Tweeting Away

Shakespeare on Science - Still from "The Beach"

Since we're on the subject, I might as well put in my favorite part in the book. I always thought the concept of a parallel universe was only for science fiction novels, but this I feel is a rather romanticized (and personally preferred) version of it. I thought it amazing that while I was reading this particular part I found the idea so easy to grasp, yet after I read the last sentence I had to stop and was literally at awe with the profundity of what I had just read. The ending, in particular, blew me away - if Shakespeare was a science professor on the side (and he lived and spoke in the ways of our time), this is how I imagine he would discuss the idea of a parallel universe.
[Richard talking to Francoise]
"Do you want me to tell you something funny?"
"What about?"
"Infinity. But it isn't that complicated. I mean, you don't need a degree in-"
Francoise waved a hand in the air, tracing a red pattern with the tip of her cigarette.
"Is that a yes?" I whispered.
"Okay." I coughed quietly. "If you accept that the universe is infinite, then that means there's an infinite amount of chances for things to happen, right?"
She nodded and sucked on the red coal floating by her fingertips.
"Well, if there's an infinite amount of chances for something to happen, then eventually it will happen - no matter how small the likelihood."
"That means somewhere in space there's another planet that, by an incredible series of coincidences, developed exactly the same way as ours. Right down to the smallest detail."
"Is there?"
"Definitely. And there's another which is exactly the same, except that palm tree over there is two feet to the right. And there's another where the tree is two feet to the left. In fact, there're infinite planets with infinite variations on that tree alone..."
Silence. I wondered if she was asleep. "So how about that?" I prompted.
"Interesting," she whispered. "In these planets, everything that can happen will happen."
"Then in one planet, maybe I am a movie star."
"There's no maybe about it. You live in Beverly Hills and swept last year's Oscars."
"That's good."
"Yeah, but don't forget, somewhere else your film was a flop."
"It bombed. The critics turned on you, the studio lost a fortune, and you got into booze and Valium. It was pretty ugly."
Francoise rolled on to her side and looked at me. "Tell me about some other worlds," she whispered. In the moonlight her teeth flashed silver as she smiled.
"Well," I replied. "That's a lot to tell."
Etienne stirred and turned over again.
I leaned over and kissed Francoise. She pulled away, or laughed, or shook her head, or closed her eyes and kissed me back. Etienne woke, clasping his mouth in disbelief. Etienne slept. I slept while Francoise kissed Etienne.
Light-years above our garbage bag beds and the steady rush of the surf, all these things happened.
Let's leave it at that. =)

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