Monday, December 08, 2008

The Fickle Finger Of Fate

So last night I was walking to meet up with someone at a bar, and I passed by this store which just had its facade completely collapsed. I mean, everything: awning, twisted metal, wood, concrete, bricks. Only thing left of the front of the store was cinderblocks. There was a big crowd around the rubble, though I was assured that nobody was under it.

Now --

Had I left the house 5-10 minutes earlier, there would have been a good chance that this facade would have fell on me.

It was directly in my path, about one block away from the bar. There would have been no other path I would have taken to the bar at that point -- even if I took a shortcut.

Had the facade fell on me, I would most certainly have been in a hospital today. It would have been one moment -- a handful of seconds -- that would have had anywhere from a minor to a major impact on my life.

Now, I was running late to meet my friend at the bar -- had I stuck with the plan to arrive at the bar on time, it would have put me in the path of the collapse. And I was running late because I was being a perfectionist and somewhat inconsiderate, and continued to write another page of Cloak & Dagger even though I promised I'd meet my friend at a certain time.

The lesson thus learned is,

Be a perfectionist and inconsiderate. If you have to chose between working on your own creative project and being attentive to the needs of others -- go work on that project.

And it's okay to show up late for appointments. Because showing up on time might mean that you could have a building fall on you.

--> genius

--> bonus, the scene I took extra time to write took place in a bar


  1. Glad fate didn't give you the finger. My workday would be much bleaker without this blog.

  2. I've often been very obsessed with this idea. It's amazing how a mere few minutes can mean life or death. We never know how many times we cheat death every day just by not being in a wrong place at a wrong time. When I've had incidents where something like this has happened, I think about everything that brought me to that particular spot at that particular time. All the events that had to converge in order for that particular event to happen. It's mind-boggling.

    There was an X-File episode ("The Last Repose of Clyde Bruckman") that mentioned this very concept.

  3. Slightly in the spirit of the lesson, then (and much not), it's "fallen on," in the context of "would have." :)

  4. There are a number of people who have commented on the strange feelings they have because they were either late to work or missed their flight on 9/11.

  5. It's "fallen," dearie.

    The Grammar Nazi


  6. Now you have to look out for death around every corner. THERE'S A PATTERN!!! YOU HAVE TO FIGURE IT OUT!!!! ...heh, j/k...OR AM I!!