new voices: follow, follow, follow

‘You were chosen to do something special in this world’. A phrase used not-so-innocently by unprepared parents as emotional novocaine. “Struggle hard, my love, for you, are chosen! Precious. Special.” So you buckle down and work hard, you finish school, you marry a beautiful bride and start up a family. There is a sense that there is a prophecy to be fulfilled, there is a Chosen One to do it! If there’s an adventure to be adventured, it is just waiting for you to take up the cause.

However, on a particularly wet and cold Seattle December Tuesday afternoon in 1982, it comes you in a moment of heartbreaking clarity. You are in fact not the chosen one. Magic will actively avoid crossing your path. The only yellow brick road is the yellow strip telling you not to commit suicide in front a subway train. It wasn’t meant to stop at your station, anyway.

You express a slight smile, remembering your wedding night. Two twenty-year-olds giggling at being in bed together, naked and finally free. You remember that first shattering orgasm. She actually cried, caressing your sweat covered face, declaring you her special one – her chosen mate. The same one who left for a younger, sexier model whom she deliberately chose instead of you. The latest letter from her lawyer sits on the desk at home unopened.

You find yourself a paycheck away from sleeping in a city park and cardboard sign ambitions. You shuffle along. You long ago stopped reading newspapers full of sparkling remarkable people doing special things and being recognized for it.

Spotlights don’t follow you. Certainly no. Why take stock of someone so unmistakenly ordinary.