The Physicist

One day, as Orvi finished his proofs, he discovered something wild: time was a rubber band.

He flipped through his notes. He checked his formulas, and derivatives, and negatives signs. Had he made a mistake? Had he fudged the numbers? No, no! It was all correct! And that meant…

Orvi plopped down into his desk chair. He oscillated back and forth, swinging his legs, and tapping a pen against his nose. Whom should he call? His wife, his friend, his boss, the government? This was big. He knew it. It meant that… that… Well, he didn’t quite know what it meant. If time was rubber, then that meant it could… well, it could stretch in all sorts of ways. And, if time was a circle, then that meant the future could… well, it could influence the past — or already has, or will has, or whatever grammatical tense was needed. Gradually, Orvi’s mind began to fill with questions: if the future did affect the past, and the past did affect the future, was there such a thing as Free Will? Or was his life simply one inevitable step in an infinite equation? He began to sweat. What if he forgot to vote? Would that cause World War II? And… would he be responsible? Or… or, what if he forgot to pay his rent this month? Would that cause Lincoln’s demise? No, no. Too many other factors. He could not be held responsible, especially for those events in the most recent past — for they were much too far away, and… Suddenly, a wave of comfort washed over him. He felt profoundly relaxed from head to toe. Perhaps he was not responsible for anything. Perhaps he was completely Free! Free of guilt! Free of blame! There was nothing he could do to either help or hinder the universe. It was fixed. It was wrought. Then again… He scratched his eyebrow with the pen. Boy, this was a confusing matter! He sighed. And then, after some thought, he grabbed a sticky note, and jotted himself a quick reminder: you will never be free of yourself.