Sunday, April 28, 2013


I'm watching the sun rise. Other people find sunrises full of promise and potential. Me, not so much. The sunrise is the day just passed full of everything that didn't happen and a sink full of dishes and the need to get crackin' 'cause the clock's a-tickin' and time's a-wastin'. Sunrises are all about unmet deadlines and strangers who never become friends and all of a sudden everything's behind schedule and there's no hope. It doesn't matter what Scarlet O'Hara drawled to the retreating back of her beloved, tomorrow's just already today and ain't nothin' gonna change, because we're stuck with who we are.

Years ago I didn't believe in fate, because I believed in freedom and choice and being a self-made-man, but years ago I had never even heard of the federal reserve and I still thought we were on the gold standard. Or the silver standard. Or something. I didn't know then that "In God We Trust" means "In Middle-Aged Men With Ill-Fitting Chinos We Trust" and just as soon as I realized a bunch of random guys makes the money sink or swim, well it kinda made me question maybe if my own life was controlled by unknown operators in a room somewhere. I mean, if a dollar's nothing but a symbol, then maybe I'm a hologram.

Not that I really believe any of this. I don't have a bunker with nuggets of gold stashed in hollow walls and I don't really think I'm just a marionette on the stage of life, but that's the thing about sunrises, they make the philosophy come out along with the hangover, and there's no aspirin strong enough or bacon sandwich greasy enough to make up for the questions that I'd rather not hear echoing in the back of my head.

So on this day in particular, I'm watching the sun rise because that's what it does and it's not like I'm gonna turn my back on it just to prove a point, and the trees towards the west are reflecting back with shiny golden bark, and I decide the take the question of free will or fate and put it to the test. There's no reason not to, or maybe there are lots of reasons not to but it's easier not to think about them, and I start thinking of the plan.

Everybody uses tarot cards these days, and any fool has a copy of the i-ching in the glove box, and most high school kids use dice to get through the SATs. So the easy choices are pretty much already taken, and besides. they're too obvious, they've been done before, their script is so heavily encoded with social function and meaning that they're pretty much weighted on the side of fate, and don't give the free will a chance. What I need is a system that will challenge intuition at every step, that takes preconceived ideas and scrambles them, so that at some point in the future I can stand on a mountaintop and gaze back over the terrain of the past and see what patterns emerge.

What I need is the scientific method for free will and predetermination, but Schrödinger's long dead, locked in a box, and I don't think even he ever knew if the damn cat was alive or dead. Anyway, he was a freak. I need a scientific method that won't get the PETA activists all riled up and that actually makes sense.

The sun isn't really rising any more, now it's day right and true and I'm just as annoyed and put out as I was when the sun was rising, because the problem with having an argument with the universe is that it's hard to win before breakfast. Especially with a hangover. But I grab my jacket and some cash and head outside, determined to break every expectation I have of myself, and maybe honestly a little concerned about ending up in jail. There may not be any criminal codes about examining the underside of fate, but that seems maybe dicey. It's a chance I'll have to take, and I head to the street, determined to find the theory behind the theory, or the strings behind the curtain, whatever's there.