Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Who Defines Your Reality?

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. - Albert Einstein

We live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion. The great task in life is to find reality. - Iris Murdoch

The #1206 “fiction” series continues ….


Abigail sat in a busy restaurant, sipping on her latte and smiling in anticipation of her husband’s arrival.  It had been a busy day for both of them and as darkness approached, she shivered slightly in excitement as she reread his text “On my way, my love.  Be there in 10 minutes.”  As she took another sip of her latte, she happened to glance up over her mug and found herself staring at …. herself.

The person she was staring at seemed to be equally shocked and surprised and after a moment, she asked quietly, “Are you …….. me?”

Abigail stared in surprised but said nothing and then her alternate self sat down beside her as they both continued to stare at each other.

“What’s happening here?”, asked Abigail.

“I have no idea”, replied her alternate self, “I was just about to ask you the same question.”

“My name is Abigail”, said Abigail and her alternate self almost simultaneously and then there was silence again.

“This is not possible”, said her alternate self, “How can you be me?”

“I don’t know”, replied Abigail and then there was silence yet again.

“This is crazy”, said Abigail, breaking the silence and trying to get control of her thoughts.  “My husband Gabriel will surely know what’s going on”, she added.

“I was married to a guy with the same name”, replied her alternate self, “What a strange coincidence.”

“Was?”, asked Abigail.

“Yes”, her alternate self replied, “He was killed in a plane crash about a year ago.”  She pulled our her cell phone and showed an image of a news website, describing the airline, the flight and the tragedy that had befallen everyone on board.

Abigail frowned at the image, took out her own cell phone and Googled the information about the flight.  Google returned nothing of interest and there were no plane crashes of note anywhere in the world at that time.

“How odd that our husbands have the same name”, said Abigail.  Blushing with embarrassment, she said, “I’m so sorry …. had.  Oh, I don’t know what I am trying to say.”

“It’s ok”, said her alternate self, “We had just been married when he had to leave on a business trip.  His return flight crashed in a snowstorm and everyone was killed.”

“This is wrong”, said Abigail, “Something strange is happening here.  Gabriel has never flown without me.  Who are you really?”

“Well”, replied her alternate self, “I once read about this thing called multiverses where an infinite number of each of us exist simultaneously, each living our own reality.  Maybe in some strange way, we have been connected from two different multiverses.  In mine, my husband has been killed.  In yours, your husband is still alive.”

Abigail’s head began to spin as she thought about this.  “He will be here in about 10 minutes”, she said, “He will know what to make of this.”

Her alternate self frowned for a moment before replying.  “I don’t know if I want to meet him”, she said quietly.

Abigail thought for a moment, nodded and then reached for her purse to pull out some photos.  Having found them, she turned towards her alternate self to see if her alternate self recognized any of the people in the photos and realized that her alternate self had vanished.

She shivered with a sudden fear that swept over her and reaching for her cell phone, she opened the text exchange with Gabriel to tell him that she loved him and that she needed him.

Or she tried to, anyway.  She noticed that the text exchange had disappeared.  Frowning as to why, she opened her contact list to choose his name from the list but his name didn’t appear there either.

Her heart began to beat harder as the fear in her grew and with shaky fingers, she dialled Gabriel’s number.  After several rings, she heard a voice on the phone:

The number you have dialled is not in service.  Please check the number and try again.  Recording 12-06.

Something strange struck her and she Googled about the flight she had searched for earlier.  She was shocked as the search results described a plane crash that had killed everyone on board. 

Gabriel’s name was on the victim list.

To be continued.


© 2014 – Harry Tucker – All Rights Reserved

Alternate Ending:

I played around with the idea that she called friends and family to ask whether they had heard from Gabriel and nobody knew what she was talking about or who Gabriel was.

Background:

I have always been fascinated with the concept of the multiverse, where an infinite number of each us exist simultaneously.  There are some interesting theories about the possibilities that can be created if we could change which multiverse we are in, either just in perception of the multiverse or in a physical form.

In such a situation, if two multiverses accidentally or purposely overlapped, would or could the two realities meld into one.  Would the mere suggestion of a different reality in one multiverse in turn create such a reality in the other?  If the reality changed for someone in a multiverse, was the original reality ever real in the first place?  How would we know and whose reality would be the real one?

If such things could happen, consider the idea of someone who was committed to an institution and who rants and raves about what they claim to be a life partner who vanished, a life partner that we assure them never existed.  How do we know that they didn’t experience such an event?

How would we know anything at all?

Series Origin:

This series, a departure from my usual musings,  is inspired as a result of conversations with former senior advisors to multiple Presidents of the United States, senior officers in the US Military and other interesting folks as well as my own professional background as a Wall St. / Fortune 25 strategy and large-scale technology architect.

While this musing is just “fiction” and a departure from my musings on technology, strategy, politics and society, as a strategy guy, I do everything for a reason and with a measurable outcome in mind. :-)

This “fictional” musing is a continuation of the #1206 series noted here.