“When you write something, you focus your full attention on it. It’s almost impossible to write one thing while thinking about another. The act of putting it on paper keeps your thoughts and intentions aligned.”
Nothing exists. All is a dream. God—man—the world—the sun, the moon, the wilderness of stars—a dream, all a dream; they have no existence. Nothing exists save empty space—and you…. And you are not you—you have no body, no blood, no bones, you are but a thought.
We’re all just wandering through the tundra of our existence, assigning value to worthlessness, when all that we love and hate, all we believe in and fight for and kill for and die for is as meaningless as images projected onto Plexiglas.
It’s the beautiful thing about youth. There’s a weightlessness that permeates everything because no damning choices have been made, no paths committed to, and the road forking out ahead is pure, unlimited potential.
The Many-Worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics posits that all possible realities exist. That everything which has a probability of happening is happening. Everything that might have occurred in our past did occur, only in another universe.
And maybe I can let go of the sting and resentment of the path not taken, because the path not taken isn’t just the inverse of who I am. It’s an infinitely branching system that represents all the permutations of my life between the extremes of me and Jason2.
I’ve always known, on a purely intellectual level, that our separateness and isolation are an illusion. We’re all made of the same thing—the blown-out pieces of matter formed in the fires of dead stars. I’ve just never felt that knowledge in my bones until that moment, there, with you. And it’s because of you.
Until everything topples, we have no idea what we actually have, how precariously and perfectly it all hangs together.
“I’ve seen so many versions of you. Without me. Graphic designer. But it’s all, in the end, just life. We see it macro, like one big story, but when you’re in it, it’s all just day-to-day, right? And isn’t that what you have to make your peace with?”
“We all live day to day completely oblivious to the fact that we’re a part of a much larger and stranger reality than we can possibly imagine.”
Most astrophysicists believe that the force holding stars and galaxies together—the thing that makes our whole universe work—comes from a theoretical substance we can’t measure or observe directly. Something they call dark matter. And this dark matter makes up most of the known universe.”
One of the things I love most about Daniela is her honesty. She has a direct link hardwired from her heart to her mouth. No filter, no self-revision. She says what she feels, without a shred of guile or cunning. She works no angles.
Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.
I can’t help thinking that we’re more than the sum total of our choices, that all the paths we might have taken factor somehow into the math of our identity.
The box isn’t all that different from life. If you go in with fear, fear is what you’ll find.”
“If there are a million ponds out there, with versions of you and me living similar and different lives, there’s none better than right here, right now. I’m more sure of that than anything in the world.”
All the tiny, seemingly insignificant details upon which my world hangs.
My understanding of identity has been shattered—I am one facet of an infinitely faceted being called Jason Dessen who has made every possible choice and lived every life imaginable.
No one tells you it’s all about to change, to be taken away. There’s no proximity alert, no indication that you’re standing on the precipice. And maybe that’s what makes tragedy so tragic. Not just what happens, but how it happens: a sucker punch that comes at you out of nowhere, when you’re least expecting it. No time to flinch or brace.
Lately, their family dinner conversations have centered around ideas, books, and articles Jason is reading, and Charlie’s studies, instead of a mundane recounting of the day’s events.