Simple Twist Of Fate


At first the song seems to be about just one, brief relationship. The narrator and a woman are romantically together sitting in the park or walking by the canal. They spend the night together in a hotel, but she leaves him before he wakes up. He looks for her, fails to find her and ends up accepting it.

A second, and more plausible, interpretation requires more detail.  It has the narrator’s mind moving haphazardly from his time with the woman in the park, to a time either with a prostitute in a brothel, or on a one night stand in particularly sleazy hotel. For simplicity I’ll assume the former. While he’s attending to his own desires there, the woman he’s romantically attached to is acting selflessly, giving money to a blind beggar. At some stage he loses the woman he feels a romantic attachment to, and proceeds to search for her. A major issue of the song is the extent of his commitment to finding her, and the significance of this for his wellbeing.


The narrator is a hopelessly inadequate character who deceives himself into thinking he’s the victim of fate. He seems to do little to help improve his lot, but simply hopes for something fortuitous to happen. He either waits:

‘… once more for a simple twist of fate’,

the ‘once more’ making it plain that inactive waiting is his approach to life, or he:

‘… watched out for a simple twist of fate’.

Fate is his excuse. He blames fate for his being overcome by lust – ‘the heat of the night’ – and when he suffers feelings of regret for this, his response is no more than to wish that things had gone differently. He relies on the woman he’s looking for in verse five to ‘pick him out again’, rather than making efforts to join up with her. And in the end he gives in to failure blaming it on something as irrelevant as the time of year he was born.

The contrasting behaviour of the woman of verse two provides a foil against which the narrator’s inadequacy is made clear. Unlike the narrator she’s selfless and active. She gives money to a blind beggar, and doesn’t let chance events destroy her life. She:

‘… forgot about a simple twist of fate’.

The twist of fate she forgot about is presumably the narrator’s entering her life. Having actively taken the decision to leave him, she puts him out of her mind. In so doing, she’s able to lead a more fulfilled life.


The narrator’s life is presented as seedy. He remembers going into ‘a strange hotel’ – presumably a brothel. That he ‘stopped’ into it reminds us that in Tangled Up In Blue the narrator ‘stopped’ in for a beer (or so he tries to convince us) at a ‘topless place’. To this extent it would seem it’s the same narrator describing the same events.1

There’s no clear time when the brothel visit occurs. We just know that he’s remembering it. But it’s made to seem as if it takes place at the same time as the woman he was with in the park selflessly gives money to the beggar. Whether that’s before or after they’ve met doesn’t matter – it could be either. What’s more important is that the juxtaposing of their contrasting approaches to life helps bring out the worthlessness of the narrator’s. We’ve already been made to feel what he’s lost – a happy, romantic relationship, symbolised by the walk along ‘the old canal’. What could have been, is contrasted with what is. Had he adopted a more mature outlook, the spark of love which causes his bones to tingle could have been fanned into a deeply loving relationship.

Instead his life is characterised by a different sort of fire representing a different sort of love. The ‘hotel’ – he can’t bring himself to admit what it is – has a ‘neon burning bright’. Just as Blake’s tyger, also ‘burning bright’, is a product of hell, so is this place. Its seediness is enhanced by noise – the presumably sleazy sound of a saxophone – and intimations of violence when the light is described as having ‘bust’ through a ‘beat-up’ shade. The harsh alliteration emphasises the garishness of the light, creating a contrast with the romantic (though ominous) darkening of the evening sky as he sits with the woman in the park. The contrast helps emphasise the emotionally destructive nature of the narrator’s way of life.

Waking Up

There are a number of ambiguities over the narrator’s waking up.  There are two references to this, one in verse three:

‘… where he was waking up’

and the other in verse four:

‘He woke up …’

In neither verse are we told where he is, or who he’s been with. We don’t even know whether the verses are alluding to the same or different occasions. Nevertheless, in verse three he’s most likely to be in the brothel while the woman from the park is up and about, leading a more purposeful life. In verse four, the emptiness which the narrator feels could be because he realises, on finding the prostitute gone, that his debauched lifestyle is worthless. At the same time it could be because he misses the woman from the park who has just left him.2 Since either interpretation is plausible we can accept both.

