(source: Iceberg Slim – Pimp, The story of my life)
Section of the novel that contains the expression:
"I thought: I have been in a deadly trap. Have I really escaped it? Does fate have grimmer traps set? Can I learn to be proud of my black skin? Can I adjust to the stark reality that black people in my lifetime had little chance to escape the barbed-wire stockade in the white man's world?
Only time and the imponderables inside me would answer the questions."
Slim finally got out from jail after he almost died in there. He decided to finish with pimping and drugs. On the way to his mother he reconsiders his whole life. Up there are the words of his inner monologue.
My questiuon is what the word ’imponderables’ refer to here?
to ponder = to think carefully about something, especially before coming to a conclusion.
an imponderable = something that is impossible to assess or come to a conclusion about.
I think that here, "the imponderables" are those parts of his character that he did not know or understand well enough to assess what part they would play in his new life, that when they were tested he could not know the outcome.