Saturday, September 15, 2012


Tonight (well actually last night, I am a day late with this post) 12 people that I do not know, or sure that I want to know have my fate in their hands. Actually, that is also not exactly true. They have the fate of another person in their hands, and I am one of the people that helped to put it there. These people, carefully selected, are deciding the fate of a many a week of my (and others) work. And, as I lie here tossing, and turning trying to find the right position to find sleep, I can't  help but wonder if maybe I've made some major mistake in picking those 12 people.

Granted, I wasn't alone in picking them, and I have not been alone in trying to convince them how to decide, but in many ways, I feel that they are deciding my fate as well. My fate feels inexorably intertwined with the other fate that is being decided and that is the real reason they have been assembled. While my freedom is not at stake, it still seems as if I am being judged as well. Judged on my performance, judged on every little detail, judged on every word I say, and even the ones I don't, judged on a multitude of things, several of which I have absolutely no control over. It is not a particularly pleasant feeling. As sleep refuses to come, and I replay the last several days wondering what, if anything, I could have done better to influence these 12 souls to decide the way I want them to.

The sad part of all this drama is that for the past week, these 12 people have been staying in a hotel, which is far more luxurious than my adobe, and they have probably been eating better than I have as well. That is not overly sad, but it makes me feel a little bit unfulfilled. These people have a big decision in front of them, and here I am thinking that I am sure they haven't been surviving on hot dogs (like I have) all week. Funny the things one chooses to focus on while under all this stress. Stress is not something that I enjoy, and I am quite sure that the 12 people have probably noticed that during the last week.  I hope that I have done a decent job of handling the stress of the situation, but one never really knows, does one?

These 12 people have no idea that my fate is also in their hands, I am sure if they did it would confuse them even further than listening to me already has. In many ways, I am glad they haven't a clue, but part of me just wants to clue them into the fact that this is really, really important to me. I doubt they would be overly concerned, but I would at least like to give it a shot. I won't of course, because those aren't the rules we play by. So, I lie here and look at the moonlight filtering through the window, and wonder if maybe blankness and darkness wouldn't be a more preferable fate.  To step out into that blankness and darkness and not look back, leaving the decision on my fate unknown.

If I had my way that unknown fate would stay just that, unknown. Perhaps the best fate is an unknown fate. The fate that you don't know, you can't really worry too much about, or try too hard to change. This unknown fate, the fate that I begin to ponder harder as I get out of the bed, finally giving up on that elusive sleep, and wander into my backyard.  I look up at those distant stars, and wonder if maybe my fate is written somewhere in them. These dimly visible objects that were born so very long ago, and that will be around long after I am food for worms.  Maybe I've really got nothing left to lose, and that unknown fate will be a wide blessing. A fate that I deserve (which is too horrid to really think about) or maybe a fate I don't deserve (which might just turn me into either a tragic hero, or a better person). These 12 people, who I don't know, and who I don't think I want to know have this in their hands, and they don't even realize it.

The implications of that last bit, make me want to find a freight train, hop it, and start a new life at the end of the line. I won't do that, because that decision, while very, very tempting, is the coward's way out. In spite of the many flaws I posses, and in spite of the fear that I am certain is obvious to everyone around me, I will stay here and accept the fate, unknown or not that is to be doled out to me.  Having the courage of my convictions can be a very bothersome thing, but having that courage in my convictions is what, in so very many ways, makes me the person, for good or bad, that ends up having his fate decided by 12 strangers.

And so as the morning images burn themselves into my mind, I stagger from the bed that was not a sleeping cell, but more a torture rack, and make myself ready to face the day.  The day which will, hopefully, see my fate decided for better or worse by 12 strangers. As colour starts to find its way into the sky, and I stumble through my morning routine like some automaton, I try to keep my hands from shaking as I assemble the necessary items I need to face my fate with as much dignity as I can muster.  Let's hope, for form's sake that it is enough.


Anonymous said...

Wondering how things turned out for you
G in NC

Anonymous said...

how did it turn out?

The Grand Inquisitor said...

somewhere in the middle i guess. not too bad, not great.