By Eric

I’ve been spending a lot of time trying to find the metaphorical significance in mundane things lately. I think that’s why I’ve been eating a lot of Chinese. Each meal comes capped with a little glimpse of whimsy encased in cardboard cookie.

Although somewhere along the line, the once-aptly-named “fortune cookies” lost their way. Instead of giving us something to look forward to beyond our leftover fried rice and wontons, these cookies now give us nothing but vague, obvious advice such as, “it’s not the end yet, let’s stick with it.” And, as much as I appreciate the thinly veiled “don’t kill yourself” pep talk, it isn’t quite what I am looking for in terms of ancient Chinese rhetoric.

Now perhaps I am placing too much stock in this flavorless dessert. In fact, if you are going to trust any cookie, why make it one that tastes like you’re gnawing on the side of a bar stool? I’d be much more apt to trust, say, a delightfully chocolatey Oreo (complete with licked off frosting and a tall glass of milk for dunkin’) than the blandest cookie known to man.

Unfortunately Oreos don’t give advice.

So, here I am, stuck with obnoxious advice and a crappy cookie. And yet, what do I do? I keep the “fortunes” lined up in a little row on the desk in my bedroom. Not because I believe in some metaphysical power possessed by a cookie (although why risk it and throw them away, right?), but because sometimes you just want to look up from your life and see something that says, “hey man, it’s all good.”

I’d say no sane person would actually believe that a cookie can alter their existence, but you’re looking at a guy who has a golf ball jammed into the hand grip above the passenger side seat in his car because he stuck it there six years (yes, six years ago) and believes with 100% certainty that something terrible will happen if it is taken down. Seriously. In other words, neurotic superstitions are one of my specialties.

Oh yes, I revel in these eccentricities. I couldn’t be more content in the knowledge that if you were to remove my golf ball, the skies would open, Satan would rise, and the space time continuum would continuum no more.

Basically, I’m crazy.

But, for all my crazy, neurotic lunacies, there is an omni-present knowledge that eats away at me: I’m in complete control. We’re all in complete control of ourselves, even when we think we aren’t. Right now? I am 100% sure I have no control over anything. Except, I am 100% sure that I do.

What does this mean? I don’t know. And that’s where I stand. That’s probably where you stand. That’s where we all stand. I know nothing. You know nothing. And somehow we all know everything.

I stand before you not to offer sage advice, knowledge, or wisdom. I have none. I’m just another life-in-flux college grad trying to figure it out. And I got nothin.

Of course that’s sort of the point. As I keep looking for all the answers in random inanimate objects, I keep telling myself one thing: I’m not crazy. I’m 23. And so obnoxiously aware of the odd life perils that come with the territory.

Then again, I am a little crazy. We all are. I don’t need a cookie to tell me that.

And, lucky for you, I just happen to be a little crazier than most.