@Jani–Your first line is intriguing, but I also find myself feeling confused at the end of it just because I’m not sure what is meant by “follow the feeling”. Thus, I lose the sense of the protagonist feeling helpless because I’m not sure what it is that s/he feels compelled to do. Is there a way to clarify that?
@Theresa–I think your misgivings about about rhetorical questions are a good instinct. As Jani said, one way to look at opening lines is that if a sentence can belong to any novel, it’s not right for your first line, and that’s part of the problem with rhetorical questions: they’re so universally applicable. I have two suggestions in this case. You could either cut the sentence entirely and put something more story-specific in its place, or you can adapt the question to be a declarative sentence instead and use it to establish your protagonist’s voice. For example:
“I don’t care what they say about life–when it smacks you across the face and then throws you a smirk and a couple of lemons, hell if you’re going to make lemonade out of that.”
After all that, I guess it’s only fair for me to post my own opening line now (technically two sentences, but they’re short):
The tea was nearly ready. The man, however, was not.