Stephen Hawking is right, after all. There are such things as parallel universes. I was in one just the other day.
It started about 4:00 p.m. I’d been busting my you-know-what for weeks, working all sorts of crazy hours meeting crisis deadline after crisis deadline. My boss walked into my office, put his arm around me and said, “Marc, I appreciate how hard you’ve been working and what a great job you’ve been doing. Why don’t you knock off early today?”
I’m pretty sure I said “thank you” before I ran out the door. I was completely giddy, especially when I heard him call out from behind me: “And there’ll be something extra in your pay this month.”
I got down to the platform just as the subway pulled in. No waiting! I hopped aboard and within minutes I was at Penn Station. I was shocked to see that my train to Long Island was running on time. When I boarded, there was actually an empty seat beckoning me (I usually have to stand) and wouldn’t you know, it happened to be right next to an attractive 30-something woman who had on the most delicious fragrance.
I got home a mere 50 minutes later. Pulling into the driveway, I saw that the garbage pails had been brought back to the garage from the curb. I walked up the front steps and saw a sign taped to the storm door that read: “Marc, you’re the best!” When I entered the house, instead of the dog being the first—and only one to greet me, my daughter was there in a heartbeat. She threw her arms around my neck, kissed me on the cheek and said: “I love you, Dad. See you later. I’m going out to give you and Mom some peace.” She pushed open the door and walked out. “Wait”, I said. “Don’t you need money?” She called out over her shoulder: “No, thank you. I’ll use the birthday money I got.”
Only the sound of shoes on wood broke the spell. I turned around to see my wife walking down the stairs, wearing heels and a New York Giants jersey that came down to her mid-thigh. In a sultry, seductive voice, she said, “Darling, I’m SO glad you’re home. I hope you aren’t disappointed that I want to stay in. I know how hard you’ve been working and I want to show you how much I appreciate all you do for us.”
Now, none of this actually happened. None of it. Still, I imagined all of what you read above. Who said a parallel universe must exist in a physical sense? The few minutes I spent fantasizing about a glorious end to another monotonous day was no less authentic. And I didn’t have to worry about spaceship fare to get back to reality.
By the way, did I ever tell you about the time I crawled through a wormhole?