Tuesday, January 12, 2010

There's No Moral - It's Just a Bunch of Stuff that Happened

A quick parable about the vagaries of fortune...

Went home last night and decided to move Lola (my well-used and much beloved car) because she was parked in a Tuesday streetcleaning spot. Thought I'd take some time and find a Monday spot so I wouldn't have to think about moving her again for a while (longer than usual, thanks to the grassroots activism of Martin Luther King, Jr.)

What followed was probably the worst parking luck I have ever experienced: I drove around the 'boken for a half an hour looking for a Monday spot, seeing a couple near misses, where someone else got to the spot a few seconds before I drove by; then spent another half hour looking for any spot, before finally finding one that was no better than the one I left in the first place. An hour (an hour!) of driving around, only to end up needing to move Lola again in the morning.

Kind of wrecked my mood. "O Fate, you spotted whore - why do you mock me?!?!" kind of thing. I got over it, but still ended up doing nothing all night but making myself dinner and watching a shitty movie on tv. It was a very delicious dinner, but still.

Then this morning, the complete opposite: went to the car and drove her down the block and through one intersection to a perfect spot. A Monday spot at that. There was a huge long line for the bus into the city, so I thought I might have a long, slow, crowded commute - but a bus came within 5 minutes, and it was nearly empty so we all got seats, and the traffic wasn't even bad - I made it to work early.

SO what's the message of this story? Well, that's for you to interpret of course, but I think it has something to do with Fate being a mocking harpy one minute and a benevolent angel the next, for no reason at all. I know that there's a school of thought out there that says you make your own luck, and I actually agree with that to a huge extent. On the other hand, I don't think I did anything, or failed to do anything to make this particular morsel of luck; or that my "vibration" kept parking spaces at bay last night or drew one to me this morning. It just happened that way. It seems to me that maybe there are some kinds of luck you make for yourself, and some kinds that just happen. To amplify this point to a grander scale - I don't think anyone can make themselves the luck of being born with certain innate qualities (be they gifts or curses or neither.) Extreme height, for instance. Or skin color. Or congenital good health or disease. Or being born in a society where indoor plumbing is the rule, rather than the exception.

And that brings us to the Homer Simpson quote that provides the title for this entry. (You all saw the 450th episode on Sunday, right? And the 20th Anniversary Special? In 3-D! On Ice!)

Now, what you do with those given circumstances is another matter entirely...

No comments: