To do

Knock alarm clock onto floor [x]
Hit ‘on’ button on coffee machine [x]
Realize your wife had already turned it on, so you just turned it back off, so turn it back on [x]
Make coffee [x]
Mop kitchen floor and bathroom floor [x]
Get reprimanded by wife for doing a half-assed job [x]
Check outside temperature, put tortoise out, saying, “You are a very naughty tortoise” [x]
Mop kitchen floor a second time [x]
Write in journal a little [x]
Take shower, get dressed [x]
Go to store for cat food [x]
Drive kid to school [x]
Drive to work [x]
Take a walk at lunch time but fill pocket with peanuts first [x]
When the crow swoops by your ear, feel gratitude at being alive so you can hear the whoosh of a crow flying close [x]
Give crow peanuts [x]
Observe crow hiding peanuts by poking them down into grass and carefully covering them with leaves [x]
Stand there a long time watching the crow, which is big and fat and sleek. Also grey, so grey crow most likely, c. cornix [x]
Buy a sandwich at the store [x]
Give the crow more peanuts until it stops even hiding them and just stares at you, stares you down, then give it part of your sandwich and watch as it throws away the tomatoes and lettuce, throws them with great dislike, and tastes the mozzarella carefully, and flies away with the roll [x]
Wonder why slain and hanged. Were those the only causes of death in ancient Scandinavia? [x]
Develop a theory of the multiverse based on choice, with alternate universes bubbling up like foam, branching off from each other with every choice, a few conscious, most not, most not even imagined or suspected [x]
Think about the foam you used to see on blades of grass in the field in early summer, when the grass was still green, put there by some insect [x]
Realize you just created another universe just now, one in which you actually did think about the grass of your childhood, another where you did not [x]
The crow, however, did not create an alternate universe in which he eats a peanut instead of hiding it, because even though the number of alternate universes is infinite and growing larger all the time, in none of these does the crow eat a peanut, that’s how tired it is of peanuts [x]
Go back to work [x]

Multiverse: cause I

Question: Will three crows eat a whole ham sandwich?

Methodology: Sit on bench, feed sandwich to crows.

Conclusion: Yes. Without thinking twice about whether or not you might be hungry.

Conditions: Cloudy, timeless, unseasonably warm, as usual.

What say the slain?

Wenn mich wer angreift, sag ich immer…

A crowded station, a little boy, talking to a friend: When somebody attacks me, I always say…


Who knows. You didn’t hear it. Like a piece of bark floating away on a creek with lots of other pieces of bark floating on it too, you lose sight of him even though it is possible you still have him in your field of vision.

The universe forks here, depending on what he always says when attacked.

The possibilities are huge.

Like in an old science fiction story you forgot most of except that it went on forever.

Detailing each single possible variant.

My dad’s a cop: when he always says that you go to work and skip lunch and are hungry when you get home and dinner tastes great.

When you attack me, you are attacking yourself: when he always says that, a woman loses a nickel in a vending machine and decides to stop eating sugar.

I know karate: when he always says that, your mind gets trapped in a loop trying to understand how you can love life but be instantly filled with chill despair when someone asks you if you love your life, leading to huge misunderstandings you are still sorting out.

You meet a generous person. Winter is snowless. You see the devil’s face in a bare tree full of mistletoe. The universe continues to expand. Crop circles are a hoax. Crop circles are not a hoax. You discover a cure for ennui.





The multiverse is everywhere

There are days it is nice, when it is snowing and windy, to sit inside at lunch and watch the snow while a space heater blows hot air at your legs, and not go out into the cold to buy a sandwich (because you are skipping lunch) and not go buy fresh lottery tickets (because you gave all your cash to your wife and kid this morning, and the last Visa bill was ahem bigger than expected). Just sit inside and watch the snowflakes and think about the origins of the universe, and the ongoing popping into being of the multiverse, and how when you finish reading this cosmology book you will retain less than 1% of it but oh well.

There are days it is nice, when snowy and winding, to sit inside where it is warm and think about the perfect, broken, imperfect and absolute beauty of all of this, this world, the way simple natural laws and teeny-tiny strings (apparently) add up to all this stuff! Crows who recognize your face and hop onto the bench to eat your chicken sandwich! Children the size of mountains! Clouds full of millions of worlds!

(It helps if you develop the ability to see in more than three or four dimensions, depending on whether you consider time a dimension. Some are very tiny, it takes practice.)

(For the purposes of this essay, time is considered a dimension.)

There are days you remember yesterday’s traffic jam and are glad you took the train.

Endless days.

Days you throw your head back and laugh at the broken beauty of it all, just wait until you’re alone in the room.