In the beginning there was a void, stasis, dimensionless. I am a point, without size taking form only in motion, so too the seat on which I sit on United flight 951 not going from point A to point B for neither can exist in motion transcending time.
Each decision sets one me on a path, into a dimension, dimensions while I tread a different path and I a third, yet I have seen the step ahead before having been on its path as all random walks must cross endlessly. The universe grows crowded with exponential me’s creating paths, and so must expand, until we cross and in some minuscule amount contract the cosmos.
Often I seek pain to slow the pace, or pleasure to quicken it, always immutable. I have learned all of this in my endless search for my paradoxical twin who prefers the accelerated pace, moving as quickly as possible, who looks younger at each intersection. Good night Albert.
First Appeared in Afterthoughts (Canada), Vol. 2, No. 4, Autumn 1995.
We both know that having a pet at our age is wise for they provide a companionship that can be difficult to find. I’ve had both dogs and cats, but the decision this time was reasonably simple, for dogs have an insatiable need to walk their people, weather is no impediment and my arthritis is no longer all that forgiving of damp and cold.
So we settled on a cat, and we have been pleased with our decision – she is joyous, playful and reads our emotional needs, but most importantly, other than not needing to walk us, she has been remarkably adept at training us to live in her new home.
It would be an anathema to him if he were a Pope or held deeply felt opinions about anything, but he does not. He denies being vacillating, rather, he says, he is just open to a multitude of views, never mind, she replies, that he can never make any important decision except by mere chance or luck. He says he prefers life this way, for he is disinclined to alienate anyone. She says his unwillingness to take and hold a position has alienated her, and she points out that he has no friends and few who would call him a true acquaintance. He debates arguing with her, but he knows she is possibly right and arguing would do nothing, and so she walks away and he can only imagine what might have been.
She stares at the menu, her eyes incandesce brighter than an eight year old’s should be able. And I can eat everything on the menu, she says to herself, her smile broadening, as she thinks and they may enjoy it too, and I can move them one more step in the right direction. She has been a vegetarian for six months, since the day she declared to the waiter that she would never again eat a dead animal, and she has held to it without fail since. She says her father is almost a pescatarian, and she whispers in an aside that close to vegetarian and an easy move once you are there. Her four year old brother laughs and says today I’m vegetarian too, and the waitress laughs and thinks in a vegan restaurant, that is a universal truth.
Sooner or later the moment arrives when there is no option left and you have to decide. There are never facts enough, or time – uncertainty is a most unwelcome companion. In this moment indecision is not an allowed outcome and every selection is at once right and wrong.