Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Consider a coin being tossed. One person has guessed heads. His opponent, having little choice, waits for tails. The penny or nickel, dime or quarter does its erratic dance. It rises up in an erratic, almost enigmatic arc. All eyes are waiting for its fall. Which each step as it descends, time not only seems to slow down but also fall down, as if fortune itself seemed destined to tweak time's pace and render it moot. The coin would fall at its own sweet rate, outcome be damned. The people are mere players in the object's own plan. When one's moral fortune rides on the end of a bet, theories of relativity gain force with their weight.

Between two, such a bet is a mere divergence. Imagine a flip simultaneously taking place all over the planet. Two sides (multiplied by three billion) facing each other and raising their eyes upwards. The end result will decide a bet; settle a wager; allow one to start while the other must wait?

How much money would this be, soaring through the same sky? Add up the currency and you have the concentrated input of a multitude of half-starved dreams. Who gets the ultimate balance of such hopes and desires? Which accounts will swell with the unearned pride of luck, chance's kindred soul, if not identical twin?

Shall we watch the coins fall slowly to earth? Some part of me recoils at the sight, as if they were beautiful birds whose wings' bring colours had faded and whose fate was sealed. If one can imagine all the coins in all the countries landing on all the hands stretched out to catch them, then what else can one conceive? A coin that can't stop flipping, I suppose. A coin that sways from head to tails and back again with a tempo that tempts the harshest of hearts. This luck shall be spread, such hijinks suggest. For if a coin cannot be coerced into choosing one side or the other, then perhaps time itself can be tempted to ignore its more outrageous demands.

A series of coins tossed end upon end, with observers on hand to watch and to wait. Billions of us, waiting it out. And waiting. And waiting. Perhaps it is best for the coins to hold sway. If the coins do not land, then luck has no domain or dominion. If the game cannot start, the game cannot end. If we watch and we wait and refuse to buy in, then who is to say whose coin shall be best?