Saturday, July 6, 2013

Adventures in Quantum Mechanics

"I texted Sarah that I was feeling depressed," I said one day in mid-April. Winter had held on and on and it was getting harder to stay cheerful at my very public job. "And I asked if she could give me something to cheer me up. She said 'This is the year we finally caught footage of a live giant squid in the wild.' And I said, 'yeah, that’d do it.'"

Benjamin nodded sagely. The two of us worked methodically, removing library DVDs from their cases and putting them in the binders at the front desk where we keep them until they're checked out.

"You know," he said eventually, "if we ever win the lottery or whatever, instead of wasting our fortune like other people do, we should invent a submarine especially for finding giant squid."

Our boss, who had chosen just that moment to walk by, laughed for no reason. People often laugh for no reason when Benjamin and I have serious conversations.

"I’m down with that," I said. "I have no other plans for my imaginary fortune. Well, except for building myself an illustrious hobbit hole."

Benjamin hissed out a breath. "Oh yeah, a friend and I have a pact to buy matching luxury sports cars. But after that, nothing's stopping us."

"Yes, if we ever become filthy rich, I think it’s a great idea," I said.

"Because that could ever happen," Benjamin sighed.

I patted his shoulder. "Hey, according to quantum mechanics, there’s a universe out there where it already has."

Our boss, walking the other direction this time, again laughed for no reason.

"It might be easier to travel to that dimension where we’re already rich than to become rich here," Benjamin speculated. "How would we go about burrowing between these dimensions?"

"It's not necessary," I said, "because technically we’ve already done that too. In fact, there's a universe out there where we've already found the squid. Just think of the adventures we've had!"

Benjamin sighed. "I guess this is just the universe where we haven’t done that?"

"Don't let it get you down. it's sort of comforting. I see into other dimensions all the time. Like when I’m at the store and I’m thinking of buying something, I often imagine the universe in which I’ve already bought the thing and lost interest in it, and it’s sitting in a heap in the bottom of my closet and I’m thinking 'Why did I buy that thing?' and then I don’t buy it in this universe."

There was a long silence, then Benjamin said, "That’s not seeing other dimensions. That’s predicting the future."

I shrugged. "You say potato."

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