“To celebrate, I’m sitting on a roll of fiberglass insulation in the attic, and opening cardboard boxes of clothing next to the slatted air vents. And I’m not wearing my gas mask.
Only, they’re not really boxes of clothing. They only look that way. Each box is a universe, and inside those universes, time moves in recursive ribbons where the Change will never exist. In one, your mother is in her wedding dress, smiling at me, even more pretty than I remember. In another, there is a snow-draped Paris, where her clothes — newly bought and holiday festive — dance in my arms in December, then fall from my hands in January. And in others, the two of you are coming home from the hospital for the first time, or walking for the first time, or riding your bicycles for the first time.
In those boxes, my life is immeasurably bright.
I pull apart the cardboard flaps, reach in, and seize the true fabric of time and space. The roll of fiberglass insulation disappears, as does the attic. I bend the woven threads of reality to my face, and breathe the scent of forever.
Universes in boxes. These things exist. Everyone has them. But we usually don’t understand the physics until too late.”
– From The Changed by Anthony Jay Blackwell