Friday, February 5, 2010

What Are the Odds

Fate. The very word suggests -- if in a disorganized, non-linear fashion -- the existence of a higher power. If not a higher power, certainly a more powerful force than everyday Joe or Jane. With no evidence of one God, the likelihood of three angry sisters spinning and cutting threads of life seems no more -- or less -- likely. It is too hard to envision a cabal of disembodied decisions-makers spinning each and every life onto its course. Think of the planning. Think of the paperwork. What a huge margin for error.

Randomness seems too, well, random, in the context of an alternate theory to fate. Just that one might ask "Why?" cries for something greater than a lucky confluence of 1's and 0's lining up just so. Force your mind's eye down past dust particles, past motes, pass microscopic microbes, keep thinking smaller. Atoms? Protons? Go to the smallest thing known or imagined, so infinitesimally small that we have haven't imagined how small they are. How can even a googleplex of these nottalots leaning slightly to the... let's say the left, somehow actually make it so Romeo never meets Juliet? Or, as likely, make it so Shakespeare writes a play about Romeo and Felicity?

The mere fact you are reading this means two people in your life thought something akin to affection for at least -- ahem...-- a few minutes. Lust. Like. Love. Maybe a lifetime of all three, maybe some span of time between five good minutes and 50 years. Think of the odds that you are sitting in front of your computer, reading this. What are the odds that just you are reading just this. Destiny? Luck? Fate? Chance? Well, how the fuck do you explain just this one insignificant phenomenon? Even in the time it took for this sentence to be written, billions of billions of occurrences occurred. Explain the origins and import of just one, completely. I could throw my sock across the room a thousand times and it will never happen the same way. And throwing a sock is not really all that interesting.

So, how can you (...or anyone...) explain love? If a leaf can fall an infinite numbers of ways from the branch on which it grew, how can love be explained? Come on. Love is preposterous. The simple fact that two people actually meet, like each other enough to share another moment, and perhaps even one day fall in love is so unlikely, so foolish a notion, no reasonable man or woman would believe it possible. And it happens every second of everyday, and that is so tremendously, wildly improbable yet so utterly, so wonderfully sure, it staggers the mind.

Someone recently mentioned, affectionately, that my parents were an unlikely couple. Aren't they all.


  1. Aren't they all indeed. So true.

    I know I really like the way you think and write. And you certainly get props for marrying a cool chick!

  2. Seven? My son will be seven in four months... I can't deal with that yet. On the bright side for you son, it looks like you got an Asian porn link for your last comment so that should help.


Please don't take me too seriously.