Odds

In the quantum world, that minuscule universe that exists far beyond the capabilities of our senses and in some cases, even of our imagination; the laws of physics we’re so used to stop applying anymore.

One of the the main differences between the quantum world and our own, is that when we see a clear path ahead of us every time we make a decision, in that other universe, every path that steams out of a decision exists simultaneously as potential paths before the actual decision is made. Once someone makes it, once a decision is made, then according to the theory, that potential path solidifies and becomes the actual reality.

In any case, from this theory, one could extrapolate that if every universe of possibilities potentially exists at the same time, then there is a potential universe in which you’re reading this letter, and there is a potential universe in which you’re actually sleeping, or laughing, or having sex right now (you wish! right?)… or you’re dead.

Every time you’re faced with a choice a new potential universe is created to accommodate for every single possible outcome of that choice. Now you can see that when applied to every single person in the world, and in every world out there, the number of potential realities becomes mind boggling.

Now now, I know what you’re thinking: “this is not news, we went over this same concept last week at school”. Yes, I know you did, I was there too, trust me, but I have the sad obligation to tell you that your teacher, Mr. Mochers has left a major detail out from that explanation. And the fact that you spent most of that class daydreaming about Molly Wilkinson instead of paying attention to Mr. Mochers doesn’t really help, does it? Oh, yes, I was there remember?

Oh Molly, she hasn’t given you the time of day since that weird text message, has she? What was it that she wrote?

“I waited for you for hours, I hope you have a great excuse!!”

So weird. She waited for you? Why? When did you tell her to wait for you? And the conversation the next day? That was something odd wasn’t it? You were so lost as to what was going on that she got even madder at you. Looking back at those two days, I guess it’s funny now, isn’t it? In a sad kind of way of course, I’m sure you’re thinking that whatever that was, definitely killed any chance you had with her, no matter how big or small it was.

I know what you’re thinking, but no, I’m not a creep, I’m not your personal stalker, trust me, you don’t have an interesting enough life to merit one. I just know stuff, OK? Just go with it, that is all I require of you.

What about your school work? You’re a senior now aren’t you? Big deal! Enjoy it while it lasts, because buddy, I’m sorry to tell you but next year, you’ll be a Junior once again, in an even bigger place, but that’s just life for you. One day you’re the alpha dog, and the next day, you’re just nobody and you don’t matter to anyone other than yourself.

But alas, I digress, I was talking about your school grades, how many times did you just forget to study for a test? So much so that you didn’t even remember about the test itself until you were there, sitting in the classroom while your teacher was giving away the questions. Your mum was so mad, remember?

“Every year” — she used to say — “every year the same happens, when are you going to start taking your education serious?”

Like you didn’t, all those notes and reminders you would put, everywhere, and yet, somehow, they would disappear, or you would just not see them, how was that possible? Were you really that dumb and careless? I personally don’t think so.

But she was so hurt, the effort she was doing to get you through that private school, specially after your dad died. She got that extra shift at the factory to allow you to focus on your education and there you were, plundering away her hard earned money with a “Barely acceptable” final qualification. And that was just on your junior year, but the same story would repeat, every year. Damn kid, it’s a real miracle you’re graduating high school this year (wait, you knew that right? Spoiler Alert!).

You see Alex, you and I we have something in common (more than something I would say, but for the lack of a better term, let’s keep it simple, shall we?). I too have had these memory issues in my life, I too have forgotten about things that I did in the past, things that I should’ve remembered but now I didn’t. I too have tried my best to fight my bad memory and lack of attention with the help of external tools. I’ve set alarms that never went off, I’ve kept daily journals where entries would disappear from, fuck I’ve even gotten tattoos that have disappeared from one day to the other… or at least I think they did.

Some of them have worked, of course, just like with you, sometimes the alarm clock goes off and you’re on time to your appointment, sometimes that tattoo stays and you’re able to see it everyday. But every once in awhile it doesn’t, and a normal person would just chuck it up to a poor memory, or a bad day or whatever excuse fits their mood, it’s a minor thing, it’s not that important, they’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again and that’s the end of it.

