I read “Slaughterhouse-Five” nearly 15 years ago, and I hated it. I hated it because I couldn’t deal with the idea that we have no free will.
I’ve always suspected that my life would be one of great mediocrity, but goddammit, I want to be great at something besides mediocrity. I want my life to mean something. I want to leave this place better than I found it. I want my life to matter. But if I have no free will, then I have no ability to change my mediocre ways.
I have some big fucking dreams and they are wonderful dreams. They are dreams where I save innocent lives and build magnificent machines and start wonderful organizations and spread spiritual faith and fuck beautiful women and travel the world and befriend convicted murderers and rescue stray dogs and start overdue revolutions.
But, truth be told, I don’t do much to make these dreams happen. And maybe … maybe I don’t have what it takes to change the world. Maybe I’m supposed to be the kind of guy who raises his kids to be good people and builds pinewood derby cars and works at an anonymous job and goes to church and marries a good woman and buys a house on a cul-de-sac and fears convicted murderers and rescues stray dogs and watches the revolution from afar, living vicariously through the revolutionaries while silently screaming, “Viva la Revolución!”
I’ve got a good woman, and she’d love to marry me. She’ll even help me explore my dreams, as long as I promise to come home every night and fall asleep next to her.
How do I figure out whether my destiny is to change the world or to settle down into an average life? And if it’s the answer I think it is, how do I let go of my dreams of saving the world and embrace the realities of Tupperware and Easter bunnies and furniture sets and falling asleep in the arms of a good woman every night for the rest of my life?
Posted by Rich (subbing for Lo)