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Posted by drummer ( on March 18, 2000 at 08:46:56:


written by Neil Peart – (a drummer)

(There are those who think that life has nothing left to chance,
A host of holy horrors to direct our aimless dance.
A planet of playthings,
We dance on the strings
Of powers we cannot perceive.
"The stars aren't aligned,
Or the gods are malign."
Blame is better to give than receive.
You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice.
If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.
You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill;
I will choose a path that's clear
I will choose freewill.
There are those who think that they were dealt a losing hand,
The cards were stacked against them; they weren't born in Lotusland.
All preordained.
A prisoner in chains
A victim of venomous fate
Kicked in the face,
You can't pray for a place
In heaven's unearthly estate.
Each of us,
A cell of awareness
Imperfect and incomplete
Genetic blends
With uncertain ends
On a fortune hunt that's far too fleet.)

I’m convinced that I have the capability of making many, many choices. I’m also convinced that I have the capability of making many, many, dreadful, terribly wrong choices. I also believe that I have no choice sometimes. (YA-HOO)!

I had a cluster attack in a public restroom the other day. I don’t like having cluster attacks in public places, but sometimes I have no choice when or where I have a cluster attack. I’ve had cluster attacks just about every day for the past 16 years and haven’t really had any choice about not having them. If I had a choice about not having cluster attacks, I would probably never have cluster attacks at all. (YA-HOO)!

I worry about human beings. I worry about the Planet. I worry about the human beings in the big city where I work too. I worry that my worrying is making my cluster headaches worse. I’m going to stop worrying about human beings and the Planet first thing tomorrow. (YA-HOO)!

Before I had no choice but to have a cluster attack in a public restroom the other day, I chose to go outside and have a hot dog for lunch. There were many people outside making various choices to not have, and to have hot dogs for lunch too. There was one man who chose not to have a hot dog for lunch, but instead, chose to stand on the corner with a Bible and scream things at the other people that were choosing to have and not have hot dogs for lunch. (YA-HOO)!

The man who chose not to eat a hot dog for lunch, but instead chose to hold a Bible and scream things, was screaming this:

"God has a plan for everyone of you and you need to choose God’s plan too"!

At that precise moment, a young man chose to walk across the street. He was immediately run over by a city bus. He died. I don’t know whether or not he had chosen "God’s plan" or not. He died before I could ask him. (I chose to place Mustard on my hot dog instead of Ketchup because it just seemed like the appropriate choice to make at the time). I figure that the "dead-bus-guy" was part of "God’s plan" whether he wanted to be a part of "God’s plan" or not. I don’t think we really have a choice like the "screaming-Bible-guy" says we do. I think we’re all pretty much screwed from the start no matter what choices we make. Kind of like the "dead-bus-guy". (YA-HOO)!

As I took a bite out of my Mustard laden hot dog, a young homeless person asked me for a quarter. I was worried about this particular human being, so I gave him a quarter. He said, "thank you". I asked him if he was part of "God’s plan". He told me that he has never felt more a part of "God’s plan" in his entire Life than since he has become homeless. (YA-HOO)!

I had the cluster attack in the public restroom right after I finished my hot dog. I endured my cluster attack while sitting on the toilet. I kept the stall door closed so that no one would see me injecting myself with a shot of Imitrex. (I’ve chosen to use Imitrex injections to try and abort my cluster attacks). (YA-HOO)!

I noticed on the right wall of the bathroom stall that someone had chosen to write a poem. The poem said this:

"God grant me the
to accept the things
I cannot change,
to change the things I can,
to know the difference

I immediately realized that this poem was completely and utterly ridiculous. I was having a cluster attack. I hadn’t chose the cluster attack, but rather, it had chosen me. I was doing my best to remain Serene and I have always had the Courage and Wisdom to know that there wasn’t a “God-damn” thing that I could do about these cluster attacks. On the left wall of the bathroom stall there was another poem. This poem was not completely and utterly ridiculous. This poem made complete sense to me. It even made me smile. I’m glad that someone had chosen to write this poem on the left wall of the bathroom stall. The poem on the left wall of the bathroom stall said this:

"Here I sit all broken hearted,
Paid my dime and only farted

I wonder if that’s part of "God’s plan" too? I wonder if we’re supposed to come to this Planet and pay for something and then get something entirely different in return. Whatever the case may be; I fear that we have no choice. (YA-HOO)?

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