This ambiguity over which woman is being referred to is developed in verse five. The narrator seems to be confusing the two women in his mind. We’re told that:

‘He hunts her down by the waterfront docks where the sailors all come in’

But who is he hunting? It seems unlikely to be the prostitute, since his concern is for the woman he was with in the park.  But if it’s the woman from the park, it seems odd that he goes to the docks. That’s where prostitutes are likely to be found.

The ambiguity over which woman he’s searching for suggests that the narrator is unable to separate the two women in his mind. He wants to focus on one, but ends up focusing on the other. He wants the woman from the park and sets about searching for her, but ends up going where he’ll find the prostitute.

Time Passing

The fifth verse expresses the narrator’s subconscious realisation that his life is going nowhere. Time is passing and nothing is being achieved:

‘He hears the ticking of the clocks’

–  ‘clocks’, not just ‘clock’. While ‘clock’ would have implied his awareness of time passing, the plural ‘clocks’ confirms that it has passed. For him to have heard clocks, he must have  gone from place to place, so hearing different clocks.

That time is passing is further made apparent in the next two lines:

‘He walks along with a parrot that talks
Hunts her down by the waterfront docks …’

The ‘parrot’ is presumably another woman in whom he has no real interest. He hears her voice but has no more interest in what she’s saying than if he were hearing a parrot. On some occasions he walks aimlessly with this woman beside him. On others he attempts to find the woman from the park, but ends up among the prostitutes at the docks. Since it’s unlikely he’d be hunting for one woman with another at his side, we can assume these incidents take place over a period of time.

That time is passing is further implied in the line:

‘Maybe she’ll pick him out again, how long must he wait’

He’s hanging about, hoping to be recognised, depressed by the interminable waiting during which nothing happens.

Third Person v First Person

That the narrator is looking back on his past self as if he’s a different person is made apparent by the use of the third person almost throughout. Exceptions, which all involve a change to the present tense, include the second line of the second verse:

‘A little confused, I remember well’

This establishes that the preceding lines are memories.

The phrase ‘I remember well’ is ironic. He doesn’t remember well. Memories flow confusedly into each other so that it’s often not clear which of the song’s two women he’s referring to. He even confusedly seems to remember entering the ‘strange hotel’ with the woman he’d been sitting in the park with. If the hotel is a brothel, as suggested by the garish descriptions, it seems unlikely he’d be with her. In any case, from the woman’s perspective, the saxophone is ‘far off’.

And the phrase ‘A little confused’ is itself ironic in that it’s intended to refer to his past state of mind, but seems equally to apply to his present one.

A further exception to the use of the third person is the final verse in which the first person is used throughout. In using the first person, the narrator seems to want to give the impression he can look back critically on his past self. The use of the present tense tells us that it’s his current, not his past, outlook which we’re being informed about. So when he says:

‘People tell me it’s a sin
To know and feel too much within’,

we know that he’s now endorsing a certain attitude. He’d have us believe he’s now different, wiser, than his former self.

On one level this is wishful thinking. How can it be a sin to feel too much, especially when those feelings are tempered by knowledge? It might seem as if he’s trying merely to accept, rather than get rid of, the ‘emptiness inside’ he feels in verse four.

On another level, though, he is wiser now. If ‘knowing and feeling’ is a matter of purely sexual knowledge and feelings, then in accepting that they’re sinful, he’s accepting that he needs to change.

The use of the first person in ‘I lost the ring’ at first does little to convince us that he’s any the wiser now. He didn’t lose it. If the ring represents his chance of marriage, he effectively threw it away. Nevertheless the phrase has a self-recriminatory air, in which there’s a hint of maturity.

Furthermore, it follows the phrase:

‘I still believe she was my twin’

which is itself upbeat, hopeful – suggesting a mature endorsement of an earlier, tentative belief.

