We sit in the middle of an intricate explosion of pathways. We rest at the precipice of infinite possibility. When I slurp the final drops of my comfort beverage and stand, I must decide. I can go here or there. Three hundred and sixty degrees of possible directions. And each path changes future actualities in subtle, imperceptible ways. Of course, some things are written in stone. The speed of the earth, the movement of light, the pull of gravity. But within these grand constraints there are a billion mazes, each one leading me to different pieces of cheese. I reach my foot out to step, then, at the last moment, pivot slightly. You must keep the calculators of fate, chance, and happenstance alert and engaged. You must always push against the constraints of your default inclinations.
Tough mudders shock the sprocket shoppers. Running through the path resistance. Smiling smugly at the bumbling bobo drinking bubbly. You elbow and nudge through the judicial sludges, past the jovial judges. Tough mudders, apathetic mothers. You topple out the melodious spout. You correlate the lady's fate to her shuffling dietary strategy. He's doing backflips in small rooms without damaging the chandelier. You marvel at your ability to spell "chandelier" on your first try without using spell-check. Now you are muddling tough through the mud. It's a tough-guy town and you are tying your boots. It's a town full of tough women, and you are letting your beard grow. You are fumbling through the fridge for some bubbly. You are constructing a funny argument for your jovial judges.
I'm here negotiating my early release, trying to get the gadflies to leave. Trains shuffle along the track. Gadfly passer-bys smack their snacks. Eastern fishermen attack the math. Burly world-openers draw the fire back, inhale me in the swirling womb, push me to the outer moon. Coughed out feelings choke the fool. Burning questions smoke the room. I'm here negotiating stupid concepts with neurotic walkers, trying to get the gadflies to leave in peace. Melodic mothers swallow their babies with nursery hums and sleep-inducing song. Rain comes and goes and the passer-bys don't know which mood to throw. Sunshine cracks the surface of the sky. I'm here scratching the silver shavings off the lottery tickets of my mind.
"I begged her...I begged her!" He cried. "She turned away from me, covered in a veil of silence; walking out the door into the cold night air." His body trembled as he relayed the events of his evening to me. What do I say in a moment like this? What could I do to take his pain away? Nothing. I stared at him, blank-faced and squeezed his big toe, as he lay helpless on the hospital gurney in physical and mental pain. "They will do what they can to save your thumb".
Gold-diggers laughing at their shaking pan, sifting sand from yellowish nuggets of hope. Gold-diggers with the slippery fingers and the sweaty crevices, keeping secrets of speculative spots and digging holes. Gold digging old men, with a long shot strategy to compensate for their histories of lethargy. To compensate for their social rejection. To bury struggle once and for all under a mountain of quick wealth. Old unshaven men still angry at their drunken fathers shaking their wishing pans, gazing magically with their omniscient eyes. Today the sun is out and they attend to every sparkle. Scrap the gasps. Shrug the shoulders. Toss the sand. Refill the shaking-pan. Refill the hope chamber. There goes that damn woodpecker again, pounding away at his tree.