Daydream Believer

Ever since I was a child, I’ve been a chronic daydreamer. I’ve experienced visions ranging from mundane scenarios in which a cute boy talks to me in a fairly common setting, to whimsical fantasies of falling into puddles and ending up in a completely different world. But what are the chances of our daydreams coming true?

If you believe in the multiverse, the possibility of infinite parallel universes or alternate realities, then could it be that at least one daydream out of the thousands we experience in this life could be manifested in at least one of these other universes…and if so, though the chances are slim, perhaps even manifested in this very life, in this very universe?

My daydreams have always held the same power as real life. For each moment absorbed in a reverie, I feel true emotion. Happy daydreams leave me with a goofy grin and a soaring mood, while imaginings that take a tragic turn often bring me to tears.  But daydreams are fleeting and fictional, and real life is…well, real. So while my daydreams are powerful and elicit a quite visceral response, they are not very functional, except to pass the time. And if I have too many brilliant, joyful visions, I sometimes crash from my high when I have to face the comparatively dull and sometimes gloomy reality of my life.

But what if daydreams could come true? Well, this actually did happen to me once in my life! Alas, it wasn’t as exciting as it sounds. The chances of me falling through a puddle and into a separate realm are highly unlikely, given the physics operating in this particular universe. But what about meeting a cute boy in a fairly common setting?

I was in the 6th grade, and in addition to my fanciful visions of magical worlds and dreams of becoming a famous writer, I also conjured up dozens of possible encounters with my crush (e.g. he’d catch up to me while I was walking home from school and start a conversation, or I’d run into him in the movie theater and the only seat open was next to him, or…well, you get the idea).

In one such daydream, I was in the city library looking for a certain book to check out for my class project when I heard a voice ask, “You looking for that book too, huh?” Startled, I turned away from the shelves to find my crush, let’s call him John, standing before me with that adorable grin of his. I smiled back. “Yup, found it!” And I waved the book in my hand. After that point, witty banter ensued. Because in my daydreams, all the right words slipped from my brain effortlessly onto my tongue and rendered me clever and charming.

In real life, I did go to the library looking for that certain book for that class project, in just the same spot as in my daydream. And I did hear a voice ask, “You looking for that book too, huh?” And I was startled as I turned away from the shelves to find my crush, John, standing before me with that adorable grin of his. But I couldn’t smile back. I couldn’t say “Yup, found it!” or much of anything, really, other than “Um yeah, er….well…just looking…uh…”  Part of my miserable awkwardness did have something to do with my shyness around boys in real life. But I think I was mostly just struck dumb by the fact that one of my daydreams had come true.

I couldn’t believe it. I had had countless fantasies, but never had any of them come true. Except that one. I hardly knew what to do; I was so amazed. I had never prepared myself for the possibility of manifestation. My visions had been fanciful playthings in the safe confines of my mind.  Later, when I thought about it, my experience didn’t seem quite so supernatural. After all, my daydream had been a mundane one – I had imagined somebody I knew, in a place I frequently went, for a circumstance that was true (we really did have a class project, so I had worked it into my daydream). Sure, it was still rather unsettling that John happened to be at the same place at the same time, that real life had unfolded exactly as I had imagined, up until the part when I was supposed to be witty and charming. When I thought about it some more, I started kicking myself. The mysterious multiverse had granted me a golden opportunity; why hadn’t I seized it? Instead of standing there like an idiot, why couldn’t I have just mustered up some confidence and fulfilled my part of the fantasy?

My failing still haunts me to this day. Since that surreal bit of happenstance at the library, I’ve had hundreds of daydreams of other normal experiences and probable encounters, yet not one of them has even approached reality. Perhaps I blew it. Or maybe I will be bestowed with a second chance one day. It could be next time I’ll fall through that puddle…

Either way, I’ll keep dreaming, keep living, because I do so enjoy both. But should the two ever converge again in cosmic serendipity, I’ll be ready.

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