Advertisement: The following post is based on random thoughts and ideas influenced by the writings of an indie comic entitled “Good Luck With All That” by Bela Messex in conjunction with Jenna Marx and Hannah May.
The other day I was zooming down below the streets of Los Angeles on the Metro (almost said Gotham – force of habit), when I was struck with multiple thoughts. Actually, more like reflections. What if, at this very moment, my future-self is reminiscing about me thinking about him? Stay with me. Would he be a contented version of myself? Or would he exist as a dark and abysmal variant of an infinite number of potentialities?
If the space-time continuum allowed for us to converse, would he be the one to ease my anxiety? Mapping out which pitfalls to avoid, which choices to consider with care. Or would it be I who placated his mind? Consoling him with a confident reassurance – “We’re gonna be alright, kid. I promise to make it so.” This is probably a moot point seeing as physics tells us we wouldn’t be able to occupy the same space, but for the sake of argument, let’s continue. Time travel is complicated enough without all of these pesky technicalities to ruin the fun.
It’s an interesting exercise to ponder the multitude of destinations we could have arrived at had we chosen a different path: deciding to make a left instead of a right or perhaps staying in on a Saturday night as opposed to going out. But a more effective way to frame this idea might be: where would we be had we evolved faster in our respective lives than we actually did? It’s a side effect of living to forever play the “What if?” game. As hard as it is to accept, regret is regrettably an innate part of our growth as sentient, critically-thinking beings.
Equally as hard is knowing certain people are required for our growth during the turbulent times. The times in which we are at our most infantile, emotionally as well as intellectually. People who we naturally long for in our evolved-state.
But therein lies the rub: sometimes our evolution requires these people to enter our lives when we would least appreciate them, their love and companionship being a necessary component for the change to occur. It’s like a sadistic joke with our lives as the punchline; the universe’s proverbial killing-stroke for an audience demanding unadulterated depravity in their humor. Without having the wisdom to realize our colossal mistake, we run these people out of our lives only to later realize they are the very human connection we were searching for all along. The evolution being successful at the cost of losing the universe’s gift to us – a Pyrrhic victory, if you will. An unsolvable conundrum haunting us for the remainder of our tiny, insignificant life span.
James T. Kirk would disagree with the idea of a no-win scenario, but I think if presented with a situation such as this, even he’d eventually concede to the immutable truth – we have here a Kobayashi Maru which can’t be beat.
Although, without the initial desire for betterment, all of this is meaningless. The willingness needs to exist. A willingness to be more than we are, striving to embrace the better angels of our nature. A long and never-ending journey taking us on an adventure of heartbreak and sadness, of achievements and fulfillment. A trek laced with twists and turns throughout the varying paths with nary a sign to guide us.
As they often do, my conversations typically find themselves ending on a geeky note (our little chat here being no exception). This season’s second episode of Doctor Who found Peter Capaldi’s Doctor asking Clara if he’s a good man. She responds with “I don’t know. But I think you try to be, and, I think that’s probably the point.”
“Trying” is a great place to start.