A Trail to Destiny (Creative Writing Exercise #2)

Setting:  at a meeting in a conference room on a dark, rainy day

Subject:  the raindrops on the windows









I stared out the window as the rain pounded against the glass, making a tapping sound that reminded me of a thousand boots marching out of time during a parade.  My head felt like it had been hit by an avalanche, and the weather certainly wasn’t helping.  That damned numbness-mixed-with-a-dull-ache just wouldn’t go away as I sat my ass down on one of the plump leather chairs surrounding the large oak conference table.  The meeting I had just attended was over, and after the cordialities had been dispensed with I just had to get away from the bullshit being thrown around the office.  Everyone was acting so nice, so fucking nice, and I needed to get away from the act long enough to gather my senses.  The often strong exterior I donned before leaving my apartment was beginning to crack, and I had reached my limit of fake smiles, jokes and laughter for one day.

It’s tough when a person just doesn’t feel like enough.  He can’t imagine being good enough for his partner, strong enough for his family, smart enough for his bosses, or there enough for his friends.  He feels pathetically weak in even the most benign of situations.  In many ways he was just like the raindrops now finding their way to the window in his gaze.  He was helpless, and even though he would give life to whatever he could he went largely ignored unless he was seen as a nuisance.  He would never be noticed unless he was stealing away the sunshine or ruining her hair or creating havoc whether intentionally or not.  No, he…I…we, would never been seen for the beauty we gave to the world and instead would spend this lifetime in certain role in a certain way.

I followed one raindrop as it hit the glass near the top of the window.  It hung on for dear life there, reminding me of my need to hang on.  I chuckled at the irony as I stared at that tiny drop of water just stuck there, unable to let go and unable to follow its natural destiny.  It would fall, eventually, but for now it just stayed in that one holy spot fighting for its own survival.  Or was I?  I was in a job I didn’t like.  I was constantly trying to be “the one” to my woman I wasn’t good enough to be with.  I wanted so desperately to be accepted by my peers, to be noticed among them even as I wondered anonymously between them.  Here I was scratching and clawing to remain stuck to the glass, desperately fighting my destiny.

Much like this raindrop I had no idea what the truth was.  I had no idea who I was or what I was doing here.  I just knew that I had been thrown on this piece of glass and now hung on without ever truly knowing why.  I could not look down for fear of seeing where I was heading.  I could not look up because, well, “up” had rejected me.  All I knew was at this moment I was married to this piece of glass, and if that glass wouldn’t accept me all I could do was try to accept it while hanging on for fear of falling into the abyss.

I could see the raindrop slowly losing its battle.  I realized that the battle it was having was not with the glass, but with some unseen force that was dragging it downward toward its great unknown.  Some may call that force “God” or “fate”, but I like to call it “destiny”.  We are all slaves to destiny it seems, for whatever war we wage to hold on to our piece of glass the truth is that we were never going to outwit or out fight our destiny.  As the raindrop slowly began its way toward destiny, I could only wonder what would happen if I just let go and let the chips, or raindrops, fall where they may.  In truth I had no idea what would happen because I had never done it.  I’d always took the path more traveled and then suffered the consequences.

The raindrop was heading downward now, and I followed it to the known end of its journey.  It was gone, save the little piece of itself it left as a trail down the window.  Like a tear-left stain marking the spot where sadness had reigned, I followed the trail from its beginning to end, and that was it, a metaphor of my life, which had begun inconsequential and would end meaningless and forgotten.

I wanted so desperately to join that raindrop in its end; to dive out of the window and meet my destiny anonymously and without fanfare.  I could feel me falling.  Free.  Done.  Forgotten.  I would hit the ground with a splash and soon would become lost in the enormity of it all.  Yes, destiny certainly could be a cruel Master but at least it never played games or fucked with the minds of its victims. It just was, unintentionally cruel and unforgiving as it doled out truth to each and every one of us.

Just then the door to the conference room opened.  I snapped back to attention, donned my fake smile and forced laugh, and began the role renewed.  The fall and freedom would have to wait for another time and in some other place.  I would happen, though.  After all, it is my destiny.


photo by: EEPaul