The Greeks spoke of three fates. I am fated to have three of my own: the one that never was, the one that isn’t now, and the one that never will be. While they can be conveniently arrayed into past, present, and future, none are bound by time, as my love for them is timeless. All of them are affecting my present, and will forever. Only two of them are sisters, but they all have the same blood in their veins: they cannot love, or at the risk of sounding narcissistic, they cannot love me. The first is the white stag of Celtic myth, released into the world in the dead of winter by the Master of the Hunt, who promised that if she could be found among the pale mists of the north amidst dreary snows, there would be a bountiful harvest. I have seen fleeting glances of her winter after winter, but she is preternaturally elusive, concerned only with beguiling my fellow hunters. Thus I spend my decades convincing myself that she is not merely a myth invented by long-dead tribesmen, as I have never tasted the juice of Spring’s fruit. The second is my damsel in distress. Sadly, she is a damsel who was not content to be rescued by Shrek. Ten long years I have spent with my helmet on, masking my voice into some kind of caricature of a bard, and while I fooled the world for so long, she never heard my song, instead hearing only industrial noise, which she told herself was beautiful until she couldn’t anymore. The look in her eyes when she beheld my chrysalis spoke thunderous daggers of fear and revulsion, and she ran shrieking into a vat of asps, refusing any further rescue. The third is the queen of my realm, whose blonde locks bore to me the warmth of the day as I burrowed through the earth’s abyss of catharsis with Cerberus gnawing furiously on my heels. My queen labors exhaustedly in dry fields of desert sand as a pauper, her hair soaked in the sweat of sorrows as she waits for her king to hand her a crown set upon a gently folded gown of gossamer, standing warily as her evil step-sisters mock her dreams and deny her birthright. In my pocket there is only a slipper made of wood and ominously protruding nails for her, as I am no king, but merely the prince of a swamp of bumbling fairy tales. In her field she chooses remain. I ride alone, a Ronin on my Japanese steed of black and steel, into a blood-red sun as He retreats behind foreboding mountains into unknown realms, in the hope that before twilight fades to darkness some chicane will lead to a fork in the path of my life, and that the sorority of fate includes a future unknown to the Achaean sages.