The Bigger Picture Writing Prompt #3:
The Bigger Picture
183

a time things didn’t go according to plan.

Lemme see, I think it began back in October of 1960. Actually, though, I always suspected that the “not according to plan” part of my life must have begun some winter night in January or February of that year, since I sort of always got the idea that I personally, as in my existence, was not exactly anyone’s plan. They were young, and always had one of those tormented relationships I found out much later is usually a sign of erotic tension.

Et cetera.

That I know of, nothing has gone according to plan since. Not in my life nor anyone else’s that I have been able to discern. Now and then somebody will get what they want, and after the fact claim “I planned it that way”, which of course will make everybody around them laugh.

I think there’s a reason that claiming to have planned a preferred outcome is pretty much always taken as a joke.

Also I think people misunderstand the nature of “conspiracy”, as if this meant that someone has the power and the will to act as a sort of puppet master of human history, and just sits back and laughs while everyone drawing breath unwittingly acts out their master plan. The opposite seems to be the truth; that since plans never, ever work out as planned, that those who want to feel as if theirs do, are compelled to come up with conspiracies instead, not as master plans but as continual, ad hoc adaptations to all the endless conspiracies which arise to thwart their own.

Even events which afterward look as if they were outcomes of a conspiracy, tend to look as if the conspiracy itself had gone wrong at every turn, had been counter-conspired against throughout, and even among its own players were those working a secret angle of their own. And then even the investigations and making them public become whole new conspiracies.

“Conspiracy”, in short, is no theory. It is the human condition. We are a conspiratorial species, our deepest and most essential nature drives us to try and get what we want, and to self-protectively ignore that everyone else is doing the exact same thing pretty much always. Conspiracies which succeed, cannot possibly have gone according to plan, but according to someone’s over-riding will, to see an objective through regardless of the inevitable failures of the initial plans to make something happen.

The question ought to be, not “when did something not go according to plan?” But rather “when did anything, ever, go according to plan?” Responses to the latter would make a far shorter list of some far more interesting reading.

And I am absolutely positive that everything on that second list, would be pure fiction.

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