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by Abby Sher

The Reverse Midas Touch

King Midas was popular for a Greek minute. According to the Roman poet Ovid, Midas was the one who got to choose any gift he wanted from Dionysus, the Greek God of wine. Midas asked that everything he touched be turned to gold. Which was fun for a little while. Turning twigs and rivers into shiny stuff seemed cool. But what about when he got home and tried to eat his stew? Or hug it out with his daughter? Midas wound up begging Dionysus to reverse his gift, which didn’t exactly work.

Fast-forward a bunch of centuries, when The Muffler Installation Dealers’ Associated Service (MIDAS) decided to borrow just the glittery parts of the story and make their slogan “Trust the Midas Touch.” But the whole point of Midas’s story was that it wasn’t such a great touch after all. Not to mention the fact that “Double A (beep-beep) M-C-O” is catchier.

I spent the first 25 years of my life pretty convinced I had the Sadim Touch. Made-up word, really. Just Midas backwards, because it felt like everything or everyone I touched got snuffed out. My aunt had an aneurysm in her sleep and died when I was 10. Less than a year later, my dad’s lungs got clogged with cancer and gave out. That was followed swiftly by the death of another aunt, then a neighbor. Then my step-dad keeled over from a heart attack when he stepped off the morning train.

Read the rest at the Modern Loss website

Modern Loss is the new project of Rebecca Soffer and Lilith contributor Gabrielle Birkner, a website where you can “share the unspeakably taboo, unbelievably hilarious, and unexpectedly beautiful terrain of navigating your life after a death.”