There’s a similar ambivalence about:

 ‘She was born in spring, but I was born too late’

At first the narrator might seem just to be finding an excuse for his own failings. Since he’s is aware of ‘the ticking of the clocks’ – time passing – he knows his problem is not so much having been born late, but having squandered the time he’s had.

Nevertheless, the beginning of the line suggests a more mature outlook. Spring is the time of rebirth. If she was born in spring, and he is indeed (albeit metaphorically) her twin, then it follows that he too was born in spring. In recognising this, he’s acknowledging the present reality of his spiritual rebirth.


Spring, as a representation of spiritual rebirth, is not the only use of a religious idea in the song.

Religious imagery is used to reflect the pointlessness of the narrator’s earlier outlook. The woman, we’re told:

‘… dropped a coin into the cup of a blind man at the gate’

The line seems to conflate at least three gospel stories – Jesus healing a blind man, the poor widow contributing her mite, and Jesus’ reference to himself as the gate to redemption (Mark 8:14-21 and 12:41-44, and John 10:1-10 respectively). Accordingly, the woman provides a contrast with the narrator. By sacrificing her money, and in being kind to the blind man, she not only redeems herself but takes on a Christ-like role. Her act of kindness, like Christ’s, becomes an example to the blind man, so that he might redeem himself. And just as she represents Christ, so the blind man can be taken as representing the narrator whose eyes, metaphorically, need opening. The woman is the narrator’s redeemer.

The woman’s Christ-like role is in evidence again in verse five. Just as Jesus hand-picked his disciples at the edge of the sea of Galilee, so the narrator is hoping the woman will ‘pick him out again’ at the docks. The suggestion seems to be that there’s some spiritual hope for the narrator. Again, in saving him from his dissolute lifestyle, the woman will be his redeemer.


The narrator thinks he’s fated. There’s little sign of his taking control of his life, or of his even being able to. He regrets his current dissolute ways, but his attempt at reviving a loving relationship seems to lead him back to the same starting place. Time is moving on and he’s getting nowhere.

He’s only partially right, however, and he seems to be dimly aware of this. The woman he really wants can save him from himself. As such she plays a Christ-like role in his life. His mere desire for her is already his salvation. In wanting her, and what she stands for, he sees himself as just like her, his ‘twin’, so that the similarity he brings about between them makes him as much his own saviour as she is.

Time passing with nothing being achieved is, then, only half the story. The narrator’s life can be viewed as much from an eternal as from a temporal perspective, as indicated by events not being assigned a clear time or order. From this eternal perspective, what the narrator wants he has already succeeded in bringing about.


  1. Another reason for associating the narrator of this song with that of Tangled Up In Blue is his feeling a spark ‘tingle to his bones’. The association of tingle and tangle suggests that this song is providing a reason for the narrator’s state of mind in the earlier song.
  2. It’s pertinent that on finding himself alone the narrator ‘told himself he didn’t care’. This can be interpreted in two ways. On the one hand, if it’s the woman he was with in the park who’s gone, it seems consistent with his character – he’d rather deceive himself than admit that he’s suffered loss, even if it means refusing to accept that he feels empty as a result. On the other hand, if it’s the prostitute who’s gone, his not caring might be seen as genuine and thus represent a step towards salvation.



20 thoughts on “Simple Twist Of Fate

  1. In recent performances he specifically sings – “I lost the wedding ring.”
    Your analysis of the redemption hinted at or promised in the song is new to me and persuasive. Thank you.


  2. Thanks for commenting Nick. It’s interesting that Dylan has stressed that it’s a wedding ring, although I’m not sure what context-fitting alternative there would be. Nevertheless, something which that might seem to imply is that he’s married already to the woman he’s with in the park, and that it’s the marriage which is on the rocks. It’s difficult to know how to take it since ‘I lost the ring’ and ‘I lost the wedding ring’ both sound unnatural (although the former might sound natural from the mouth of a despairing best man). A ring does turn up again on ‘Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts’, but nowhere else on the album.


