Fate

— Dennis Richardson

I awoke angry this morning, dismayed by the funk of Fate,
the class I took yesterday about Greek tragedies.  This morning,
I drove to the gym, angry at the woman who didn’t signal a right
which held me up to go left.  Later I thought I may not have signaled
either and if I was angry at her I had to be angry at myself too.  Not
wanting to be angry at anyone, I apologized to all of us.

At the class, the teacher had said: I want to see a show of hands:
how many of you feel you have gotten to this place in your life
by Free Will; by Fate?  The count for free will greatly
out-numbered fate.  He said usually it goes the other way,
except when you’re a student here at Stanford. I had voted free will
and wondered how the Greeks would vote now.

He said:  “The Greeks believed it was Fate, they thought
your character was your destiny, your destiny your character
and thus, your Fate.” I changed my vote, knowing Freud would
have said fate; knowing the Tragedies were just a setup
to prove their point, but, still, maybe true, knowing I am
driven to drive myself, my unconscious steering.

In fact, it’s probably the reason a man marries his mother,
who isn’t his mother, which Freud mistakenly called Oedipal,
making things more complex than they already were, because:
she thinks he’s her father, which isn’t true either, when really
both are just trying to work out unsolved family and/or personal
issues which began way before in this ocean of time and sex.

So, I drove myself here, as it seems we are all destined to do,
tempting the consequences of our good or bad Fates, the world awash
in ignorance and misunderstanding, good and evil always traveling
together.  So it’s like the therapist said to the therapee at their last
session:  “Do you still shit in your pants?” Who answered: “Yes, I do,
but now I know why.”

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