Memories From A Parallel Universe?

“What is in our memories may be residues of lives that we have never actually lived” – Fred Alan Wolf

This is scary stuff. I’ve been fascinated by the idea of parallel universes since reading Parallel Universes: the Search for Other Worlds by Fred Alan Wolf a few years ago. Not to say I understand it but it really feeds the imagination, so bear with me.

In 1960 while living in Lexington, Kentucky, I was offered a job in either of two cities and the choice was mine. One city was Chicago, Illinois, and the other was Kansas City, Missouri. In considering my choice I was influenced by what I’d heard about Chicago – specifically, that it was controlled by the mob – and decided I’d be safer in Kansas City.

In Kansas City my life took a dramatic turn. I met and married my first husband and moved to Iowa, leaving my budding career behind me to become a homemaker and mother of four. I never regretted that choice as becoming a mother was the most important thing that ever happened to me.

But my imagination creates visions in my mind and there were times over the years when a feeling of nostalgia would come over me. I would close my eyes and see a windswept city street in late evening, a light rain falling and a woman in high heels holding her dark gray coat tight to her body as she struggled against the wind. Her head slightly bent, she hurried forward, walking close to a tall dark building. She was obviously in the business district so she had probably just gotten off work, but I could sense her loneliness. I always had the feeling the woman was me.

In 1960 I had been very torn at having to make a choice between the two cities and over time I occasionally wondered how my life would’ve been different had I chosen Chicago. By an odd coincidence I have, for the past few years, had different dreams in which I am lost in a large city which I know to be Chicago, and trying to find my way home. It seems that even though a part of me still yearns for the Chicago experience, the rest of me knows the path I chose led me home, to the universe where I am meant to be.

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