A million parallel universes

A million parallel universes
In 1996, standing atop Coit’s Tower, I scanned the city’s skyline, thinking about nearly a million souls living there, working, playing, getting over a cold, making love, fighting, watching Gilligan’s Island re-runs, having pizza and beer with friends, perhaps even taking photos of Coit’s Tower.

I didn’t know that in 20 years physicists would be seriously theorizing the reality of infinite parallel universes. That the division of these universes might be paper-thin, thin enough that under the right conditions we could just walk through, from one to the other and back again.

But that was something I already knew to be true as I looked out and wondered about who the person might be who was looking up at Coit’s Tower, who might be wondering if there was someone up there like me, and the universe I lived in. I wondered whether our worlds would ever collide. And whether she might be my soul-mate, or just a passer-by, and how would I ever know if she sat near me at a cafe, sipping a latte. Perhaps she would ride by me on the bus, she drawn to the tower for inexplicable reasons, and I too impatient to move onto the next touristy thing.

On a globe of 7 billion universes, what is the likelihood that the right ones would ever collide? I wonder if she’ll ever read this, and remember the bus ride she took to Coit’s Tower on a lark, one beautiful sunny day in 1996. If she’ll remember the feeling of disappointment we shared at the same moment. Hers, when the view from the tower wasn’t as spectacular that day as she’d hoped. Mine, when I took a look in the rear-view, driving away, wishing I’d lingered in the tower, just a little longer.

The physicists say we might not notice we’ve travelled between universes, or that we’ll only experience an inkling that something was, for a moment, very, very different about the world we were in.

San Francisco Skyline
From Coit’s Tower
California, United States of America

Taken during travels, 1996