I don’t remember much about quantum physics, but I remember at one point we learned about something called the two-slit experiment. Basically, in this experiment you can show that a single particle can be in two different places at the same time. It doesn’t make any sense. As far as I know, nobody knows why it happens. And, to me, this was the first proof I ever had of the existence of God.
Something like this happens (or at least tries to happen) in the minds of New Yorkers every day. They try to be in two places at once. The most obvious way to see this is to notice the amount of over-commitment that occurs. Folks routinely commit to doing something when they are are already doing something else. They typically refer to it as multi-tasking, but it is really more like zero-tasking. They are trying for their mind to be in two places at once, and it just doesn’t work. But it’s okay – I can mostly shrug it off and just go on with my day, knowing that the multi-taskers will continue to do nothing while believing they’ve done something twice (or whatever it works out to).
But the more subtle form that quantum mechanics shows in everyday life in the City is when an individual walking on the street tries to both walk and stop at the same time. The stopping is typically in order to pause for a moment to figure out whether the walking is going in the right direction. A lot of times, the walker will stare at me (probably because I am staring at them) while they are pausing, and then that usually prompts them to continue on walking – as if I had caught them doing something wrong by stopping. Sometimes the stopping is due to the walker wanting to look in the window of a store (but without stopping to do so!). And sometimes it is really very simply that the walker honestly and truly wants to be walking in two different directions at the same time.
Some of you may think I am presuming to know the mind of a stop-walker. But really, this is all very easy to see once you start paying attention to it. All around me every day, folks are both walking and stopping (both figuratively and literally), and the City moves at a snail’s pace as a result.
It is a very sad time to live in New York City.
Background and history
When we first met, I remember being amazed that you were a singer-songwriter. And your songs were actually really good! I had never met someone like that before. You had a website and a CD, and I was really impressed. I was even more impressed that for you, it just seemed completely natural – you were just doing what you loved to do.
Then it turned out that you knew all about bird-walking, and you liked to do things like walk barefoot in the streets of Brooklyn, and you didn’t mind when the fiddler crab from my aquarium ran up your finger. You had all sorts of interesting interests, and quirky quirks. And again, they just seemed natural to you. You seemed to think it was funny that I was impressed that you let a fiddler crab walk up your finger.
And then there was the day that I told my good friend Jill that I thought you were probably even goofier than I am – among my closest friends, that is a high compliment.
So you were a lot of fun, and you liked me, and we were fun together.
But more important than that, you were a good partner. You accepted me, my ideas, my quirks. You were always kind. And even when we had difficult times, you very quickly showed me again how much you care about me.
So we moved on with our lives. We ate, we slept, we saw friends and family together, we each have our separate hobbies, we take walks in Prospect Park. And we will do that until we are old and grey
And that is a good thing, in my book.
- I promise that I will never judge you for bringing such an annoying cat into my life.
- I promise that we will get better every day, and that 30 years from now, we will look back on our life and smile together.
- I promise to always keep the shades down at night, and to stop snoring when you say “Shannon, could you roll over?”.
- I promise to take care of myself, so that we can take care of each other together.
- I promise to always remember your birthday, and our anniversary.
- I promise to be yours, and to take you as mine.
I recently came across a series of blog postings by a Google/Amazon employee named Steve Yegge. Interesting topics – for me at least – but I did notice that one that I have starred to read is on “Why Blog?”. Just thought I would give my quick answer before going ahead and reading his..
My most obvious reason to blog right now is: to find your voice. This idea comes to me from an old fiction professor of mine named Vince Passaro. The more I write, the more I will figure out what I want to write about. And, in his words, if I get to page 50 and haven’t found my ending, then I “must be writing a novel”.