"So what," I say, "it's seven."
"Seven there," she says, "ten here, and Dan just got the baby to sleep and he hardly ever sleeps."
"Get some rest, be well." I say. She hangs up.
I open another beer and stare out into the rain. The drops hit the wet concrete of the alley behind my place and flash like sparks in the streetlight. Like static on the untuned screen of reality.
I think about the path of each drop falling to the pavement. Once, I heard on public television that things only happen the way they do because we see them the way they are. That somehow everything that could happen has, that there are other universes where the static pattern of rain drops I'm looking at is different, because the drops all fell a different way. Public television said that all those other universes are only a tiny distance away from us, but the direction to them is one we can't ever see. It's hidden down deep in the world, smaller than we can know.
There are other versions of me, I think, looking at other patterns of rain. Near to me as my own blood.
I wonder if I stare at the rain long enough, the pattern might shift without me knowing it, might switch over to some other scrambled channel.
I stare for a long while.