Blog: Cursing Fate

Connor Oswald, Jagwire reporter

Somehow, it doesn’t seem fair that I am here, that we are here, kneeling down on loosely packed dirt, our heads and backs bowed down.
We’re beaten down from their blows. We’re crippled by the all-too-common pangs of hunger. We’re weighted down by the dark circles that exhaustion drew under our eyes. Of course, we’re not the first to be dragged here, taken.
Back home I used to imagine running away. I thought that, maybe, there was something out there waiting for me. Of course Ma always said that if dreams came true she wouldn’t have wound up stuck in a back-water town in the middle of nowhere, with a good-for-nothing husband and son. But I still wished, only in secret, through quick glances toward the shambling road that ran through the town. I think I was hoping someone would come and I could escape with them. Instead, the road brought the people that chained us here.
Sometimes, when I’m curled up on the ground with loose pebbles digging into my side and everyone else already fallen into an uneasy sleep, I start wondering whose fault this is. It isn’t our fault. I know most people blame who took us. But I don’t remember being happy before.
Is it just chance’s – fate’s –fault? I don’t know much about fate. I remember all the stories from childhood that used to make fate seem kind. Were those tales lies? What is fate? Is it just a flip of the coin, a hand of cards we’ve been dealt? Is it something, someone more?
I have heard the cursing Ma used to throw at fate. As if it were a neighbor down our street. A person she could run to, roll up her sleeves and yell at. Like the way she used to do to me.
I know remember the way dad used to beseech fate. He would fall down on his knees and whisper prayers to it. Prayers wishing for a new son, one he didn’t have to beat the sense into.
I know that fate has never been kind to me. Which leaves me wondering why I even bothered dreaming. Maybe Ma was right.
I have realized that you can’t change the hand you’re dealt.
But you can fold, to life, and just give up hoping. You would stop dreaming like Ma did.
You can grit your teeth and keep on playing, all the while knowing you’re going to lose. Just not knowing how much you’ll give up.
Or, maybe you could bluff. Start creating illusions, even fooling yourself in the process, saying you still have a chance.

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