I like to think that every nanosecond we live is a moment in another universe other than the one in which we exist. Every decision, every gut instinct, every change in view, every single heart beat is another step through a parallel timeline. Now, there’s a lot of overlap (I imagine) in terms of what can happen at any second, which is why the flow can feel pretty singular, universally speaking. But sometimes, for a brief moment, it feels like I’m living another life, another possibility. It happened today. For one breath in and one breath out, I felt like the person I was with was someone who I had been with for years. It was just a second in a coffee shop, but it just struck me, out of nowhere. My vision didn’t get blurry, there weren’t any feelings of headaches or nausea (or time travel), but in that one complete breath, I knew that we were together. And then it immediately disappeared, and I was back in our normal reality. I didn’t think about it anymore, but it’s the first thing that came to mind when I opened up this page to write.
I had a burger lunch with this friend before this moment. We caught up and talked about how our Christmases were. She’s completely in a relationship, by the way. She’s been with her significant other for years and years. We’ve only ever been friends. I’d be lying if I said the thought of being with her never crossed my mind, but that’s about as far as that went, and only happened the first time I met her (because, let’s face it, I’m a hopeless romantic, and every pretty girl I meet immediately triggers a future-life-montage in my head, damn it. Also, in my defense, I didn’t know she was in a long-term relationship when I first met her.) But it was a thought that happened and faded away. Never thought about it ever again, and haven’t since. Plus, I’m friends with her guy, and he’s really cool. (And if they’re reading this right now, I love y’all both, and this is just a dumb blog post that’s kind of sci-fi-ish. It’s only awkward if we make it awkward. lol.)
We went to a coffee shop after lunch and that’s when it happened. Instant teleportation to this other world where we’re together. Instant teleportation back to this world. I actually did go silent for a moment, trying to comprehend what just occurred. I know what you’re thinking: it was just a thought, a random daydream, not teleportation through parallel universes, weirdo. But this was different. I daydream all the time, for a second, for a minute, sometimes for hours. (Those must have been really unproductive days.) I know it’s in my head, and it’s never a daydream about what I’m currently doing. I wander off to other thoughts and possibilities away from where I am when it happens. It might involve the people with me at that time I’m doing the daydreaming, but never the same place doing the same thing. This was just a strange feeling of instant familiarity, of memories I’ve never had before, experiences I’ve never been through before, all rushing into that one inhale and exhale. Heart rate jumped a bit, I’m sure. And then I was right back down. It was if I had lived that other life right up to that moment in the blink of an eye, then caught up and jumped back to this reality. It felt pretty real.
Chances are it was just a random thought. But considering that every decision we make is a step into another universe, a parallel possibility, I like to believe that I caught a glimpse of another reality. It was beautiful for the moment, but that’s all it was. Just another moment in another timeline.
At least it wasn’t the darkest timeline.