On the three thousand, six-hundred and fifty-second day, his eye opened. The light was not blinding.
Before him stretched everything, opened like a toy radio. The voices inside were visible to him, plain as day.
All the moments of his life led up to this single instant. It seemed like an obvious observation, but the path was brilliantly illuminated, as if he never could have taken a misstep along the way. Multiple trails branched off from several points, playing like time-stretched video, showing him a thousand thousand lifetimes that had never happened. As he focused on each one, the others grew more dim until his focus broke, and the main path sprang back to its full brightness.
In another hue of time, he clearly saw other paths intersecting his. He was at the intersections, and some criss-crossed and doubled back into his path, some into the branching forks, others trailed away into infinity. Each one contained its own person, and their path was less clearly illuminated. Still, squinting, he could trace it as far back or forward as he felt the desire. Peering back along his own path, he located a node, and spent some time revisiting a friend who had passed away many years ago, from cancer. There were branches in his path, and several of them extended nearly as far as his own path. He resisted the temptation to look down them, knowing they would be only a cruelty to his heart.
He stared at the spot where his path intersected a lighter shade, and marveled at the girl who walked it. Their paths intersected many times, looping and whorling into each other before suddenly diverging. There was a ghost-path beneath the two, where they never untwined, and he found himself tracing it to where he sat. The closer he got towards himself, the fainter the trail became, until it was too dim for him to track. His own life shimmered, and he noticed it had a slight tint of the woman’s path to it.
Had it always been that way?