I have often wondered if my life on this planet is a coincidence, something that happened simply because three sailors got drunk one night, raped a tattoo artist (my grandmother), and then returned 20 years later, still drunk, to rape my mother. Or has my life been cut out for me with the precision of a finely wrought gem to fit into this scattered jigsaw puzzle we call the universe (from the Latin word for “outhouse”)?
If the latter is true, then who is it that cuts the patterns and pulls the strings? God? Or is it that farmer in Wisconsin I asked for directions not long ago? He had the strangest look on his face, very disturbed, and very revealing. I think he wanted to scream, “I’m not just a farmer! I also water-ski, play tennis and control your life!” Maybe that farmer was God, or maybe he was a psychotic egomaniac doing a bit of wishful thinking. For all I know, the poor old duff just had gas pains, but that was a pretty strange look, even for a farmer in Wisconsin.
I find myself constantly analyzing even the smallest mysteries in life to see if they might be part of a cosmic plan, or are mere coincidence. For instance, why did I just look at my watch? Was it only to see the time, or did God intend for me to do something important at this precise moment? The first is unlikely, since my watch stopped three years ago. In this case it would appear that God had a plan, something He wanted me to accomplish. Perhaps He simply wanted me to look at a watch that stopped three years ago. I never said it was a good plan. If that’s all He’s after, I wish He’d lay off, because it drives me nuts.
Other oddities in life reveal themselves as definite coincidence. The pyramids, for example. Everyone knows that those tasty little crocodile snacks known as Egyptians had neither the engineering capability nor the ambition to build anything larger than a doghouse for one of their beak-nosed queens. Besides that, it would’ve been one of the Seven Wonders of the World just to obtain a building permit for those crazy, lopsided things. I believe the pyramids are actually icebergs that ran aground, were filled by drifting sand and left as hollow as sugar cones when the ice melted away.
At other times I haven’t a clue whether a particular event is meant to be, or simply happens. A friend of mine came home late one night and heard loud moaning and hysterical, almost insane laughter coming from inside his apartment. The door was locked, but fearing for his wife’s safety, he began to throw himself against it wildly. Inside, the noise stopped, and he could hear his wife exclaim, “Uh-oh! It’s my husband!”
“Thank God!” he thought to himself. “At least she’s still conscious and aware of her surroundings. Maybe I’m not too late.” Just then the door flew open and he saw several dozen men on their hands and knees, groping for their trousers on the floor. His wife, always kind to strangers, was helping them, even though she wasn’t dressed to receive company.
Was it pure chance that the postman, the gas-meter reader, the janitor and the entire city’s fire department found themselves lost and without trousers in my friend’s apartment at that late hour of the night? Or was it some inescapable guiding force that led them there, some irresistible command they had to obey?
Either way, I want to find the guy who has my trousers. His are three sizes too small for me.