The Many Worlds Theory by Philip Walford

The drive home from the lab, long and slow, affords him the chance to think that just as a man's life informs his work occasionally it informs his aggressiveness in negotiating clogged lanes. He drives defensively on a freeway blotted with cars like a strip of sequencing gel, having noted in the past that over a long enough stretch, luck is evenly distributed across lanes.

At 6pm on the 101, there is always a long enough stretch of time. He decides not to switch. It is already dark and he sees cars glowing softly with the light of cell phone screens. They silhouette drivers and passengers talking to loved ones, family and friends that await their return. Of course, some people are really speaking to accountants, repair men and anxious colleagues, but they are in a minority, and the LCDs’ low candle-power hides their forced smiles just as it hides the relaxed grins of the happy. Without someone to talk to and with the radio switched off, he spends the traffic-jammed sections of the drive rehearsing proofs that the universe is Godless.

Just as a man's life informs his work, so does a man's work occasionally inform his life. But not always. Even a mind as lofty as his cannot always dwell on higher things. He loves BMWs, and in the summer, convertibles driven by princessy interns heading home from Mountain View and Cupertino provoke as much desire in him as they would in people who don't understand that zoomed in close enough, the BMW and the intern are made of the same stuff. Tonight the car in front is a Taurus that doesn't turn off until Burlingame, despite slowing at every preceding exit as if lost.