But when you’re like us, when you’re as paranoid as we are you start thinking:

“What if? What if it’s not me forgetting? What if I am the one who’s right?”

It is a dangerous path to travel, I know, thinking the world is wrong leaves you with no one to verify your theory with, and leaves you virtually without a way to prove it. You’re going down the rabbit hole and you have no idea how deep it is, and how full of shit could be. Literally many nutthouses are filled with people who went down the same holes.

But for the sake of fun, let’s pretend you’re right, OK?. Let’s pretend you are right and everyone else is wrong. You didn’t set the alarm clock for that appointment because, honestly, you never requested it. You didn’t study for that test, because your teacher never told you about it.

Let’s say you’re right, then what?

Go and read the beginning of this letter again, why was I talking about multiple realities? About potential paths? They’re just crazy and fringe theories right? Nothing has been proven yet, there is no hard evidence that you can actually create potential parallel realities with every step you take. But then again, what if you are the living proof of it?.

Think about it this way: in a reality you grew the balls to ask Molly out, she said yes and that you’d meet at that pizza place after school. In another reality, you didn’t, you continue with your pathetic daydreaming and masturbatory rituals like it’s not a big deal. One day you go to bed in the second reality and the next, you wake up on the first one.

Then you get a day when you go to bed knowing that you’re up-to-date with your school work, but on the next day, you wake up to a planned test that you didn’t know about. Again, reality A and reality B, with your sleep cycle in the middle. I could go on, trust me, enough shit has happened to you in your sixteen years of life, and most of it can be explained with this theory.

I can literally hear your brain hurting, don’t try to understand the hows that are starting to hunt you, just accept the facts and move on. Understanding is not something you need nor can get right now, but it’ll come, trust me.

Anyways, back to the point: it would provide an explanation wouldn’t it?

Ever since man came up with the abstract concept of dimensions, we’ve thought of ourselves as three dimensional beings. Always able to move freely through space, but limited by the fourth dimension: time. What if (and I keep asking this question a lot, I know) we’re not three dimensional beings trapped by time, but fourth dimensional people, able to also travel through parallel realities?.

They’re just so fucking many and their differences are so minuscule, that we just haven’t realized until now. When someone has the luck of stumbling into realities that are different enough to get their attention, if they decide to say something about it, they end up in some kind of institution for the mentally ill. And if they decide to shut up and not mention it, then they actually go nutts.

In my case, that realization came when one day I woke up and my family was gone. Quite a change, isn’t it?

You see, I met my wife when I was fifteen, but I never got around to ask her out until we were off to college. We dated for three years, and eventually I popped the question, it was such a weird scene, now that I think about it. It as our three years anniversary, we went out to a cute restaurant near our house, we had fun, talked for hours, our meals got cold before we could even finish them. And by the time dessert was delivered and with zero originality on my part I went down on one knee and asked her.

At the time she acted surprised, even a bit taken aback by my actions, it was effortless to her.. Hehe… eventually she confessed she had known all along. Damn, she could read me like an open book. God I miss her.

Anyhow, a year later we tied the knot and three months later she was pregnant. I could explain how that works, and what that feels, but you’re too damn young to even make sense of the emotions I would describe, so I rather not waste your time with that.

Fast forward ten years, we’re enjoying life, happier than ever before, two kids under our roof, she’s a successful high school principal. And I’ve taken my paranoiac dreams of a potential multiverse through doctorate school, and finally managed to get my hands on a fairly big grant to continue pursuing the idea. All in all I can’t complain now can I?