  3. Hi David
    how are you,
    the last weeks I was tangled up in End Times reading the new book of Clinton Heylin, who wided up the cables, after Dylan has thrown over the tables blowing up the veins of gospel, which shot Dylan through body and soul. A timeour parents didn´t talk with us about. But back to the starting point, thats why I step in your room.
    i want to add something to your thoughts about Simple Twist of Fate & Tangle up in Blue.
    You were thinking on Dante Vita Nova from the thirteen century, but Vita Nova is not a book of poems. Petrarch, also from the 13th century seems to fit better, when we´re talking about these two song and the whole album, within Shelter from the storm or Buckets of rain.
    So, here the petrarchian angels in Dylans Song writing are learning to fly.
    Mr. Heinring Detering, a german professor who also wrote many analysis about his songs pointed out that Petrarch its more the constant figure of text heading Dylans minstrelsy.
    The heaven-angel-likeTransfiguration of a lover and the earthly-erotic embodiment of a heavenly form, this connection of desire and pain beside is most clearly written in the „canzioniere of Petrarch“ the picture „glowed like burning coal“, like the calling of Laura,
    which even causes the pain, but also is able to dim it, as somebody from heaven, a Goddess of Beauty, demony, with her power on the soul of the lovers.
    That she´s married and therefore the love not to fullfill and that she dies young pushes the pain of desire and the religious impact.
    Take a look on the key words of his 70ies songs, and not only them „bitter tears“, „fame“, „desire“ , „saved“.
    These songs are about God & Her, the basic formula for songs of redemption, the identification of erotic & religious redemption (later on she will give him the bible, quoting the book of Jesaya), which Dylan saw in an enthusastic moment in these writings of Petrarch, this stream goes down to the bible and other sources, later perfectionated in Precious Angel to Queen of my flesh, to Covenant Woman (Donna del Ciel), which torchs up the night(beside all the temporary nightnurses),so far this link to italien poetry at the treshold of middleage and renaissance and far older roots.
    The labeling of the love one as an angel will soon be the precious angel as the outsended messenger, who gives the infidle the believing and as the lover who satisfy his desire.
    So, the petrachian angels continue flying between heaven & earth, time and eternity .
    He, the narrator just modified his views by the fate and circumstances in his life.

    I don´t know why you set so many question marks , shure it´s not he, or she or it or them and you´re right that all these characters are to find in one, in both, or simply in all people.

    To take responsibility, to look in the mirror and to accept own failures, this is a life long learning process, it takes takes time and a stable faith.
    Just walk through your own thoughts, from Simple Twist of fate to the songs on Time out of mind to for example Long and wasted year (a sceptical grown view back to Blood on the tracks). They´re about „Trying“ and „Salvation. Plain Salvation“

    Keep on going on and all the best for 2018,

    Marco Demel


  4. Blake’s Tiger is not a creation of Hell but of God (and Blake himself) as is the Lamb.
    Your imputation of motives to the narrator is rather projectionistic to say the least.


  5. Yes, it is a creation of God, but the suggestion is that God is not to be seen in straightforwardly positive terms – although the poem is sometimes interpreted in that way. Blake’s God here is associated with positive and negative qualities. Hence the doubt implicit in the question ‘Did he who made the lamb make thee?’ If the creator of the lamb (in the Songs of Innocence) is taken as the traditional God, then its contrast with the tiger’s creator suggests that he answer to the question is at best partially yes. The imagery associated with the creation – ‘burning’, ‘fire’ – together with numerous dark associations – ‘forests’, ‘night’, ‘fearful’ – suggest that this creator belongs to both heaven and hell.


  6. Yes, that is what I meant about Blake – created by a God who is dualistic, part Satan: ie Kristofferson, who studied Blake, writes ‘ The Silver-Tongued Devil And I.’

