Destiny

“I don’t like sleep,” Ken announced when Myrna mentioned that he looked tired.

“Why not?” she asked.

“In sleep, you are losing control over your destiny,” he said.

Myrna’s brow furrowed as she chopped carrots on the kitchen cutting board. “What control do you really have over your destiny?” she countered. “Isn’t that the very definition of destiny? Something over which you have no control?”

He continued to change channels on the television, creating a series of rapid screen shots depicting golf, football or soccer. His thumb moved with confidence as he commanded the machine to locate his favorite shows.

“It happens to you,” she said, competing with the blunt sound of her knife slicing through raw vegetables. “You don’t make it happen. You accept it, manage it, deal with it, maneuver it; but you don’t really control it. Destiny controls you.”

Ken stopped at ESPN to listen to Michigan’s latest football score, then groaned as he changed back to a PGA tournament in midstream.

“You may think you are in control,” she said. “But there are other factions that come into play in life.”

Myrna slipped behind the bar and poured lemon-flavored Grey Goose® Vodka and Vermouth into a shaker, added ice cubes and began to mix. She opened the small refrigerator door under the bar and retrieved a jar of Spanish olives. Two martini glasses filled with dust required washing. She dried them with her starched apron and set them down on the bar. The martini mixture flowed into each goblet. She stabbed six olives onto two skewers and added one skewer to each glass. She carried the martinis over to the coffee table and set them down next to him along with a blue cloth cocktail napkin that he ignored.

“Yes, we make decisions about any number of twists and turns that life presents us,” Myrna continued. “We can choose to go left, turn right or continue straight ahead. But destiny will find us.”

“Damn, that green is a fuckin’ mess,” he said grabbing the stem of the martini glass and taking a sip, never diverting his gaze from the oversized television screen on their wall. “How do they expect those guys to putt on that crap?”

She had told him once in a former decade that he was her destiny. She now had second thoughts.

–From the novel in progress titled “Dinner Party” by Victoria Emmons, © 2014

Dust to Dust

Choking dust encircles my head

Creeps alongside my bed

Like so many forgotten chores

When life has opened other doors

 

Yet times await in this short life

Places, sites, or smells delight

My fancies for a lack of toil

Instead to be on peaceful soil

 

Where no one asks for sweet perfume

Nor hedges straight and in full bloom

They care not for a new prediction

On yet another health affliction

 

And thus I seek new ways to feed

My already weakened memory

Of he who used to share my bed

Since all that’s left is in my head

 

—Victoria Emmons, June 2012