We human beings like Order. Everyone wants to think that our rewards in life have some correlation to what we deserve, what we’ve earned. Yet a latent metaphysical debate among us, as we examine our own lives and those of others, can be summed up in these two positions: Free Will: “There’s always a choice,” versus Fate: “There are no accidents,” ; “We’ve all got it coming.”
And yet, aren’t there any happenings that we neither choose willingly, nor that occur because they have to? Is there not an element in existence of pure chaos, randomness, things that have no connection to either personal destiny or detached prearrangement by the gods? Melville, in Moby-Dick, pointedly insisted, that, not only did it exist, but that it dominated human life: “Chance by turn rules either [Fate or Free Will].”
A disturbing idea, if applied. That lightning strike that burned down the barn. The blowout on the highway. The drawing of lottery ticket. We crave control so much that we constantly try to arrange the cards into suits, by number, desirability, or even color.
This novel, modestly and in the background, tries to explore this question of the unquantifiable.