In the style of John Koenig’s “Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows”
When two futures beckon
Usually life is easy to predict. In the morning, you know the evening. You schedule routines, events, and even some small surprises, days and months and years in advance. When the unexpected happens, you regain control and get back on track. Time’s flow wiggles a bit, but it stays within the channel that you dug so long ago.
But sometimes a branch-point looms. You approach a split between two different futures. It’s a choice that you must make, or it’s a decision by others, or it’s a gamble that you will win or lose. You don’t know which way the coin will fall, only that it will fall; and then you will inhabit one timeline, and not the other, from then on.
Afterwards certainty will return, but until then you don’t know who you will be. Afterwards you will be one again; but until then you are the parent of two future yous. Already you plan, twice; you regret, twice; you are grateful, twice; and for opposite reasons.
It is agony and ecstasy to be two but one. Temporarily stuck in a gap between the worlds, you witness the light between the worlds. You float, you fly. Soon you’ll be re-born, and soon you will pre-die.
The agony and ecstasy will end. The coin will fall, the decision will be made, you will float past the branch-point, down one stream and not the other. You will know who you are and what is to come. Even the memory of this strange exaltation will ring false.
But until then, you are not only you.