Do you ever get the feeling that the universe just really enjoys yanking our chains? Similar to the "too good to be true" feeling, but worse. Something happens and you start to think it could truly be real, it could actually happen. Things could really go this well. Maybe you even think something seems just a little too coincidental to be anything more than destined to be. Then it all gets yanked out from under you. Sometimes it seems like a big cosmic joke, that someone out there is playing with us. Life, at times, is the ultimate prank. The ultimate joke and the punchline happens to us.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that I think life isn't worth living, or even that I am a pessimist. Please, I am so far from that. I know there is a plan, I know that it is at times inscrutable, and I even know that my part in it is necessary. That all the bad stuff that happens, all the temptations and suffering really is for a good cause.
But I have to say, the sense of humour of the universe, or God if you prefer, is incredibly warped and not that funny to the ones who are involved in the jokes. Platypus and sex aside.
Staring down at the page, I let out a sigh of frustration. It had just been that kind of day. Everything had seemed not bad, to be quite honest.
A normal day. Maybe even the potential for it to be good. I had gotten a note that Management wanted to speak to me. Yes, even the universe has gone bureaucratic. Well, technically it hasn't, but the terminology was deemed more acceptable and there has been some rearranging. But I figured the note was a good thing.
To top it all off I've been having these dreams. Kinda crazy dreams, especially for me. The average mortal would probably find the whole idea ludicrous. Dreams about a woman. Better yet, dreams about domestic bliss, a partnership, some cosmic reward.
Stupid, I know. And they are just dreams, but then again, I know not all dreams are just dreams.
Staring at the page in front of me, chewing the end of my pen, I consider all the words I've just written. Do I really want someone to read this? It sounds so incredibly depressed. Or maybe just angry. And it makes so little sense without an actual example. I just am not sure I want to share mine.
I rub my hands over my face, considering, then just decide why not and return my pen to the paper.
Ok, so admitting to dreams isn't so bad. Even admitting to wanting some silly bit of domestic bliss or a reward for all the flack I've caught and the job I've had to do - which, let me tell you, is sometimes pretty heartbreaking because at the heart of it I do it because it is my job, not because I want to see people fail - admitting to wanting that isn't so bad. The problem is that I think I saw the woman in my dreams. Not that I saw her in my dreams, which I did, but I saw her today.
Even that isn't so crazy. But it seemed a bit odd. I had to wonder just what was up with it all, if there was some plot at work. Then I am informed that my review is up. I am told that this woman is actually a test case, a trial if you will. For me. A chance to prove I am still capable of my job.
So I have dreamed about this woman, had visions of having some picket-fence type life with her - that idea alone is fairly amusing when you stop to think about it - and I actually see her. Only to be told I am to tempt her to prove I am still competent at my job.
So that doesn't seem so bad? Wrong. Let us think, for a moment, about the implications of it all. I am to find a way into this woman's life, her psyche, her self and determine her best attribute, her most shining aspect. Then I am to see what I can do to break that apart. It isn't quite like Job anymore, no mass-slaughter of family members, at least not usually, but you get the picture.
Reading the words, I really wonder if I even dare continue this train of thought all the way to the end, whether I am willing to actually form the thoughts rather than let them lurk around.
If I am successful, then she is not the woman I think perhaps she could be. If I am not, then what? My inability to successfully tempt her would hardly fail me. The test is not the point. The problem is that I cannot get out of my mind the possibility that there might just be a future with this woman. For me. Me, of all beings. But if I tempt her, what then? How could I explain it? Or how could I live a life based on such a huge omission?
I honestly am a fool sometimes. Maybe I am simply weary after all these years. Weary of this job of mine and the toll it takes. Wishing for something that is never to be and putting obstacles in my own way. But what if I am not? What if the dreams are true, and there is a possiblity of something so bright and shining with this one woman?
Reading what I just wrote makes me consider vomiting, to steal a human cliche. It all sounds so stupid. So romantic, and to be quite honest, it is not about that. It is not about some romantic ideal, some vain hope for domesticity. It is about something I find so difficult to explain, to fully fathom in my own mind. Perhaps an acceptance that my choice, even if it was nearly inevitable, was the correct one. That my choice did not damn me. Hard not to laugh at the irony.
Then again, that whole concept of damnation is one we are not allowed to discuss. Even in something I never expect anyone to read I am not going to write about the truth of it. Enough mortals have figured it out for themselves.
Choices. Especially when there seem to be no actual options, merely one that must be accepted. It always seems to come down to that.