I was reading a book by Lawrence Schoen (The Conroyverse, which is great!) and came across some interesting data regarding the unlikelyhood of you ever having been born. That all these factors came together that gave you some infinitesimal chance of existing.
Now, I guess that’s true, if you look at it from the back end. However, stories are written about interesting people. There’s not much enthralling action in a story about John and his wife who never did anything and died in the same small town they were both born in.
Of course, that means there’s a necessity to pick out a person who did interesting things. Or a boring person who wound up lifting themselves out of the muck of everyday life and becoming interesting. In the end, yes, we could look and marvel at the thought that it was essentially impossible for them to exist, but they did.
On the other hand, maybe it’s closer to the truth that you have to be born, since these events were happening and needed a fuse, an ignition point, a spark if you will. The universe constructs the correct person to be in place and move the story along.
Now, I know that people might read a book and say, “Oh, that’s so unbelievable, that would never happen in real life.” and maybe they’re right. However, a book is more or less written backwards so that the unbelievable events that happen by the end of the book have a logical reason for it. A base to live on while the story is being constructed, so to speak.
And in the interests of full disclosure, I admit that most of my books are written with only a very vague idea of the end. Shtuff happens, things get broke, lives get shattered, they put the priceless Ming vase back together, and then the end comes. If I’ve done my job right, the end more or less fits the middle and the beginning. Oh happy day, I dun it again.
And yes, real life isn’t like that. Or is it?
In 1998 I met my wife in a Yahoo chat room. We interacted a few minutes and she left, but she gave me her email address.
She lived 800 miles away from me, so no point in pursuing this. But we exchanged emails a bit.
A couple weeks later she’s got her high school reunion. A girls trip after was planned and it was taking her within 50 miles of where I was going to be that weekend. I picked her up from her friends, drove her the remaining hundred miles to their rendezvous, and we got to know each other in person on the way.
Still, 800 miles, no point in the long run.
A month later I attended a conference in San Diego courtesy Compaq Computer. I got bumped at the airport and it screwed over my travel plans enough that they gave me two free flight vouchers. Nice.
Finished in San Diego, I realized I could stopover in San Francisco if the girl was interested. She was interested, and we spent a couple days together. I flew home. I missed her. 800 miles was still too far away, but now I have two free flight vouchers.
That resulted in two very nice trips to SF. Still, 800 miles away…
She flew to see me the next time. The last time. To say goodbye. Because 800 miles. But, while she was with me we had such a great time that she basically dumped her life there and came 800 miles to live with me.
We’ve now been married over 23 years and just passed the anniversary of when we met on Yahoo. And if you look at each of the coincidences along the way, it is basically impossible that we’d ever have met, or had any chance at all of finding out we liked each other enough to spend the rest of our lives bothering each other.
So, it was essentially impossible. Did the universe bend its rules of probability to pull us together for its own nefarious purposes?
Or was it just pure coincidence? Hm .. I wonder.