Everything Will Happen Again

If you had never met someone at a party you might not meet them ever again. But now that we'd met, it was inevitable that we'd run into each other again. Everything that happens has happened before, and will happen again.




It's just a matter of when. I was running late for work, so I didn't have time to say much when we met again. But we exchanged numbers, and I promised to call her later. When I finally did call her, she was surprised that I had remembered her name. She was even more surprised when she realized that I had actually called her, instead of just thinking about calling her again and again until the day I died and never actually doing it.


"I'm surprised you called me," she said. "I never thought you would."


"Why not?" I asked. "Why wouldn't I call you?"


"I don't know," she said. "It's just that most people don't follow through on what they say they're going to do."


"Well, now you have a new expectation for how people behave," I said. "You expect them to follow through on what they say they're going to do."


We made plans to meet for dinner later that night. My boss let me leave early so that I could meet up with her sooner, so we could spend more time together before our date started.


When we met up, we talked about everything except our date -- what we were doing now and how we got there; where we grew up; how long we'd lived there now; why we moved there; what our favorite movies are; what our favorite books are; whether or not it's better to read books than watch movies based on them; whether or not_______ is better than_______ because_______ is better than_______ because of_______ (choose your own adventure). We talked about everything except the things that would happen during our date -- where we would go and what we would do when we got there; who else might be there and who would be their friends and why they would be there; how long the date would last.


When we finally got around to talking about our date, we picked a place at random that had been chosen by someone else instead of choosing a place that we might have chosen ourselves. We didn't know anything about it except that it existed and was nearby. If we had chosen a place that we knew well, then our expectations might have been different than they were now, and our expectations might have changed the outcome of the date.


After dinner was over, we decided to go somewhere else instead of going back to my place or her place. If we went back to my place or her place now, then our expectations might change and our expectations might change the outcome of this night.


We went back to the place we had been before instead of choosing a new place -- because we didn't have time to choose a new place; because it was the only place we could think of going; because you might as well go back to the same place twice if you've never been there before; because it's better to go somewhere familiar than somewhere unfamiliar.


When I first saw her again, I couldn't stop staring at her. She was even more beautiful than I remembered her being. I couldn't stop thinking about how lucky I was to be with her instead of anyone else in the world -- that she had chosen me instead of anyone else to go on this date with. She didn't know anything about me except for my name, but she had still chosen me instead of anyone else to go on this date with.


I tried to hide my feelings for her, but I couldn't stop myself from staring at her. I thought about telling her how beautiful she was, but I didn't want to sound like a creep or come across as being too forward. Instead, I stared at her instead of saying anything. She seemed to enjoy the attention; if she minded it at all, then she didn't say anything about it.


This was the place where entropy couldn't touch me.





We talked about the weather -- how it was hot outside, and whether or not we wanted to go somewhere else instead where it might be cooler.


"It's too late now," she said. "You chose this place at random, so there are no other places nearby that you could choose instead."


I wondered if I had chosen a different place at random if things would have turned out differently for us; maybe we wouldn't have ended up here together tonight. Maybe something better than this would happen in its stead.


"Maybe it's too late now," she said. "But that doesn't mean you should stop trying to make things happen by choosing different places at random instead of going back to the same place twice."


I didn't know if I could choose a different place at random again, or if this time was special because it had never happened before; maybe I wouldn't be able to do it again even if I wanted to. Maybe what happens once can never happen again -- like how some people will tell you that they'll always love you no matter what; but when they inevitably break up with you years later and meet someone else who loves them more than their first love ever did, then their original promise is broken and can never be fulfilled in the same way ever again.


We kept talking about the weather instead of doing anything else -- because we didn't have any other ideas for how we might spend our time together besides talking about whether or not we wanted something outside ourselves (the weather) to change before deciding on another course of action; because there were so many possibilities for what might happen next (we could go somewhere else inside where it would be cooler); because these decisions were easier than all of our other options combined since there are only so many choices available based on external factors rather than internal ones.


Instead, we talked about whether or not anyone would notice us sitting here together without doing anything as opposed as doing something active like dancing or playing pool instead; why people chose one option over another sometimes when both options lead them toward similar goals (like staying here versus going somewhere cooler); why some activities felt better while others felt worse even though they led toward similar outcomes ("feeling good" vs "feeling bad"); why certain perceptions mattered more in certain situations while others weren’t nearly as important during other times ("what’s happening right now?").


I wanted this moment to never end. Doing nothing, with her. When she was still slightly mysterious to me. Before I knew everything about her and her life story, before she had any expectations of me or my past, before we’d shared enough details about ourselves to understand our similarities and differences.


I wanted this moment never to end so that it would always be new; so that the memory of this time with her wouldn’t get old as times passed by faster than ever before; because if things happened more slowly then they might not happen at all -- like how some people will tell you that slow motion is better than regular speed because it allows them to appreciate every tiny detail in a scene instead of losing important information when events move too fast for their brains to process without missing something important (like action movies); but if things moved slower instead then they might not happen at all since there wouldn't be enough time for anything else besides doing nothing together forever without ever having another choice again once these moments were over.

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