    In your analysis of ‘You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome’, you make many good points, but your criticism of its narrator on certain of his characteristics strikes me as projectionistic. Dylan created the character like Blake created the Tiger. They are what they are. Images. Williams’ ‘Queen Anne’s Lace’ and Yeats’ The Wandering Aengus’ are drawn upon by Dylan. Over-analyzing an image can cause the boat of interpretation to drift too far from shore and get lost in the fog.


  7. Yes, thanks for pointing out the Williams and Yeats. Both are clearly very relevant. You may me right about some of my criticisms of the narrator, too. I wouldn’t necessarily stand by them as they are. What I’m hoping is that even though some things I say are going to be downright wrong, they’ll still act as a jumping off point for those who’ve got no idea what the songs are about at all.


  8. Though you may try not to, Mr, Weir, you have tendeny to over-Christianize – more often than not in the orthodox sense – some of Dylan’s songs.

    ‘Delacroix’ is also the name of a French painter admired by French poet Charles Baudelaire.

    Tangled Up In Blue – ‘And glowed like burning coal’ alludes to Baudelaire’s ‘The Balcony’:
    “Evening illumined by the glow of coals afire” -all translations very much alike

    In fact one version of Dylan’s song goes like this:

    Then she opened up a book of poems
    And she started quotin’ it to me
    It was written by Charles Baudelaire
    Or some poet from the thirteenth century
    And every one of those words rang true
    And glowed like burning coal

    GnosticTranscendentalists in regard to tropes of darkness and light, many of the Symbolist poets may have been, but orthodox Christians they were not.
    Baudelaire translated Poe into French.


    • You’re right that Baudelaire was an admirer of Delacroix. And, yes, Dylan is alluding to both. But, of course, it’s not enough just to point that out. It’s only of interest if one can go on to say what the significance of the allusions is within the song.


  9. My comments are directed at some aspects only of your analyses of Dylan’s lyrics, and are no way intended to be a critique of Christianity as a religion.
    Let’s leave that up to Nietzsche 🙄.


  10. The connection to Delacroix and Baudelaire I made simply to indicate that there are a number of levels on which to analyze Dylan’s songs, including religious ones. Baudelaire modernizes poetry by replacing the Romantic serene images of the countryside with the unpleasant sensual images of contemporary city life; he’s inspired by looking at Delacroix’s eye-catching images of human suffering. Dylan throws folk music, blues, and rocknroll into the artistic mix. Tangles up the senses,


    • Okay, I see how that might be true generally. I’m not sure it fits easlily with the references in ‘Tangled’ though – not that I’ve got a better explanation of the Baudelaire one. I think if you asked someone appropriately knowledgable which non-musician an artistic mix of folk music, blues, and rocknroll reminded them of, I doubt if many would come up with Delacroix. But I might be wrong.


  11. Well I asked myself!

    It’s bit of stretch for sure, but I believe Dylan was taking an art course at the time in which Delacroix would no doubt be mentioned …. it would not be unlike him to play around with the word by streaming it through an association with a place name.

    But don’t take that to the bank and expect it to be cashed.

    But rather, garner what you can from coincidence.


  12. You’re all thinking too much… Dylan doesn’t think his music, he feels it. That’s why it’s timeless. This song is about twin souls. Twin souls always meet under fateful circumstances (meaning you shoul have never met but for missing the bus, taking a left when you should have taken a right, knocking on the wrong door), and they rarely meet at the right time. When they do, it is magic (love at first sight for some), and it feels like you’ve known them forever. And then one of them runs, leaving the other to wonder what the hell just happened. The one on the run is scared of the intensity of this unexpected love, mostly because of how vulnerable it makes them feel. They don’t know if they want all their wounds laid bare because that would mean having to face what they fear most. So they run. The one left behind is at a loss and in more pain than they’ve ever felt before. But they can’t seem to forget. Most people never meet their twin soul so they can’t understand why it would seem one could run without looking back while the other remains hopelessly in love. Maybe it’s a Gemini thing. Twins. Dylan is a Gemini. So am I. But the runner twin will always come back because we can only run so far before we discover the person we are running from is really ourself. The twin left behind knows this (if only in his/her soul), but they will never stop loving you or believing in you. But twins only reunite once they’ve BOTH faced their fears and healed their wounds so that they can finally love each other wholly as only twins can do. Twin soul love is magic. There is nothing in the world like it. This is why Dylan can’t let go. Because he can’t. It would be like letting go of the best part of yourself (not to be confused with codependency). There is nothing sleazy or codependent about this encounter he sings about. Twin soul love is the most pure love there could ever be. Not everyone is lucky enough to meet their twin (though it’s not just a Gemini thing as I intimated). But if you do, you will surely recognize yourself in this song… either as the runner or the one left behind.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thanks for commenting Teddy. Certainly I think much of what you’re saying is plausible. There are a number of things I’d question, though.

