Destiny, what is it?
If you ask me, destiny is a series of coincidences enabled by chance, that the naive define as fated, or intended by some greater being. But why would anyone ask me? If you deliver this same question to the biggest producer of “Love-lines”, you’ll get a completely different answer. To begin explaining exactly what this product is, let’s go back to the word, “destiny”—that’s the name of the company after all. They claim to serve as the guardian of your destiny, as soon as you purchase a Love-line of course. The tagline for the product itself is: “Love-lines, your string of fate”. Not only do I find this ironic, but once we get into the actual logistics of a Love-line, I would go as far as to call it false advertising. A string of fate depicts the exact naive connotation of destiny that I had previously mentioned; that you and your “soulmate” are connected by an unseen thread, which will ultimately bring you together. So, how does a Love-line work? Here’s when the irony comes in. It’s just a simple GPS system. Okay, there’s a bit more to it, but the only “string of fate” I see, is the figurative network of lines that connects most of us to the World Wide Web. Each Love-line has a digital screen, showing you how far away your soulmate is, and which direction you should travel in order to meet them. The back of each Love-line uniquely fits into another of the same colour. This brings us to the one aspect of Love-lines that loosely depends on each distinctive consumer; a single question determines and sorts you into a category of “lovers”. These lovers are matched with one of six, coloured, palm-sized, heart-shaped gems, known as Love-lines. In a way, this is what sold me.
I assume you’re pretty intrigued about my sudden decision to buy into these elusive, match-making gems. One way or another, I’ll let you in on my exclusive, Love-line review. Destiny doesn’t have a storefront. They only sell Love-lines online. It’s relatively popular, sitting as your top hit for web searches of “destiny”. Out of mild curiosity, a week after seeing Destiny’s advertisement posted on a billboard outside my apartment, I went on destiny.com.
The website was tacky. It was bright and in-your-face. It even had trailing hearts that followed your cursor. My first thoughts? Ugh. There was one large, rectangular counter on the top of the page.
Strings Of Fate Have Been Tied
You may have questioned the peculiar omission of “red” in “red string of fate”—from the origin of the saying. Further down the website, the display is populated by images of each “string of fate”, accompanied by what gems of each colour represent.
The Red String of Fate: The Passionate Lover
The Orange String of Fate: The Dependable Lover
The Yellow String of Fate: The Positive Lover
The Green String of Fate: The Adventurous Lover
The Blue String of Fate: The Understanding Lover
The Purple String of Fate: The Sensual Lover
Finally, after scrolling a bit further, there is a lone question, followed by one-word options.
What is Love?
“Strange”, I thought. I questioned why there were seven choices and clearly only six outcomes. Out of the same “curiosity”, or whatever you want to call it, I decided to answer the question. I reasoned with myself, concluding that it didn’t mean much anyway. Naturally, I chose my honest opinion, which didn’t seem to correlate with any “strings of fate”. Love is “artificial”. I felt slightly uneasy as I waited for the few seconds it took to process my answer. The screen shouted:
Congratulations! You’ve discovered the mystery string of fate.
The Black String of Fate: The Secret Lover
The description pissed me off—”We will prove you wrong”. Was it supposed to be endearing? A marketing tactic disguised as a challenge? Whatever it was, it was only a $5.00 product. In a moment of impulse, with little hesitation, I bought it.
It arrived, sooner-than-expected, in my mailbox the next day. It was packaged in a small, plain, cardboard box. Out of the box, the gem felt like cheap plastic. Embedded into it was a solar-powered, digital screen. On the back of the gem, there was a protruding, awkward, puzzle-like piece. Everything about the physical object was as advertised, I suppose. What surprised me the most, is what was actually on the screen.
3 Kilometres, North
I checked my watch—another small, depressing object, 10:20 a.m. It seemed as good a time as any. When was the last time I left my apartment? I scanned my chaotic, mess of a bedroom. It was filled with takeout boxes, crushed soda cans, and candy wrappers. It’s been at least a month since I’ve visited the corner store across the street to refill my stash of snacks. That makes a month since I was last acknowledged as a citizen of this planet , by anyone other than my online contacts. I work as a freelance writer, right from my dainty, garbage-infested, single-room living space. The desire to go outside is as buried as my instant ramen cups underneath weeks of unwashed clothing. Needless to say, this $5.00 bet has already ruined my week. I opened my door to the outside world and was hit by a blast of cold wind. “I’ve already gone this far”, I thought to myself. I grabbed a thick hoodie from the ground near me and began my journey to “true love”.
It was a Monday, so the streets were quieter than usual—my area being secluded, seemingly in the middle of nowhere. The only sound I could hear was the rustling of leaves on a couple of alien trees. After just two minutes of walking, I stopped. Waves of regret, anxiety, and most importantly, fear, hit me. Who was I expecting to find? Another species like my own? What am I going to do after finding them? What is my goal? In a heartbeat, call it an epiphany, the long suppressed feelings of loneliness came to surface. I don’t know what love is. As a matter of fact, I don’t care what love is. I just want it—love, lust, or any other name it is known by. Something more than the less-than-nothing that I have. I ran in the direction that promised me love.
I returned to a walking pace. For the first time, I was excited at the thought of love.
I truly believed that my world was going to change.
The possibility of happiness seemed in reach.
A few steps away, I spotted a figure. I patted down my hoodie and fixed my hair, even though I knew it didn’t do anything for my appearance. He was a tall man. Not perfect by any means, but he had a kind face. It came as a bit of a shock when he closed the distance between us, and opened his mouth to speak.
Are you my Love-line?
It was such a smooth, calming voice. His smile was gentle, and I couldn’t help but imagine holding him close as we sat beside a fireplace, warming up during a harsh winter. I quickly snapped out of my daze. When I was finally rid of the distracting thought, I looked down at the Love-line he held out to me. “Ah”, I thought, “a harsh winter does indeed approach”. It was blue—so was I, but not my Love-line. He must have also looked down at my own. The last words we exchanged were “sorry”, and “good-luck with finding your love”. He did add that it was an interesting colour. To dull my disappointment, I responded with, “for interesting people”, and managed a half-hearted smile. After that, he realized his target had moved 1 kilometre, southwest. He relayed a rushed goodbye as he left my field of vision. As if someone were playing a very bad joke, Mr. Wrong’s departure had revealed the truth hidden behind him—a black heart, in the trash. I mentally scolded myself for neglecting to foresee this situation. My body turned to react as the area started to fill with the noise of people heading to lunch. I dragged myself home after connecting my Love-line to my soulmate’s.
What is Destiny? Wrong.