Our world, our daily existence, is a chain, a stratified continent of endless layers, each leading and enveloping another, contracting, expanding, shifting, influencing and wreaking havoc on distant layers, distant and disconnected regions of reality. Our daily existence is a mass of individual components which all meet and intertwine and it is our mind that plays host, lends a “playing field” to these many disparate elements and allows them to face off against each other and cast indirect influences we ascribe to fate or bad luck.
Or, there is no such thing as an accident, so they say.
I like that aphorism. I believe it’s essentially true. Can we ever accuse the most random-appearing accidents of being purely accidental? I think not. All accidents have a human hand. “Accidents” as we understand and rationalize them, are random and free of human manipulation. On the scale of our visible life, in the macro field of vision through which we live and perceive the world, through which our senses guide us, there are no truly random accidents. Randomness, hence accidental, can only be realized on the microcosmic or quantum level of existence. A level of existence where the occurrence of anything which is infinitely rudimentary and without intercession is possible. At their most elemental level, accidents, in the sense we romanticize, can happen. However, at our full-scale level of existence, we are assemblages of the micro, an infinite number of them. We are lumbering, by comparison. Intercessional stages between our reality and our existence are many. Innumerable. All that transpires in our daily world are the end results of chain reactions. Our reality is composed of an infinite number of levers, fluttering in unison or as counteractions to opposing forces, but all working together to spin a final state we call reality. Or we call it luck or accident. But accidents are completely provoked and shaped by our hands. But there are too many of nature’s “hands” involved in shaping fate to call it random or accidental.
I had a rather fucked up morning.
Complacency and ignorance might advise me that I had bad luck. That there were “accidents…”
But it’s not so easy for me to overlook a chain of events whose insidious cacophony seemed targeted at destroying any semblance of a peaceful morning I might have enjoyed. There was a chain of events to be uncovered, and these are important to find because ignorance of your own life and its machinations leads to superstition and religion, utterly useless and groundless shenanigans of human society.
I got out of bed about 7 am. Typical for me on a Saturday. I immediately began noting the passage of morning time because I needed to be at a bowling tournament by Noon. It’s the 3rd consecutive week my son has bowled in bowling tournaments. He is leaving competition play, so today was his swan song. I’m guiltily relieved because these tournaments are crowded and I don’t care for most of the people (what’s new for me, anyways) and the bowling leagues schedule them right in the middle of the day, essentially killing my Saturday. Once in a while is understandable. Three straight Goddamned weeks? This grates on my nerves and the inescapable reality greeted me when I woke up in the morning. It darkened my mood on a Saturday morning when I should happily bound out of bed. No, instead I rose slowly, glanced at the clock and prepared to make my way to the kitchen where I would prepare breakfast and coffee, followed by my “day 2” work out which includes deadlifts. It’s the shortest of my 3 work outs, but the toughest because of these sets. I need my thick black coffee before, during and after. You see, I drink coffee during my weight training. It’s crucial. Probably mental, but it gives me a boost, it propels my energy level, does coffee. I need it before I can lift my first rep. I embrace coffee on such mornings. I made my breakfast, ate it quickly, and warmed up about 2 cups of coffee which remained from yesterday morning. I poured them into a large mug which I put in the microwave. Since 2 cups of coffee does not cut it for me, I took down a plastic container I keep in my cupboards with the latest batch of Don Francisco French Roast beans which I grind up as needed each morning. I noticed the container was about half empty, so I poured in the remaining beans form the storage bag. This filled the plastic container to the very top with dark, shiny coffee beans which might last another couple of weeks or 3. Still, with the bowling tournament in the back of my mind, I became slovenly and lazy, careless. I placed the lid back on the container, but I needed to press down on the beans and pound the container to make them settle more densely in order for the lid to fit. The lid snapped on weakly. It was not an ideal fit. This container is old. The option was to transfer the beans to a larger Tupperware with a more dependable air tight seal. Instead, I insisted on pressing the lid down against the overflowing beans, and in a fit of utterly apathetic laziness, I put the container back on the shelf and attempted to weigh down the lid with a large bottle of hot sauce by propping it against the back of the cupboard. Very makeshift because I was acting out immaturely against the responsibility I must fulfill later in the afternoon. It waylaid my mood and sucked enthusiasm right out of me. So instead of properly seeking a way to seal my coffee beans, I created this very haphazard seal by tipping a large bottle of hot sauce on the lid. It’s the best I could muster.
About then, the microwave beeped that yesterday’s leftover coffee was ready. I pulled out the mug and took a small sip. The first of many during this morning’s workout. My mood though was still soured by my Noon commitment. I could not let it go. I was being a big baby. Going about things in a half-assed manner. The large mug, as I said, held about 2 cups of hot coffee. I placed it on the cutting board right below the cupboards. Now who the fuck puts a full mug of coffee on a cutting board? I might have properly placed it on the counter nearest the doorway where my weights are. This is what I normally do. In between sets, it’s the easiest and quickest location for me to grab a quick gulp of coffee. This is standard practice. Today was not standard. I sought escape, I sought to ignore responsibility. The fact that my Saturday promised to be abbreviated and that I would need to leave the comfort of my morning rituals early ingrained such displeasure in mind that I found no solace or inspiration in my most mundane tasks and I completed them half-heartedly. So I lackadaisically rested a full mug of a coffee on a cutting board by the cupboards where I had idiotically perched a shaky plastic container full of coffee beans and anchored it with an unsteady and over-sized bottle of hot sauce.
As you can guess, while I was grinding the morning beans for cups 3-7, I heard a drop and a clunk and suddenly I saw a dark wave out of the corner of my left eye. Before I had a chance to turn my head, a wave, a fucking tsunami, of shiny black coffee beans washed over the cutting board and the floor, and in a chain reaction worthy of the most tragic epic, my large mug of coffee was sent careening to the floor with the coffee beans in a large splattering and machine gun messy crescendo. Not only was the kitchen floor coated with hundreds of French Roast coffee beans, it was also puddled with 2 cups of hot coffee. I watched sadly as the beans rested wetly in the spilled coffee. I had allowed my apprehension of a long afternoon to utterly destroy what might have been a very nice morning.
Accident, my ass.
Postscript: Following his fiasco, there were about a couple tablespoons of beans left in the container. The fortunate few which had escaped falling to the floor. I resolved to make at least a bit more coffee with these rescued beans after my work out. I gathered them together and threw them in the grinder, lifted it to push the “grind” button and my grip gave way possibly because my grip was so traumatized by the rigorous dead lifts. I dropped the grinder, and the last symbolic nuggets of salvaged coffee fell to the sink and dirty counter. Another foiled plan. I just threw them away. My coffee plans, the victim of self-sabotage.
Accidents are created.