    You say ‘Dylan doesn’t think his music, he feels it’. Why? It seems to me it’s both. And when it comes to the lyrics, they have the quality they do because they’ve been thought out. Few of Dylan’s songs are a simple outpouring of emotion on his part, even though they may have been sparked off by an emotional experience. This song, like most of the others, has been carefully contrived. That’s immediately apparent when one looks at the verse structure – each verse beginning and ending with a rhyming (or half-rhyming) couplet, leaving an unrhyming line in the middle. The song also has a symmetry which wouldn’t be accounted for by its just being the outpouring of emotion. The first two verses begin with ‘They’, and are followed by a verse not beginning with anything special. The next two verses begin with ‘He’, and these are followed by a verse not beginning with anything special.

    You say ‘There is nothing sleazy … about this encounter he sings about’. But there is. There’s the saxophone, which otherwise wouldn’t be worth mentioning. And there’s the light which ‘bust’ through a ‘beat up shade’.

    Your comment did make me wonder whether there is in fact more than one woman involved, as I suggest. If there is just one, then that would add weight to your suggestions. I’m not sure, though. I suspect that the song is open to a number of interpretations, including both yours and mine.


    • When I say he doesn’t think, I simply mean his words are born from emotion. As both an art therapist and a writer, I try not to think too much. When I write, I let the story write itself. It doesn’t mean I don’t go into it with some idea of where I’d like to go, but most of the time I don’t get there the way I thought I would. I’m driven by the emotion. After that, of course, I make sure to pull it all together because I tend to go off on tangents, but never because I want people to “get” it. I’d much rather they feel it. And if they don’t, they don’t. But at least I know I got to say exactly what I wanted to say without worrying what people think.

      Now, regarding my comment about it not being sleazy… I stand by it. What is sleazy anyway? Do “sleazy” people think of themselves as sleazy? Maybe. But I suspect most don’t. Not because they’re in denial, rather its just not how they see themselves. I just don’t see Dylan—the one and only author of the story—as thinking the circumstances surrounding this encounter as sleazy. It might not be the way others would go about meeting the love of their life, but fate doesn’t give a shit about what you’ve got planned. 😊


    • I also meant to say this regarding his words being contrived… as a writer myself, if I ever find myself contriving something, I delete it. Honestly. I find that divine inspiration will handle all the details. It never ceases to amaze me when after all is said and done how all the pieces seem to have already fallen into their divine place and there is no need to contrive a word. When I do find myself contriving something, I usually wind up writing myself into a corner that I can’t get out of unless I contrive my way OUT of it! Then I wind up deleting it all anyway. To contrive is to allow my ego to dictate my words. To write is to let my soul guide me. I’m by no means expert at it, but I try. Dylan, on the other hand, is the true reluctant expert.


  14. Thanks for responding again, Teddy.

    I can go along with the words being born from emotion. I’m sure that that’s the case generally with creative writers. In addition, of course, the subconscious is doing a lot of the work. I’m not sure that this should be an issue, though. It’s the song’s meaning I’m interested in establishing, not the intentions of its creator. In other words I want to know how the meaning, or significance, of each little bit is determined by its place in the whole. It’s a legitimate response even on your terms, I’d have thought, because the effects of an author’s emotions are his words, and words work by way of their meanings.

