bought a lotto ticket and won.  It wasn’t the largest payout but it was enough to see him live comfortably without having to stress about work.  He took part of his winnings and invested in the stock market for the first time.  The first stock he picked skyrocketed and made him even wealthier.  The others tanked, but he’d made so much with the first pick that those losses didn’t matter.

So it went, year after year.  BLT, tried new ventures and was always successful but then abandoned each new venture knowing that he would only fail from then on.  He struggled for a bit with resentment over the years.  He watched friends struggle early on but then become experts in their various fields, love and lose and then love again, make mistakes and learn from them to become something greater.  He could never become greater than his first attempts.  Everything else ended poorly.

Eventually he stopped being angry and accepted who he was and fell into a comfortable pattern of living.  He used his vast wealth to pay people to do the mundane things so he wouldn’t screw them up: driving, cooking, cleaning.  He had his friends give him ideas on new things to try, because if he sat down to think of new ideas on his own, something he had done before, none of the ideas he came up with would be any good.  And he lived day to day, riding the high of his constant beginner’s luck.

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