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The Coin-Flip Universe

Words and Music © 2006 by Tom Smith
Released under a Creative Commons Noncommercial ShareAlike license
I'm pretty sure everyone plays the game of If Things Had Gone Differently. If I'd played Red instead of Black at the roulette wheel; if I'd had the chicken instead of the fish; if I'd zigged when I shoulda zagged. (I had a beaut in spring of 2006, coming back from my Mom's place in Arizona: If I had gone north towards Denver before cutting across the Midwest, rather than going straight across to Oklahoma City, my van wouldn't have been nailed by a hit-and-run driver in Dalhart, TX. Therefore, I am one of the only people on the planet who can legitimately say, "I shoulda turned left at Albuquerque.")

This song has been a long time coming. I knew more or less what I wanted to do, but until you sit and think about the possibilities, you really don't register them... and, as in the song, once you do start to think about them, you can't do much else for awhile.

Heads I win, tails you lose
Let's flip a coin and we'll let fate choose
This one here, that one there
Splitting an atom, splitting a hair

If I don't cross the street
I don't get mud on my shoes and feet
If I take a taxi, thus,
I don't get hit by a crosstown bus

We are our acts and memories,
What we think and do,
So am I being revisionist
When I try something new?

If we kiss, will I get slapped?
Can there be bliss if my lips are chapped?
If you're male, do I like boys?
I change my life with every choice.

If I choose while alone
Am I the same as if it were known?
if I don't choose again
Am I who I was way back when?

There are two possibilities
To everything we do
We're in one dimension that's linear
or creating one that's new

It's an expanding universe
that had better be true
Each choice multiplies the potential
universes by two (or three or....)

Heads I don't, tails I do
Worlds stretching out far as I can view
I just might go insane
Keeping them right inside my brain

All of my might-have-beens
Altruism and mortal sins
I can't keep up this load
Live for today or my head'll explode

I can't change what has happened,
I can't predict what will,
And so it seems my best choice
Is staying perfectly still

All around...
Life goes on...
There comes a choice, now it's here and gone...
Once again...
I don't move...
Wondering what I'm trying to prove...

Have I now...
ceased to be?...
If I do nothing, I'm not me...
So the world...
I'll rejoin...
Wait, maybe not -- let me flip a coin.

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