A man's descent into madness
2021-05-03 06:40:00 (UTC)

5/3/21 Thoughts: Timelines

At the point that I am writing this, I have already been up for about 4 hours when I should have just now have gotten out of bed. Currently I am sitting in a drabby hospital waiting room waiting for mom's procedure to get finished. This waiting room feels so outdated even though I can still remember when this part of the hospital was build when I was in middle school. In 2013, I worked nightshift housekeeping at this hospital and spent plenty of hours hiding out at midnight in this exact waiting room. Seems like an eternity ago that I was hiding out and not working while being paid $8.50 an hour.

I have been thinking about the past a little bit more than usual over the past few days and I am not entirely sure why. I have the habit of running scenarios in my head of how much different life could have been if just very small factors could have been manipulated such as taking one job instead of another, if I went to the party that day in high school where I met Miranda, or even if I had chosen a different career path.

The discussion on 2/23/2021 was regarding alternative timelines and I wanted to continue that conversation today. Is pondering alternative timeless and/or parallel universes something that others do, or is it something that is a weird Zach thing? These alternative timeless that I am thinking about are all in the realm of possibility. This means nothing like my parents staying together, or me becoming the star football player or becoming homecoming king etc.

One time, Tiffany got so mad at me for bringing the subject up stating that I was an idiot for thinking about realities that are not real instead of the reality that is right in front of me. I do not think it hurts to think about possibilities as long as you dont start dwelling about one mistake you made years ago. Obsessing over missed opportunities is something that will make you go crazy. Is it ok to think about the timelines that are lost due to the paths that one does not take?

I was remembering my times in Arkansas and even to this day, my mind wonders back to those days, and yeah there have been times where I wonder how things would have went differently if Blaire and I stayed together.

If you pull out a map of the US, you will find a point on the map where the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas come together. Most people would think nothing of this place, just lines on a map. However, this place was my part time home for a few years, and if my life took a different path, it could have easily have been my permanent home.

About 10 miles north of the Louisiana border, there sits a picturesque small town of roughly 1,000 people in the middle of the mostly monoculture pine forest that sweeps across the South. This town could be a stand in for your stereotypical small town consisting of two gas stations, a restaurant, a Subway, school, post office, dollar store, and multiple evangelical churches. Alcohol was banned from store shelves and of course behind the picturesque setting, racism and poverty prevailed.

Once you leave town on the forgotten US highway now replaced by the interstate, you will drive past tree farms, small homesteads, and cow pastures. Taking a right off the highway onto a small county road made with tar, you will find a two story house with a log cabin exterior. This was almost my permanent home.

Starting in late September, you could wake up early enough and feel the cool air coming down from the Ozarks about a hundred miles to the North. The coolness quickly gave way to the typical Deep South humidity by mid morning. When I was there, I normally slept all morning anyway. Our days consisted of sleeping late, waking up around lunchtime and then driving about 30 minutes away to a larger town and maybe eat lunch. Usually getting back after dark, I would look up and the sky would just seem so much clearer there when compared to home.

Blaire lived with both parents, and her sister along with her young niece and nephew lived across the street. Since I was there mostly on weekends, I spent Sunday mornings going down to the non denominational full gospel church where Blaire was in charge of the nursery although she was not too religious in her own right. She knew almost everyone in town since she was town's prek teacher taking over the job from her aunt after she retired.

Just like other aspects of my life, I tend to idealize the good and overlook the bad. While everything on paper seemed almost perfect, this just was not the case. I was never truly in love and I realize that now. I forced myself to try to be in a relationship where it should have just ended. I hurt her and feel like I ended up wasting her time. The last time I spent the weekend there, we were laying in bed watching Hell or High Water that we got from Redbox earlier in the day. She fell asleep and I laid in bed daydreaming wishing that Liz put her personal trainer ass in my face or something.

A month later we broke up and the idealized dream fell apart, a few months later she lost her teaching job and ended up leaving teaching even though she still had a teaching license. This is one of the few times that I have truly felt guilty over screwing up someone's life. Two months ago, she moved in with a guy she met online in San Antonio and plans on getting married soon, so maybe the story has a good ending.

Sometimes I wonder about this "timeline divergence" and wonder what life would be like if things were just a little different. I want to discuss more of these "timelines" in the future and I definately think that it is time to put the Liz story to paper.