1. Imagine you are sitting in a dark room, 93% darkness, 7% silhouette of me sitting in the only chair facing right in front of you. This dark room is 9 ft in length, 6 ft in width, and the quiet envelopes us as your eyes adjust to me and I adjust to you. This is pre-universe.
You clear your throat, and I turn my head directly towards you while simultaneously noticing a strengthening in the frequency of your voice and the light wavelengths around us.
“November 11, 2016. 11/11,” You say.
“Armistice Day?” I say.
“That’s the day our universes collided. We will meet soon.” You say, as if that should be relevant to me in any definite way.
“Oh . . . Did you know that was also the day in 1918 in which there was a cease fire in World War One at exactly 11:11 am? 11/11 11:11.” The room continued to become gradually more and more light, and I could begin to see the features of your face that had been hidden before.
You have kind eyes and a curious smile lights up your face, as you say, “Oh, really?”
I look down at your name tag, “Really. I like your name, by the way.”
2. That’s when our universe began to form. It was a kaleidoscope of colors washing over us, and the third dimensionality of the room disappeared. Patterns began to reveal themselves and it seemed as if darker wavelengths congealed in the center of the main galaxy, while the lighter colors were dancing and playing, pure and untouched, around the edge of vision. That dark mass of wavelengths, heavy and burdened, became our Earth. As we focused more closely upon the detail’s of our creation, we found ourselves envisioning being a part of that landscape and that history.
The name tags dropped away, and I found a pristine, new book between my hands: 10% Happier.
“What do you have there?” Your questioning voice echoes through the space between us.
“A book I’ve been reading.” As I thumb through the pages, each page further in begins to develop a used and abused condition. The edges of pages folding over, and yellow pen highlighter bleeds front to back through the pages, “It’s making me question myself. How do I become more aware of my own happiness?”
You just sigh, and on your wrist I see a rubber band. You snap it against your skin.
3. Our world keeps spinning and spinning, and like the colors at the universe’s awakening: we dance together; we play together. You slip your hand into mine, and we hold on tightly to each other as we walk through sprouting rows and rows of trees . . . It is a whole other Eden, and I don’t think you realize what kind of power you hold over me when you look me in the eyes in this moment.
You were guiding the forces that built the first ancient civilization between the two rivers: Tigris and Euphrates. You inspire the Romans to spread their language, economic market, arts, and influence. You model for Michelangelo as David. You travel with Marco Polo to visit Ghengis Khan. You discover the printing press alongside Johannes Gutenberg in the 15th century. You kiss me on the night of October 28th, 1929, and again during the Summer of Love in 1967. You push our universe through renaissance and spiritual advances without the least bit of self-aware for your power.
4. Our walk takes a turn, and I find myself sitting on that bench our universe has seen fit to put along the path. We sit down, and then you shatter my heart. You act as the snake that poisoned Cleopatra. You rain ash upon the heads of the people in Pompeii. You whisper into Henry the Eighth’s ear the sly idea of separating England from Catholicism. The Great Depression begins October 29, 1929, and you ask me if we are “on the same page?”
On the same page? You wanted to go on existing in this same universe in the contentedness of singularity. I wasn’t enough of a draw to become plurality?
5. Kiss me again and it’s 1945: peace reigns throughout Europe and North America.
Tell me you don’t want to be with me: it’s the French Revolution.
Don’t want: It’s December 21st, 2012.
Don’t: It’s September 23rd, 2017.
Want Me?: It’s doomsday.
Our universe, our world had once been so pure and untouched. Our universe, now, has no saving. So, I let go of your familiar hand.
6. When I let go, I find myself in a new room. Pre-universe, dark, 6 by 9, and alone this time. I reach into my pocket and pull out my name tag.
“It was during that minute in nineteen hundred and eighteen, that millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one another. I have talked to old men who were on battlefields during that minute. They have told me in one way or another that the sudden silence was the Voice of God. So we still have among us some men who can remember when God spoke clearly to mankind.
Armistice Day has become Veterans’ Day. Armistice Day was sacred. Veterans’ Day is not.
So I will throw Veterans’ Day over my shoulder. Armistice Day I will keep. I don’t want to throw away any sacred things.
What else is sacred? Oh, Romeo and Juliet, for instance.
And all music is.”
-Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions