One of the great mysteries of the universe is that some people can go through their entire lives without much of anything too terribly difficult happening to them. They are born to a mother and father who longed for them. Aunts and uncles who cherish them. Grandparents who deposit loving wisdom between fishing trips and knitted sweaters. Cousins to run around with while the Turkey bakes. Family traditions and recipes. A connectedness and belonging to generations before and after them. A family tree with their name carefully penned.
Was it a trick of birth that I’m not one of them? Was I unlucky in the cards destiny dealt? Perhaps there is a God or Gods in some celestial plane or atop a mountain or at the end of a rainbow bridge charting out my future. Perhaps its Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos spinning, dispensing and cutting the thread of my fate. Determining my allotment of suffering and success with a fairly impartial regard. What if I am but ones and zeros embedded in a fiction of some superior intelligence’s design? My existence could be the result of any or none of these. Perhaps there really is nothing and all is chaos.
Whatever the answer, I will never be them. I am the person that things happen to. I am the proprietor of holes.
I was born with holes. My mother refused to even hold me for days after my birth. The man who did hold me was no blood or legal relation of mine. A stranger whose lust had wrapped the thread of his fate with my mother’s.
The seeds of that lust planted through the swirl of cigarette smoke and pulsing lights. Awakening among the vibrations of too close and too loud speakers. A tendril of desire emerging into the haze. His eyes survey the field. Path as yet uncharted, or so he believes. Moonlight skin, shimmering freckles, the glint of glitter and copper hair. Perhaps her, he thinks. His mind as yet oblivious that the tendril has it’s own agenda. Its destination determined. Spun into destiny perhaps by Clotho’s own hand. Lachesis’ ghostly hands fix upon his face. She pulls his attention to the woman taking shape through the gloom. An ethereal being draped in folds of almost translucent white. Loose waves of inky black hair in high contrast among the white. Glimpses of olive skin. His attention diverted by the emergence of an almost skeletal hand and microphone. Apprehension smolders. A flash fire of misgiving bursts forth as his eyes make their partnered ascent with the microphone. Her face comes into view. That primordial fear quickly smothered by the green of her eyes. Its traces dissolved as her lips part. Her voice is deep. Melodic. Transfixing as a siren call. Lachesis turns back to her sisters. The tendril now a vine pulling them together. The path is set. Course charted. Navigation underway.
Sometimes, I think of that time and I wish I could weep for the tiny bud of myself who bore witness to these events. Tucked deep within my mother’s womb. Hidden behind folds of flowing white and olive skin. I wonder if she cupped the slight bulge of her belly and thought of me before she went on stage. I wonder if she felt ashamed as she dropped the folds of her costume. I wonder if she thought of me jostled about as she danced or straighten the crumpled dollars. Or if she considered the danger of slipping into a dark car, a cheap room and strange mens embraces. Deep inside, I know she didn’t. Hers was a mind steadily fixed on the present and her own wants. She hadn’t room for more. I hate to think that I came into the knowledge of myself to the sounds of her siren call. My first sounds those of shady undertakings and grimey transactions. Maybe it’s better she didn’t cup the beginnings of me then or hold me close after my debut. Maybe it’s best we were disconnected in that way. Perhaps, that was when the stoicism I’ve faced every event in my life with began. Or maybe it was Clotho who bestowed me with this iron will. Perhaps she wasn’t as impartial as I thought. It’s just possible that she felt some regret at the trials I would face as she spun. Maybe she pulled a bit of wool from another sack to add to me. Maybe she gazed at my thread as it spooled and thought to herself that I would be one of the ones who made it. Perhaps she even willed it so strongly that it manifested into something tangible that she coated me with.
The stranger whose lust had brought him to the very beginning of my life told me that when she turned away and refused to hold me the doctor put me into his arms. He said I stared at him with clear eyes the blue of deep water. He told me that I rarely cried as a baby. That when my mother finally took me into her arms I refused her breast. He told me that as the months went by, my mother touched me as little as possible and when he confronted her about this she said that she felt like I was a judgement to her. That my refusal of her was stronger than her refusal of me. She told him that she felt like I didn’t belong to her. That I didn’t belong to anyone. She was scared of me.
See, I was born the proprietor of holes. Her holes became mine when she left. I added them to my collection and I look upon them often. I have no mother, no father, no grandparents, uncles, aunts or cousins. I’ve collected the stories of other children she has abandoned. I’ve seen them all fall into holes of their own while I’m still here. Against all the odds, I am still here. As distanced and disconnected as I’ve always been.
Maybe the fates have a quota for how many are broken and luck was with me. Maybe I really did catch Clotho on a good day where she was feeling sentimental. Maybe this is the way the ones and zeros were arranged. Maybe, one day when I die, I will cross the Bifrost and get an explanation. I could release my last breath and see a long tunnel of light with all my questions answered before I’ve even had time to ask them. Maybe St. Peter will meet me at the gate and lead me to what comes next.
Of course, it could be none of those things. Afterall, this could just as equally be chaos. Though, as I think that line about chaos I can’t help but feel a slight tug of doubt. A disturbance in the fabric of reality around me. Maybe that’s Clotho giving me reassurance. Yeah, maybe.