Well, I couldn’t, not until a year ago, when I woke up to an empty bed, and an empty house, same one I remember buying with my wife, same one I remember decorating for each new kid that came along. But it was a different house at the same time, same structure yes, but lacking a significant small detail: life. White walls dominated the landscape, no picture frames anywhere, just plain white everywhere. Quite clean, modern, minimalistic, yes, but also, very dead and cold only to be contrasted by the uneven surface of the wooden floor. Silence ruled that land with an icy fist.

I guess that showed me just how big a part of my life my family was. Without them I was a boring, empty man who simply lived for his work.

I gotta be honest with you, this was the biggest jump I’ve ever done in my life, most of the realities I would normally jump into where pretty much the same, worst case scenario; I would lose an appointment or maybe get yelled at by my wife, because I forgot some big important detail she never actually told me.

In this new reality, I never got around to ask Molly out on our first date (did I already mention I married Molly Wilkinson? Spoilers!), instead I kept studying the potential verse(that’s how I ended up calling it in my paper, catchy, isn’t it?).

That’s not to mention that I nearly go insane when I first realized what had happened. I’ve never been able to control when I jump, let alone where I jump to, so that was out of the question. I tried finding her, maybe she was just as miserable without me in her life as I was without her in mine. But I couldn’t, I couldn’t find any records of her existence, no matter how I tried. The World Citizen Record had a public interface, just like in my previous realities, where you can find someone using their names, their ancestry, or even their physical appearance. I tried every combination I could think of and got nothing back, which is crazy, but I guess the differences in this reality escape even my understanding of the situation.

After the WCR provided no useful information, I just went out looking for her, tried at her old parent’s house, and the current owners thought I was crazy. So I just walked around the neighborhood for sometime, visited her favorite places every day, eventually people started recognizing me, I guess some of them thought I was some crazy psycho or something, because they started looking at me funny and even grabbing their children tighter when I was around. Like that would prevent me from corrupting them with my mind, I guess? I don’t know.

In the end, I had graffitied the phrase They’re GONE! on my bedroom ceiling, not because I was trying to accept the fact, but because I assumed that if I were to jump back into a reality where they existed, I would not write that; it was the first thing I checked every day after waking up. It took me around three months to finally give up and accept the fact that there was no Molly for me to find, no kids for me to hug, my old life was officially over and there was not getting it back.

I was starting to get ready to end this one too, not my finest moment, I know, but this was too much for me, my reason for waking up every morning had been erased from the universe. What crazy joke was this? How could I keep going after this?

And just like with any bad joke, I found the punch line they same day I had decided to drink a very special cocktail I had been working on.

Walking past the home office I realized the door was open, I couldn’t remember going into that room in the past few months, but there it was, the door open and the lights on. Thinking back now, maybe I had jumped during the night, but it was such a tiny difference that I ignored it at the time.

Once inside, there it was, like waiting for me to read it, calling me with it’s white sheets of paper and black ink: my own paper on the potential verse. Only this one had a different name, this one was called Time looked at from a potential perspective. Not a great title, I know, but I thought what the heck?. So I gave it a try.

Maybe it was due to the extra free time, the lack of distractions or simply the lack of meaning in my file, I don’t know, but the level of understanding that I had about the potential verse in this reality was far greater. After studying my own paper (funny how things turn out) I learned that I didn’t have a way to force or even direct a jump, at least not that I could find. But there was a way for me to influence the odds, you see, when you can observe the potential verse from outside and take in all the possible paths a simple decision can take you, time has no meaning, everything happens all at once … I don’t think I’m explaining it right, to be honest, you need to see it to fully comprehend it. But you don’t have to right now, I’m not trying to get you to fully understand your capabilities.

That’s not the point of this letter, this is just an attempt to tamper with the odds, just like the proverbial message in a bottle that castaways would throw at the sea, hoping someone would eventually find them.

This is my message in a bottle, my message to myself, to all my selves, asking you to please, improve my odds, you still have time. Find Molly, ask her out if you haven’t, marry her if you haven’t, help us ensure that the next time we jump, it is to a reality where our family, our kids, exist.

Please, help me go back home.

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