Bogus Lies (and) Ordinary Greatness
I started, what I call, articlulate writing years and years ago. Some of it was free associate writing, automatic writing, or what ever you chose to call it. It was, and still is, a fun outlet for me. Some of it, no one has ever read before. A lot of it .... maybe nobody should...
Thursday, July 19, 2018
What is Fate?
Here's two of my characters talking about the subject in my novel TO THE SEA. (I take no responsibility for their points of views)
The sun, bright in a cloudless sky, and the temperature a perfect seventy-four degrees, capped off by a gentle breeze. Nate’s walked at a brisk pace on this delightful morning. Tammy was happy to keep up.
“Do you think it fate that Asa and Frank met?” Tammy asked as she matched Nate’s stride.
“Hmmm,” all Frank said.
When Tammy realized it Nate’s way of answering, she said, “Oh, I guess I should have first asked if you even believe in fate.”
“Fate is all too often just something we call the present situation that a long history has led us to. A long history we either cannot alter or do not wish to. The meeting of two lovers is fate. The death of a loved one is fate. See, one you don’t wish to change, and the other you know you can’t. Pin it on ‘fate,’ so you don’t have to think, you don’t have to try to come up with a reason for it. The couple which first falls in love and swears it is fate, I wonder if they still feel that way after a rough marriage and bitter divorce?”
Tammy stepped over a rock along the path. “I think…. if the couple is honest…. they may still call it ‘fate’ even after a divorce. Who says fate always has to be good? I think sometimes it’s bitter sweet.”
“I just think sometimes it’s over-rated.”
“But you do believe in it?”
Tammy hopped in front of him in order to face him. “But you wear such a cynical facade!”
“Hey! My cynicism is not a facade. Like I said, fate is thrown around so much it becomes over-rated. People stub their toe and exclaim its fate this happened to them, perhaps telling them to slow down or some such other contrivance. These types of people will never admit they’re clumsy fools who should look where they’re going,” Nate smiled and winked, “I thank my cynicism for keeping me grounded.”
Tammy faltered for a moment over the meaning of Nate’s words, then seemed surprised by concluding, “So you believe fate is grand?”
“Always! Life changing and unavoidable,” Nate nodded.
“So you don’t believe we have a choice?”
“Not really… Sure, we can avoid fate, but just for a time. But if fate seeks us out, there is nowhere to hide.”
“So if it’s your fate to drown, then no matter how much you avoid water, one day you will drown, even if it’s in a glass of water?”
“Yeah…” Nate crooned, “Something like that.”
They walked for a time in silence when Tammy offered, “My death will be from a bullet from a crook.”
Nate stopped in his tracks and looked at her, eyebrows raised.
“Sometimes it’s more real to me than other times. I can almost picture it. I’m in my uniform… I think a robbery’s in progress. I don’t see it coming. A sudden pain in my chest. Then all goes black.”
“You think about this?”
“What is it, a dream, a flashback, a premonition?”
Tammy closed her left eye and grimaced, “It’s more of a feeling.”
Nate was slow to nod, and then waved his hand in the air saying, “It’s just the nerves of a cop talking.”
“I had these… feelings… even before I was a cop,” Tammy shrugged. “Who knows, maybe this feeling led me to be a cop… or maybe it was fate!”
“You’re strange.” Nate did his best to keep a smile from his face.
“I know. I think about death a lot.”
“Why? Because if fates involved, then it’s something you don’t have to think about.” Nate realized conversations, sometimes like fate — were hard to control.
“I can’t help it. Sometimes when I’m in a situation, I will think to myself ‘I wonder what it would be like to die here, now…”
“Well, you’re a cop, I’m sure anyone in dangerous situations tend to…”
“But not just in dangerous situations…” she interrupted him. “Sometimes it happens during mundane, everyday events. Like driving down the highway, or in an elevator. I will have a random thought about brakes giving out, or a broken cable.”
“I think maybe it’s a fear of death in general.”
“Not really… More of a curiosity.”
“I don’t know. I guess it’s the mystery of it all. We’re all going to die. But no one knows when, where, or how. After all, isn’t death the ultimate fate?”
“I guess that is one way of looking at it. Death is the one unavoidable fate we must each face.”
Nate, as he further picked up the pace, said through clenched teeth “But it’s not my death keeping me awake at night…”