Choices

Life presents me with many choices and no matter what choice I make the world will remain unaffected. There are choices that I make that actually make a difference in life and these are the ones to remember and learn from. If I only knew the difference between these two types of choices I would be so much wiser. No not good and bad, but significant choices and meaningless choices. I also know that I will probably not be the one that makes that fateful choice that leads to the end of the world. The end of the world at your finger tips. God only knows how intoxicating the power is. Imagine the power. Because I can.

However, along the journey of life I will make many choices that have long term ramifications and even a few that are so absurdly wrong as to be laughable. The chance to screw up your life is rarely how the statement or opportunity is offered up. I see the choices but not the consequences.

I know I make bad choices. I rarely choose the easy road. I like the fight. I need to know that I can do the hard exercise and somehow that makes me believe that I could survive the easy road too. Would the easy road lead an untimely demise? Michael Jackson.

I remember the days when I avoided making the tough decisions. I would stall and wait until it was too late to make a decision. The one day in my life when I needed to pull the trigger. I would rather die than be wrong. Dead and right seems so comforting. Is that dead right?

I was a seventeen year old boy with little support adrift on an orb full of people and trusting nobody. Summer is over and I have no plan. I really have few options. Soon my friends will be leaving for college and I will be left behind. Just another statistic. Another woulda-shoulda-coulda. I am different in that I can tell the story and keep peoples attention. I am great in my own mind. How will I ever let them down? I won’t. I will makeup a reason for being left behind. Failure to matriculate.

College is bullshit anyway. A bunch of book-learned snobs that were born with a silver spoon up their ass. I wouldn’t be one of those. You couldn’t pay me enough. I have a plan. Sure I do. You stupid fucks would never get it. That is why you are still here in Crescent City. Yes. But I am different. My plan will work. At least the next one will.

I am scared. I am alone. I have worse than no plan. I have my failures. I have ashes where there once were dreams. I pull out papers that I wrote a couple years ago. I was going places. That is what I thought. University of Oregon or UCLA, were they ever part of a plan? Who was I kidding? Did people really think I might go? Why did they want me? I am from Crescent City after all.

I am sure somebody out there would still want me. I can go to Santa Rosa and go to the Junior College. Only 300 miles and six hours away. School starts tomorrow. I guess I should decide pretty soon. I will buy a bus ticket and pack up a backpack. I remember how I bad mouthed college. Maybe people won’t find out where I went. No chance.

I could join the Army. That is what my dad did. He was trapped and scared and he ran away to the Army. He came back to Crescent City. Yet he had actually gone to the Army. Somehow you have more status if you have served your country. People who leave and comeback are thought highly of.

I call the recruiter and tell him to come get me. I am leaving for college on the Greyhound bus at 2 o’clock. If he gets to the house before two, I will go to the Army. I saw that bus pull into the bus station and I knew that was my moment. I grabbed my bag and walked the two short blocks and handed the ticket to the driver.

I am going to be an engineer.

I chose to leave it to fate and not make a choice

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