Destiny Unfold

He wanted to get away from her, from them. If he was honest, from himself.

He didn’t announce it because it wasn’t planned. One day he’d grabbed his passport and driven to a used car lot, taken the salesman’s first offer and hitched a ride to the Greyhound station.

On the San Diego docks, he talked his way onto a container ship.

He stood on the deck as the ship wended through the Panama Canal, been sick in his berth when storms battered the craft, learned rudimentary Filipino from the crew.

Three months and nine countries later he found himself in Paamiut. He did not plan to stay, but somehow feels he belongs there.

Now he sits with Agdlak, who is teaching him to speak Kalaallisut.

“Your case is not unusual,” says the old fisherman. “Paamiut is very difficult to get to, but somehow it is much harder to leave.”

What Pegman Saw: Greenland


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  1. pennygadd51

    That’s an excellent story, Josh. You pack in so much detail about his adventures, and your conclusion is pitch perfect. It sums up the man’s character really well. Kudos!

  2. 4963andypop

    Quite an Odyssey. Escaping to find himself.

    If you will permit me some minor observations grammatically… I think wend needs “its way” as in, wend its way through. I dont think the word is used without it, though I could be wrong.

    Also I think to preserve parallel structure in the fourth paragraph, you need a “had” after the “He” to help carry all the later participles.

    I also did a doubletake, when I read the clause about the greyhound bus the first time. From the preceding lines, I somehow got the idea that he was buying not selling, so why in the world would he want a bus ticket, if hejust bought a car??Just wanted to make you aware of the potential for confusion.

    You covered alot of ground. Literally. I hope he finds what he is looking for and that “they” dont suffer too much, in his absence. In a way this story leaves us wondering: what occurred, before he left home?

    • J Hardy Carroll

      I choose the word wend specifically because it means to drift slowly in a specific direction. Although the phrase wend its way is more common, it can certainly be used by itself. I try to use words that give a clue to the character without exposition. The use of wend was in an attempt to evoke a romanticism that, as always, bears little or no resemblance to the actual world. I debated leaving the had in for the past participle and decided against it. It is a subtle way of moving the reader into the present. The final paragraphs are in the present tense so it is a little less jarring. Thanks for reading and the comments. I consider myself to be a sophisticated grammarian oh, so you can usually assume that most of my stylistic choices are deliberate. Not always, but it’s something I strive for.

  3. Lynn Love

    You’ve captured that sense of resltessness some folk have so well, Josh. That need to move and be far away from convention and connections. Wonder what his family think happened to him? Great writing

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