Sunday, March 25, 2018

Butterfly Effect

I haven't been able to get this concept out of my head. The idea that the smallest action can trigger an unimaginable chain of events.

Like the fact that a water heater rupturing in a random house in Twin Peaks resulted in the death of a young woman from Los Angeles six months later.

I know this sounds insane, but I'm simply stating what happened.

In November 2016, after losing his wife, an elderly man named Richard put their beloved home on the market. After a few months, Richard accepted an offer on the house. It was officially in escrow.

A week before escrow was scheduled to close on the house, disaster struck. The upstairs water heater ruptured, flooding everything. Richard was forced to make repairs, spending months replacing cabinets and floors. The buyers of the house were not willing to wait, so they pulled out of the deal.

It wasn't until July 2017 that the house was re-listed. A family of four fell in love with the house and made an offer. Despite a hellacious escrow process, they received their keys on August 22, 2017, and now happily live there today.

But here's where the story goes dark. One day this family of four were on their way home from work and school, and they struck a female motorcyclist with their truck. The motorcyclist died. 

This family would have never been on that highway if they hadn't moved to the mountains. They would have never moved to the mountains if they hadn't stumbled upon their dream house. They would have never stumbled upon their dream house if an unfortunate incident involving a water heater hadn't forced the first buyers to back out. 

Thus, a ruptured water heater resulted in the death of Kaleena Porter.

And the wheels of the bus go round and round...

By the way, me getting blasted on social media by a horrible parent also led to Kaleena's death.

Me buying new curtains for my living room also led to her death.

Me pushing my family to leave work right after the bell rang also led to her death.

Clint turning left when he usually turns right also led to her death.

If we just took one of these things out of the equation, just ONE of these pathetic little things, we would not have struck Kaleena with our truck.

I can rationalize a dozen things that I did, that she did, that life did, that led to Kaleena dying on the street that day. I don't need anyone to console me, to tell me "You can't beat yourself up over this. You didn't do anything wrong." Because I already know that. I already know that I was being a normal human doing normal human things, living my normal human life. I also know that if we weren't there, someone else might have struck her. She was, after-all, in the wrong lane.

But knowing doesn't keep your brain from traveling through the "If only's."

If only I had listened to my family who said my living room curtains looked great and didn't need to be replaced. If only I had let the school clear out more before rushing my family out the door. If fucking only.

People often mistake regret for guilt. You can tell me all day long that I have no reason to feel guilty. But don't try to tell me not to feel regret.