April 20, 2010

Make a Wish

Among the nicknacks that I've actually kept in my apartment is a little blue Egyptian glass perfume bottle. A friend saw it on the shelf and joked, "Is there a genie in that bottle?"

"Huh, I wish," I sniffed.

"Oh yeah, what would you wish for?"

I turned the corners of my mouth down. "Well, I know I'm supposed to wish for more wishes..."


"But I think I'd probably wish that I could eat whatever I want and not get fat --"

"--and stay healthy," he interjected.


Really? That's what I would wish for? So much for being pro-social, passionate about free speech and human rights and open spaces and historic preservation.

But the whole genie-in-a-bottle wishing thing never works out anyway, so what's the point of the exercise? For one wish, you have to use up all of your other wishes to make sure it goes right. If you wish to fall in love, you have to also wish that he falls in love with you, and that you're able to be together for a certain minimum period of time, etc. etc. etc.

The randomness of it all makes any wish-come-true fertile ground for unpredictable entropy, and the inevitable realization that what you wishes for isn't what you really wanted at all.

Better that it all be left to chance...

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