A man is granted infinite knowledge.
Of course! The third carbon on the benzyl amide was the key to it all! My doctoral thesis had just become a snap. I would still have to do the experiment to prove it, but using my infinite knowledge would certainly stream line the process, and already knowing the outcome, I could write my thesis anytime.
It had come to me in a dream, there was something about a great cosmic choice, and upon waking he suddenly knew. To celebrate I decided to take myself out to lunch, the usual Chinese restaurant would do.
As I joyjully hopped into my car I realized that my rear brakes would require replacement in about three thousand miles, that was good to know. I discovered my car would no longer be economical to maintain in about another forty thousand miles. Knowledge was wonderful!
Things started to take a dark turn as I arrived at a stop light. I know the car next to me is going to suffer a terrible crash that will leave the driver on life support for life. This knowledge hits me like a slap to the face. I need to tell the driver. I roll down my window and try to yell at the driver, but the light turns green, and I’m in the wrong lane. The car quickly speeds out of sight to its fate, and a honking horn behind Francis’ sends him in the opposite direction.
“It’s okay.” I tell myself. There are going to be some downsides too. I look at another car driving next to me, and know the girl is going to be proposed to soon. This brings a smile to my face, until I also realize their subsequent divorce in six years will ruin their two children’s lives, driving one to become a homeless alcoholic after he drops out of med school with 100K in debt.
I drive to the Chinese restaurant without looking at anything but inanimate objects. Those are all fairly dull, giving me nothing but what they’re made of and when they’ll break mostly.
When I arrive at the restaurant I grab a menu and dash to a booth quickly. I bury my head in a menu, and when the waiter comes to take my order I quickly spurt out my order, and go back to studying the menu, which I insist on keeping. It is actually a rather pleasant menu, and I learn much about the rich history of China by studying the items.
“I’ll have the lobster.” A girl in the booth over says. She’s allergic to lobster and will suffer a lethal allergic reaction. I instantly know. What should I do? I can’t tell her, she will never believe me, and I certainly don’t want to talk to her lest she should find out all sorts of horrible things. I stew and stew, ignoring the waiter when my own meal of chicken with cashews is brought.
The girl’s own food comes out and I instantly know what to do. I run up to the waiter and knock the plate out of his hand.
“What are you doing!” Both the waiter and the girl shout.
“I’m, I’m sorry.” I say. I want to explain myself, but it would do no good. I just have to stop her from ordering more lethal food.
“Now what am I going to eat?” The girl demands.
“Um, here.” I grab my own chicken and cashews, neither of which she is allergic too. “Take my food.” The girl snatches it from my hands quickly, and sits down to eat without a word.
“Here, this if for my meal, her meal, and your trouble.” I tell the waiter, giving him a rather large tip on top of the cost of both meals. He takes the money, and I know he isn’t thinking pleasant thoughts about me, but his anger is soothed. I quickly move to leave the restaurant, but before I do I look at the girl. I know her name is Sarah.
Sarah, I repeat the name to myself over and over again so it is at the forefront of my thoughts. I may be doomed to know everyone’s fate, and misery, but at least I can save a few, and I must hold onto those few to get my by.