Dave called me in a panic.
“Hey Dave, what–”
“Hey man, so, you’re pretty religious right?”
“Uh,” I frowned at my open refrigerator, I closed it. “Yeah, Dave, I guess. I mean–I go to Church like everyone else.”
There was a pause at the other end, one of those tense serious ones.
“Yeah, yeah. So, you know, do you think Earth is the center of the universe?”
I decided to take a seat. “What?”
“The center of the universe. So,” he took a breath, “if–hypothetically, earth were the center of the universe and we could prove it, would that mean something to you?”
I tried to imagine the universe, Earth at the center. For some reason it just made me think of my uncle’s swimming pool I used to play in as a kid. Dave interrupted the thought.
“Would that be important, yes or no?” he pressed, he sounded scared, rushed.
I shrugged, “well, yeah I suppose if earth were at the center of the universe, I mean, that’d have to mean something, right?”
Dave sighed through the phone. “Okay, but, what if it meant nothing, it just happened to be the center of the universe because somewhere had to be and that’s just the fact of it, would that be okay with you?”
“Well, it would make sense, God created everything, I suppose he’d want us at the center of it all,” I tried. I knew how smart Dave was, far smarter than me, I wanted to give him the right answer. But, on the other end, he swore.
“Dave?” I tried, “Man, I really don’t understand what you want.”
I could hear Dave break something, he came back to the phone a bit calmer. “It’s nothing, just–I learned something today, I’m not sure if I should tell anyone, the consequences–”
“Dave, I’m not you, but I’m not an idiot. Did you find out that Earth was the center of the universe?” I cut in, unable to contain the excitement in my tone.
He waited, breathing.
“Yeah, maybe–but, just, can you understand that Earth can be the center of the Universe while at the same time that can mean absolutely nothing at all?”
We are the center of the universe, I thought.
“I knew it!” I cried. Unable to contain myself. “I have to tell Barbara, Oh–and that hippie neighbor kid who’s always blabbering on about energy and karma and crap. Man, thank you! I’m glad you chose to tell me first! I needed this man, I really did.”
I drummed the table, even stood up and jigged; every doubt I ever had, falling away. I don’t remember when I picked the phone back up, but Dave wasn’t there when I did.