My Name is Sam, and I'm a Recovering Quantum Leaper
Hi everyone! My name is Sam, and I’m a recovering quantum leaper. It’s been twenty-one years and two hundred forty-three days since my last quantum leap, and I have to say that it’s been quite a struggle lately. I don’t know why it’s been so hard—possibly it’s the pandemic or the social unrest, or maybe the chaotic mess we pretend is politics, but I’ve been jonesing for a jump. Anything to make me think that I can make the world a better place, I guess. That it’s possible to fix the past and set it on a better trajectory.
What I wouldn’t give for that moment of oblivion with each new leap as my consciousness literally pixilated to pieces and reformed itself anew. It was godhead. It was nirvana. It was the all-encompassing fear that thundered through my veins as if the universe were flowing through me.
But if I’m being honest, that’s not the real problem. I miss the adrenaline rush of waking up in confusion, uncertain of the era, not knowing if I’m a man or a woman or a child, the hyper-focus of looking for clues in my surroundings to help orient myself. It made me feel so alive! So full of purpose! And that moment when I’d finally get a glimpse of my reflection…and see, I mean really see, who I was. The crazy thing is that I was never myself, but somehow, I felt more human when a stranger’s face was staring back at me. Like it reminded me that we’re all somehow connected on a deep cosmic level. I felt so omnipotent. Omniscient—even if the only reason why I understood my goals was because Al and Ziggy were able to guide me.
Man, it was so much easier when they were in my life.
You know, I miss being guided, knowing that each action had a clear purpose. That was probably what blindsided me the most when I finally leapt back into my own body (beyond the fact that I’d bloated up like a dead whale in the years I’d been leaping). Everyone had given up on me. The entire program had been dismantled. Ziggy was shut down completely while Al had apparently retired to Boca Raton. No one knew I’d returned. And no one cared.
I mean, even if they’d been around, Ziggy and Al didn’t have the ability to guide me through the present. I knew that. I know that. But somehow through all those leaps, I’d lost the capacity to make decisions without knowing the purpose of those decisions. I couldn’t even order a sandwich, which is still a challenge—if I’m being honest—, without wondering if the long-term effects of choosing turkey over ham would have far-reaching consequences for the pork industry that I didn’t have the context to understand. Whose life would I destroy? Whose life could I have possibly saved? It’s incredibly debilitating to be so aware that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. It’s why I’ve lived as a shut-in for so long.
Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that I’ve been enduring as a shut-in. I haven’t truly lived in a long time.
Anyway, I’ve said my piece. Thanks for listening.