There was a Universe in which you and I worked out.
Isn’t that a cool thing to know?
It’s not this Universe, obviously. This Universe made us into rational and level-headed beings – ones who know when the party’s over and the chips need to be cashed in and retired.
But there’s a Universe in which we chose differently.
In that Universe, I like to think that we are clasping onto one another’s hands on an airplane headed to anywhere.
You’re kissing my forehead while we stand in line at customs; I’m falling asleep in your arms in the cab ride home.
I let myself be free in that Universe, in the distinct way that only you seem to know how to be.
Because the thing is, your soul is barely human. You are the first rays of sunshine exploding through the curtains in the morning. You are fresh fruit and ocean breezes and wide-open stretches of sky. You are endless days of summer. You are infinities.
And in some other life, I choose to be all those things alongside you.
In another world I do not need to bind myself with office jobs and apartment leases and the kind of life that people like you will not touch with a ten-foot pole. In another life, I have the balls to be as open as somebody like you. In some other dimension I get on the back of your bike and we just ride and ride and ride. We lose ourselves in possibility. We surrender to the ever-shifting kaleidoscope of living with both arms open.
And I like to think that other-you and other-me are happy.
I like to think that it’s the sunniest day of the summer every day when I am with you in that other-verse, even when the rain comes pouring down.
I like to think that through the messes, the destructions, the chaos and calamity and troubles that the other-us’s would inevitably face, they keep choosing to stick it out anyway. They keep choosing each other. They keep choosing the kind of happiness that spills out of the edges of the whole world every morning that we wake up together.
And some third-party version of myself is, perhaps, thoroughly dejected that none of this worked out.
Some version of the person I could be spends eternity lamenting over the life that you and I never chose – turning it over in her indecisive fingers and letting the weight of regret become an anvil.
But I’m not that version of myself in this Universe. I don’t have to stay clutching onto other-you and me.
I’m happy to simply let them go.
After all, those kids have things to do.
They have planes to get on. They have people to meet. They have an entire life of adventures in front of them and I’m happy for those buggers – the ones we chose not to become.
I’m happy knowing that there’s a world out there in which you and I could have been outrageously, tremendously happy.
I like to know that those holes in the patchwork of reality exist.
And so I tip my hat to you and I in that Universe.
It is beautiful and magnanimous and joyful there.
But there is so much else left to discover within this Universe.
And I’m one hundred percent certain that in some alternate version of reality, you and I tip their hats right back.