Fate shuffles the cards and we play

The Illusion of Choice

Him: Why does everyone go away?
Me: Sometimes they have to, sometimes they want to. If we miss them, it means that they mattered to us. That’s not a bad thing, kiddo.

The boy’s sad because a number of people in his life have exited his venn diagram. Some temporarily, some more permanent.

It hurts me to see him hurt but I try my best to acknowledge his feelings as much as a 47-year-old-man-who’s-seen-a-ton-of-shit can vis-a-vis a five year old.

Alison’s sickness and death rocked me. For years, I prided myself on being dispassionately aloof to the workings of the world – in it but unaffected by it.

But when she got sick, I was a raw, open wound. I felt everything. The years before she got sick, while she was sick, and after she died, I lost all sense of self.

My career, my friends, my hobbies, my life goals, even my own sense of self-worth and pride. It all disappeared.


Love does that to people. It’s neither a bad thing, nor a good thing, it’s just the cost of love. You surrender to love, because that’s its price.

I want to say that I’ve gotten better these past few years, but that wouldn’t be true. It’s more accurate to say that I’ve gotten better bit-by-little-bit.

One thing that I used to believe with all my heart was that there’s luck and there’s fate. They are not the same but they both can’t be affected by us.

I always believed that there are things in our lives that we think we can control but we can’t. When Alison and my dad got sick, I wanted to believe that we had a chance.

In the end, we only have the illusion of choice, and some things were never meant to be as we hoped them to be – oftentimes, there’s just luck and fate.

In the Dark Knight, the Joker puts a gun in Two-Face’s hand. Two-Face then takes out his double-sided coin and tells him that if he flips it and the scarred side pops up, the Joker dies, if the unscarred side comes up, the Joker lives.

Two-Face thinks that chance will determine the Joker’s fate but he was tricked all along.

You see, the Joker had a his finger on the hammer. He was controlling the outcome no matter what.

Two-Face only had the illusion of choice. Just like us, oftentimes.

I drove myself starkers all these years thinking I could change things I had no control over. The joke was on us.

Him: (nods) I’m still sad.
Me: It’s ok to be sad. Papa’s sad all the time. Fate shuffles the cards and we play.
Him: What does that mean?
Me: I’ll explain it more when you get older. How about some ice cream?

If there’s one thing that I want to teach the boy, it’s to play the hell out of the cards he’s dealt.

It’s one of a million things I need to do with him before I have to go.

I watch a lotta comic book movies.

Location: home
Mood: thoughtful
Music: I wipe my feelings off (Spotify)

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  1. Sleep with your bedroom light on, turn on some cool Guqin music and move your son’s bed in your room. Sleep in separate beds please. Make sure all the bedsheets are brand new. I mean it. No woman. Son on one end, dad on the other. He’s 5, he’s scared at night. Stop hugging him, he’s a man. We don’t want any babies later on. As in babies in adult bodies. No complaining to him, he is 5, he can’t mentally handle that his only pillar and teacher and protector is using his 5 year undeveloped brain for emotional soothing that only a licensed professional can handle.

  2. Can you please stop letting all the fucking stranger danger women babysit him. Especially if they are after your dick. Obviously they aren’t going to be nice to your son. Even babies know who are evil. You trap him there, he is going to come out emotionally scarred.

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