Sometimes I wish my life was a plot in a choose Choose Your Own Adventure book, so that my readers could go back and take another path in the event of a setback.
I remember reading this series of books in grade school, and in not a single one did I make it through all the way to the end without the main character dying a magnificent death, like getting chomped in half by a carnivorous plant the size of a double-wide trailer, or becoming the slave to a master race of genius Border Collies. Nothing was ever too far fetched for my little 5th grade imagination.
The beauty behind these books--well, the whole premise behind them, actually--was that if the character ever died, the easiest thing to do was back-up to your last fork in the road and begin again down the road less traveled. Bingo, you're immediately not dead! And nobody but you knows any different.
I've never been a position where I've had to deal with something as serious as my own death, but I still look back and think about which page number I chose that has the possibility to lead me down a less than desirable path, and what might've happened had I chose the alternative.
In high school, my favorite class was French. A lot of it had to do with having a great teacher that I may or may not have had a crush on, but that's not the point. Suffice it to say, though, learning a new language came very easy to me, and decided to choose French as my first of many majors in my freshman year of college. Of the two professors that taught where I went to school, one of them looked identical to Tim Curry, and the other was a crotchety old bag named--I shit you not--Madame White. The only thing missing in the department was a phonetics teacher named Professor Plum, a dead body and a motive and we'd have ourselves one hell-of-a good board game.
Unfortunately, I found myself disliking the material as a result of my distaste for the people teaching it, and gave it up early in my second year. But, I still look back at that point and question what might've happened had I chose the other page.
For one, I would've spent at least a few months studying in Paris as part of a required study abroad course. In that storyline, I'd fall in love with a cute Parisian girl named Sophie that waxed off all of her body hair save for that on her melon, and would make enough money for both of us by moonlighting as a dancer in La Cage Aux Folles. I'd sit at home all day, drinking wine, writing, and questioning why she had so many highly effiminate male friends. But, I'm not the jealous so I'd dismiss the notion that she was cheating on me, and label her a fag-hag.
Ultimately, the whole relationship comes to a firey demise due to my inability to deliver on her constant demands for anal sex and only anal sex. But hey, it's better to have loved and lost, than not loved at all, right? Right.
There so many of these little tendrils and offshoots that my life could've followed, and if their call had been heeded, I'd be an entirely different person. I'm not so sure I would be better person, per se, but I know that I wouldn't be the guy sitting in a cube daydreaming about a French minx with an adam's apple and an abormally large clitoris.
That much I know.