I have a prevailing belief. It may not be the most popular belief, but I have it.
I believe in the multiverse.
My belief is actually one that was sculpted in the direct to video movie Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (I reviewed it along with Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief; you can read it here). I’m going by memory on this one because I don’t want to pop the movie in and be distracted from ever finishing this post, but there is a point where Owlman (James Woods) is explaining the theory of the multiverse to Superwoman (Gina Torres). What he basically says is that every choice is presented as a fork in the road. If we go left, the universe goes one way. If we go right, the universe goes another way. Normally, we go along with our lives after making that choice, and we don’t think anything of it. The thing is, maybe when we reached that fork in the road, we went left instead of right. That creates an entirely different universe where that decision creates a domino effect.
Another piece of media dealing with this – not on as grand a scale as the Justice League movie, but it’s dealing with it nonetheless – is a book called The Prodigal Hour by Will Entrekin. In it, there is a character from what we would consider an alternate reality who finds his way into our world hours before 9/11. There’s a lot of exposition in that book, including the male and female leads going back to Jerusalem to see Jesus Christ face Pontius Pilate and make the walk to Calvary. As much as I’d love to continue on and spoil the book, I would prefer you read it; there is a very significant fork in the road that the characters take that creates a very fluidly written domino effect and a very exciting twist.
I say all of that to say this: what if, when faced with that fork in the road, I took an alternate route? What if, instead of moving to Mobile, I stayed in Birmingham? What if, instead of going into the Navy Reserves, I stayed on active duty? What if, instead of joining the Navy altogether, I stayed in school and graduated from Alabama State? What if, instead of waiting until my Senior year, I played high school football one year earlier? What if, instead of blithely sitting by while being teased unmercifully in high school, I actually stood up for myself and knocked some bullies on their asses?
Now, I know this sounds like I’m regretting the decisions I’ve made to lead me to this point in life. Truth is, I’m not. I’m very happy with the path I’ve taken to lead me to where I am today. I didn’t choose the motto “I am who I am, and I have no regrets” for nothing, you know. But, I think everyone wonders how their life would be if they chose a different path. That’s part of what makes us human. That being said, I’d be remiss to say that I don’t sometimes wonder “what if”. I refuse to harp on that, though; wondering what your life would be like if you chose an alternate path is the fastest way to ensure that you will always be looking behind and never ahead Even after that, you’ll still be wondering…