Dec 22, 2005


Sorry for the delay, but this danged thing called work got in the way.  That's the problem with work, you see.  You have to do it if you want to support things like your blogging habits.  So anyway, let's get back to this thing called Life. 
I'm good at scaring myself by thinking too deeply.  I've always been good at that.  For a guy who can't swim I'm certainly skilled at finding the deepest, darkest part of my psyche and diving right the hell in, sans water wings.
I lay awake last night and the night before only partially because I was leery of having more 'retail employment at Christmas' nightmares.  The other thing that was keeping me awake was this thought: I was deeply aware of how very many hundreds of millions of factors go into the path our life takes, every single moment.  Attend me: When you wake up, the direction your life is going to take that day has already been affected by things like if you rested that night, how many times you woke up, and even if your muscles are sore or if you have aches and pains.  When you get up, you're already being affected by things like the temperature of the room and anything that might occupy it.  Say for instance the night before, when you jumped into bed, you had kicked your slippers out of your reach.  You wake up, search for slippers, and as a result you spend your morning with cold feet, which you happen to hate, which puts you in a foul mood for the day.  All because a reckless You last night kicked them accidentally out of easy reach.
That's a simple example, but it's a start.
Take for instance my yesterday.  Driving into work, for whatever reason the person in the car opposing me decided to be in my lane as well as theirs.  I was endangered, angry, and frustrated, so I drove accordingly.  I'm sure I passed several other cars on the way in, and my attitude and driving style was affected by my earlier encounter, thereby affecting THEIR days.  And, Tom Cruise-like, my day had been affected in a minute but definable way by events that were, for all intents and purposes, random.  This went on all day--events either happened or were avoided simply by random circumstance of thousands of events, most of them caused by a web of events stretching back farther than I can possibly imagine.
This is a hard one to enumarate in words--I can hold most of the image in my mind, but words are failing me.
When I drive home, I pass several intersections, all of which are required to yield to oncoming traffic (me.)  Most times I pass those intersections and they are empty, and I proceed along my way.  Sometimes there are cars there, and by their distance to me they decide to either pull out in front of me or they wait until I've passed.  There is always a moment and a distance, though, in every one of those encounters where the other person could potentially be caught between a 'yes' and a 'no' decision and go ahead and pull out, causing an accident and personal injury to me, up to and including death.  All because we both hit a cusp point at the same time.  A million different events went into their arrival or non-arrival at that exact place and time, things as diverse as their speed, their attitudes, their personal views toward their ability at driving, their judgement as to distances, how traffic was before they reached that point, and so on.  My life hangs, as it were, on a near-infinite number of perfectly random events that have only one thing in common with me--they're deciding if I live or die.
Enough of that, I'm going to end up locking myself in a steel vault wearing Kleenex boxes for shoes.

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