    You say at the beginning of your original comment that I think too much. Since my thinking is a different matter from Dylan’s thinking, the criticism needs a separate response. I don’t deny that it’s possible to over think something, but I think it’s better to err in that direction than not to think enough. Even assuming that a song is entirely the product of emotion, that doesn’t seem to me to justify responding to it by emotion alone (even assuming that to be possible). Thought, even an excess of thought, can’t be harmful. What it might produce are views about the song which, say, give too much importance to certain aspects or fail to give due weight to others. The remedy is simple. All it requires is for someone to respond by giving reasons why a certain part is less or more important than I’ve argued. Of course those reasons will need to be backed up, and that in itself will require thought.

    For my own part, I get far, far more pleasure out of any literature by responding to it thoughtfully. Not just thoughtfully, of course – thoughtfully in addition to emotionally. The emotional response comes first, but the pleasurable effect is multiplied by subsequent thought.

    I still don’t agree with your comment about sleaze. Are you assuming that the narrator (for want of a better word) is Dylan? If so, I don’t see any justification for that. There’s no reason that I can see for holding the song to be autobiographical. I don’t mean it isn’t based on personal experience; it would be difficult to imagine how it could be otherwise. But that doesn’t mean the main character has to be the author. That would put an intolerable restriction on what an author would be able to write about a character without condemning himself.


    Could this poem come into its own in the 3rd verse where time is lost and the chronology of things doesn’t matter and wall away? “A saxophone someplace far off played. She was walking on by the arcade….as a light bust through a beat-up shade where he was waking up….and forgot about a simple twist of fate.”
    So, she’s somewhere else, some other time, passing shops, moving on. Yet, he’s still alone, stuck in that room (of his mind). She passes by in a very metaphorical sense. He’s somewhere suspended in this dark room, waking up and realizing that he – in fact – is the blind man, bound to lead a solitary existence, looking out at others pass him without noticing him or this issue he is tormented by. This is not just about love either. This is how he feels about everything. He is in that room right NOW. Wherever Dylan is, alive and alone.
    “She dropped a coin into the cup (not generously) but flippantly and then moving on with her life. Dylan is stuck. He’s just sitting there, ragged, at the gates of heaven, the gates of redemption, love, and waiting futilely for a fair fate and not this fickle fate he has come to accept. But it’s “brought on…”
    Yes, he sees himself as a victim of fate, and ultimately ‘fate’ is in control. He is told not to think so much: “People tell me it’s a sin.” So what has he thought about too much? “I still believe she was my twin…she was born in the Spring. But I was born too late.” This isn’t about him falling for a young girl and it not working out. This is about other people being born into a reality of renewal, growth, and harmony naturally occurring. Life is easier. His mind, his thoughts are borne from a darker season where things inevitably wither and fall. He does tempt a tougher life by over-thinking. He tempts fate.
    So the paradox here is that he knows that others come and go and don’t think and feel the way he seems to be fated to. So, just as he created this song about Fate, he creates his own Fate. If he is a victim of anything and it is that he wasn’t in control of his complex and darker outlook on life. He created this Fate that now controls him. So that’s the paradox. He’s doing this to himself and can’t stop it.
    So, In the very beginning, he already knew. For most others (everyone else maybe – as he mentions no one else that has this problem), “T’was then he felt alone. and wished he’d gone straight..” Straight? I think that means stick to the easy ‘straight and narrow;’ to not think so much. Because his life, like many great thinkers, was that of solitude and over-analysis which leads to isolation. So, even when he’s meant to be happy ‘on that park bench,’, he can’t be.
    He walks the docks with a ‘parrot that talks?” About what? Well, that’s his inner monologue, isn’t it? It’s a symbol for what he tells himself and what inevitably comes true. So how long must he wait? Well, that’s up to Fate. He knows. He made it himself. He is the Twist.


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