A Fork in the Road – Dear Deer

Fate took a turn for the worse at the fork in the road.

Another decision, another new start, another rebirth. Agency. I have agency. I can make decisions. Yet why is it that every route, every idea, every notion is blocked? I cannot move forward; I cannot move backwards. Whatever action I take leaves me in a worse situation.  Today, I tried again. I tried to rethink, I tried to understand and I tried to find a way to move forward, to cope. A new start. The sun breaking through the clouds.

I chose a fork. To turn one way. To cope with this, or with that. I cannot cope with either. So I have to chose which. I have chosen badly. I have chosen catastrophically badly. Is it fate that has turned for the worse? Or was this the plan? I suspect it was planned, but it seems it was not. It seems I have misunderstood. Yet I cannot accept that path. And I certainly cannot accept that path.

So this fork is impossible. I need to turn away from it. Find a different way. There is only one alternative, and fate will decree that I cannot follow it. I wish I could, I want to so much. But I know I can’t. It is so hard. It is beyond me. I have tried before. Where can I find the strength to do it? How?

If I do not then I must go back to the impossible fork; but the preferred route may now be closed off to me.

Everything is worse. Every day it is worse. The spring will come, but there will be no springtime for me.

Today I wrote from 22:18 to 22:28. I was prompted by the idea “Fate took a turn for the worse at the fork in the roadhere. My other writings here. All my prompted writing here, and my tweets here

Jan 16th – She was nothing but common until she donned the mask

January 16th – She was nothing but common until she donned the mask


“Are you sure you want to live like common people,
You want to see whatever common people see,
You want to sleep with common people,
You want to sleep with common people,
Like me.”

                                Pulp, Common People

She was a strange one.

Everyone agreed on that point, at least. And she seemed to like it that way. No-one was really sure who she was, or where she came from, but what was clear was that she presented very different versions of herself to the world. Neither of which were who she really was, but that was her decision.

From day to day she was, as on the outside at least, what your grandmother would call common. (Because, let’s face it, no-one like a snob, and no-one uses common to describe anyone unless they are (a) your grandmother, or (b) a wanker. But for the purposes of this little meandering narrative we’ll go with your grandmother’s version.) A shellsuit, or something in velour. Slippers in the street. A cigarette on the go. Sustenance from Greggs. Mouth like a sewer (as your grandmother would probably say.)

A gin and tonic in the pub, or a pint of mild, or a Babycham if she felt like it. The fact that money was never an object, and that no-one had ever seen or heard of her working, was a clue that maybe she wasn’t everything that she seemed. Whatever the case, if she had happened to have passed your grandmother on the street, and your grandmother had noticed her, then the word common would probably have dropped from her lips. Your grandmother’s lips, that is.

So, if she was playing a game, she was playing it well. Hair scraped back into a brutal ponytail, eyebrows plucked and re-arched well above their intended landing zone, enough makeup to bury a horse, and gold hoop earrings that would tempt a seal. She looked the part, at least.

And then there were other days. The special days. The days when she donned The Mask.

She wouldn’t be seen for a few days. The air would crackle with anticipation. Something was going to happen.

And then, when you least expected it, she would appear. Gone was the shellsuit, or the velour. The ponytail didn’t pull her face up, if it was there at all. She would stand, confident, exuding class, an original VHS case of the 1994 classic The Mask (starring Jim Carrey and Cameron Diaz) open on top of her head, fastened under her chin by a piece of gold elastic.

Sometimes she was naked under the VHS case, in which case she would be swiftly ushered away and wrapped in whatever surplus clothing or material was to hand. Sometimes she would be in a cocktail dress, or full military uniform, or a chef’s outfit, or once, famously, in a dinosaur costume with articulated tail.

Whatever the case, once the open original VHS case of the 1994 classic The Mask (starring Jim Carrey and Cameron Diaz) was strapped to her head with a piece of gold elastic, even your grandmother would have been hard-pressed to call her common.


Inspired by a prompt from here

fate took a turn for the worse at the fork in the road

Well, would you look at that! There’s a fork in the road. Not a fork in the road in the traditional sense of a which way now, left or right, oh I really don’t know which way to go, why are there no signposts, kind of fork. An actual fork, a garden fork to be precise, a rather expensive looking, brand new, steel fork with a beautiful dark wood shaft and well-crafted handle, one of those handles with bumpy bits on the underside to make your fingers more comfortable when you are digging.

What’s more, it was standing upright, all four prongs thrust into the ground, as if it had been left there while the owner did something else, like pop to the compost heap or make a cup of tea, you know, the sort of thing you do with a fork when you are gardening and think to yourself you must quickly pop to the compost heap or make a nice cup of tea. You thrust it into the ground and wander off to do whatever it is you need to do.

What made it even stranger was the fact it was in the middle of the road, embedded in the asphalt, at a slight angle, and causing just enough of an obstruction to prevent anybody driving around it. It was a quiet country lane, no cars to be seen either in front of me or behind me. How did it get there? It’s a mystery! A mysterious garden fork embedded in the asphalt in the middle of the road.

Anyway, I wasn’t about to look a free gift-fork in the mouth and walk away so I got out of the car, wrestled with it for a bit to loosen it, pulled it out, looked around to make sure I wasn’t being secretly observed by the ghost of Jeremy Beadle, put it in the back of the car and drove off. It would come in very handy for all the gardening I never did.

At the next junction I got stuck at some road works. There was a lot of shouting going on, so I wound down the window to better hear.  I was a couple of cars back, but I could just make out that some poor chap was being severely reprimanded for not strapping all the tools down in the back of the truck when they left the depot earlier. Poor fellow, I guess fate took a turn for the worse at the fork in the road for him that day!

Oh well, their loss my fork.

Prompted by this page