Free Will Pt. 1

Freedom isn’t as grand as we make it out to be. Freedom is dangerous in the wrong hands. Freedom is choice. Choices are imbued with either a positive or negative charge. Charges what swing the cosmic karmic pendulum to and fro with little to no measurable impact on our world. What impact there is goes noticed solely by those sensitive enough to be aware of such forces, even if just slightly so.

William is free, but freedom isn’t always ideal.

Example: Spring Fling 2009.

William is free, meaning William has no date, meaning William is single, meaning William is alone. As he does not want to be alone, William asks Katie to dance. Katie is also free. Katie also has a choice. Katie chooses to accept William’s invitation.

Freedom is good: William chose to take a chance on Katie and is no longer alone.

Freedom is bad: Katie chose to use William to get a rise out of Rick who chose to make-out with Samantha Sweeney, who chose to get back at Katie for choosing to wear the same dress. His infidelity non-withstanding, Rick will choose to kick William’s ass who will have no choice in the matter.

William is free. William is an adult with a Big Boy ™ job where he gets to wear a tie. This is the first job William has had where taking out the garbage wasn’t among his chief responsibilities. He gets to send office memos concerning fire escape procedures and the occasional appearance of leftover food in the break room. William likes the food. He often indulges himself, so much so in fact that he’s gained about fifteen pounds in the sixty days of his tenure. He doesn’t regret this choice, he has to die somehow. There was a quiet dignity, he thought, in death by cookie. He was however starting to feel self conscious about the pools of tummy skin between the buttons on his shirts that were beginning to peek out like newly birthed islands or faults in the earth’s crust.

William never dreamed of wearing a tie. In fact, had he his druthers, there wouldn't be a need to wear any clothes at all. Which of course he was free to do at any time but opted not to. An excellent, if not virtuosic use of choice for to select the incorrect option in such a situation would invariably cost William not only his freedom but also several vital virginities he would rather not part with. Though he never dreamed of a tie he dreamt of being needed, not simply useful or effective, but crucial. At first his daily tasks seemed menial, though over a short time it became viciously apparent that the place would burn to the ground without him. The deluge of emails lamenting his first (paid) absence warmed his heart. At last he held some clout, at last there was some expertise he brought to the table that made him an invaluable member of a professional machine.

“The printer in accounts is jammed again.”

“We need another water jug on executive row.”

“The urinal is on the fritz, can you call a plumber?”

All of this was sweet music to his ears. A symphony of dependence that kept his ego afloat amidst the void left by his unrealized aspirations. William was a dreamer, first and foremost. Only now instead of Obies and Tonys he dreams of a scaling salary and a charming two bedroom apartment in a good part of Queens, as lofty a dream as any if you ask your run-of-the-mill city mouse. This dream, like many dreams, was several hundred country miles out of reach. Despite that, his resolve remained resilient. Though he wouldn’t be feeding orphans or overhauling national policy, he had found his corner of the global garden to cater to and felt a twinkle of pride in that.

Example #2:

Keeping in line with the ridiculous custom that one decide what they intend to dedicate the rest of their lives to at eighteen, William spent his younger days pondering the many roads that lay before him. William considered himself fortunate as was free to decide as he pleased. He felt sorry for friends living under authoritarian parental rule as their courses were determined by tradition.

Freedom is good: William can follow his heart’s desires to the full extent of his fancy.

The more he learned, the more he explored. The more he explored, The wider his interests and expertise grew; so multiplied the roads. As this occurred William found himself struggling to make a decision

Freedom is bad: William hasn’t a clue as to what’s important to him because he is eighteen.

Suddenly, having a set course didn’t seem so bad. Sure those friends indentured to their futures would have no choice but to hang their heads in reluctant compliance, but at least they knew where they were going. Hours, upon days, upon weeks would find our William tormented by a specter of Robert Frost demanding he take a road less traveled. Nightmare Frost showed little to no sympathy for William’s indecision and even less patience.

Decision made, upon decision made, we wind up in the present day. William isn’t the kind to dwell on the past but one can never really get over what could have been, can they?