The Choices that We make

Контент 16+ (лексика, описания)
OK, A young guy jumps on his motorcycle and roars off into the rush hour, his speed screaming into high gear as he weaves like an electric eel amid the turbulent cars...
Another fellow, sitting at the bar and looking at his watch, remembers that he has a crucial job interview early tomorrow. But he has just caught the attention of a pretty girl, so he orders another cocktail.
A young lady, determined to take a really dramatic 'Selfie', climbs to the top of a bridge and holds on to the balustrade with one hand while trying to adjust her phone's camera with the other...

Another young lady and her boyfriend have taken no contraceptive precautions, but, in a moment of passion, have sex....
RESULT?  The guy on the bike has an accident and is left paralyzed. The guy at the bar gets drunk and misses his interview. The first young lady slips and falls to her death, and the second is soon stuck with an unwanted pregnancy. All of them knew the risks involved, but they did it anyway? Why?
Who knows, but now their lives are destroyed.
SECOND SCENARIO. The guy on the bike is spotted by a film producer who just happens to be driving by. When they stop at a traffic light, the film producer shouts to the biker and offers him a job as a stunt-man.
The drinker at the bar persists until the pretty girl accepts his offer of a drink. They fall in love and get married, and anyway, the company where he had an interview scheduled soon goes bankrupt and fires all its employees.
The girl on the bridge takes a fantastic photo which goes viral on the web. She becomes a famous photographer.
The pregnant girl and her boyfriend agree to marry and raise their beautiful child together. Decades later they are still together.
They knew the risks..... and now they are ridiculously happy !!
I myself have always been a risk-taker -- not of the adrenalin-rush variety, but nevertheless a guy who often turned to the left when he knew he should turn to the right. I have so many times ripped my life into a roll-of-the-dice situation without having the faintest idea why. Just to make something happen. Sometimes it paid off in a zany, absolutely unforeseeable way. Other times it was a disaster. Part of it was to enjoy, as they say, 'experiences.'  I am sure that artists, scientists, and inventors who have far more on the ball than I do, have said to themselves, "I wonder what would happen if..."
I remember long ago in England, when I was trying to figure out a way to free myself from my first wife. I thought: What if I just took the names of six major English cities (ex. Leeds, Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester, Leicester, and Wolverhampton) and put their names in a box, written on little slips of paper? And drew one out. And went to that city to begin life anew? What if?  I concluded that, no matter which city I chose, the same basic things would unfold. I would find a room, get a job, and start meeting people. Eventually, I would have a girlfriend and a number of  'mates.'  Of course, they would be different faces, according to the city. But  I would fall in love, I would build a life. And those I built it with would become my circle, my indispensable support group, the source of my increasing and unfolding identity. In a different city. But the same. I decided, the outcome would be identical, only with different actors, different people -- but the same roles... But I had only one life: where should I choose to spent it? I racked my brain.
And in the end, would it have indeed been  just a 'roll of the dice'' or would it have been destiny?  What people have referred to over the centuries as ''God's will.?"
I didn't know then, and I don't know now.
Along the same lines, we might ask ourselves: why don't people always do what is in their best interests to do? As I have mentioned at least once in a recent blog, I spent a lot of time during my vacation in Bulgaria watching ''the History Channel''. Again and again, I witnessed the ruin of once-promising people who insisted on doing stupid things when, oh so clearly, the road to wealth, prosperity, and lasting security lay in the pragmatic options that yawned before them like a gapingly open door, just waiting for them to walk through. Instead, so many of these people (should we call them ''fools'' or something more generous?) did exactly the thing that was guaranteed to ensure their destruction. Evidently, caught in the whirling vortex of their moment, something blinded them, drove them temporarily insane. Only when they stood before the executioner and his axe, did many of them see, with belated clarity, the folly of their ways.
Yet somehow it seems to me that the world would, at least figuratively, shrink away to nothing, if people did not resort to doing 'crazy' things. If you are a passion-driven person, you cannot spend your life looking for a safe-house. You cannot fall in love with a wallflower. You have to 'go for it.''
Maybe the biggest problem stems from the fact that wild men and wild women often need sober parents and spouses, or patient friends, to bail them out when all their efforts to fly near the sun only end up with flailing wings of melted wax. After all, somebody has to pay the bill, don't they?
All true romantics believe in magic, and I would venture to say as well that they all believe in ultimate cosmic justice. They/we believe that, in the larger scheme of things, our brave, reckless ventures will be understood and forgiven -- if not rewarded -- by some higher jury. God will forgive us because HE will understand that we were only trying to be FREE.
Free from the conventional logic of cause and effect, crime and punishment, the iron grip of the convention against which the lone wolf howls...
But more than that, it is a search for some kind of higher harmony that only comes in privileged moments. Like the time I ran the balls on the pool table when I had had a beer and smoked a joint and sort of got 'in the zone', and, for one time and one time only, playing billiards was ridiculously easy. Or the morning when  I, hardly a footballer, intercepted a ball bouncing down the street in Firenze in front of a bunch of kids, controlled it effortlessly and snapped a beautiful, on-target pass to the those children who stood for a moment in wonderment at my skill. I, who had no skill, except at that one gifted moment that came only because, just then and there, I was completely in tune with nature. I have never forgotten how easy it was at the precise moment to do the impossible.
People who make bad choices hoping they will miraculously turn out to be good ones, are seeking for that same sort of illimitable harmony -- When the tiny person and the endless universe, for just a fraction of the time, understand each other completely, and dance together. --Something beyond the ordinary outcome of the 'correct'' decision. Crazy choices can lead to sainthood or murder, and are always done by those who believe in magic. No atheists are to be found among them. Those guys are too busy staying sober and studying accounting, while the poetic madmen are flying too near the sun and making wreckage of themselves forever in moments of indescribable delight.

===Eric Richard Leroy===

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