Young Einstein by SeanMartin ()
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His relatives were coming for a visit. And he found that incomprehensibly depressing.
He had a general theory about relatives: they were unpleasant. They had no sense of time. Or space, for that matter.
He sat in his chair in his small office in the Patent Office and considered something a man asked him on the platform this morning. If a train from Innsbruck leaves at 8 and goes 40 kilometres an hour, what time would it arrive?
He wasn't sure.
Well, actually he was. It would arrive at 10:40, as it always did. But somehow that answer didnt seem enough. What if there were another train -- because there was always another train -- and it left Eidenbourg at 9AM at 35 kilometres an hour. When would they meet and where? And what if a man on the train from Innsbruck saw a woman on the train from Eidenbourg. When they passed each other, how fast would she seem to be moving away from him?
About as fast as his wife's cousin, it seemed. Every time they met, she would immediately blush and move in another direction. Away from him. As fast as possible. Verging ever closer to the speed of light. Like a woman on a train from Eidenbourg, actually.
It was just a passing thought, of course. One that would allow him some time not to think about the fact that his relatives were arriving for a visit...
— except for his wife's cousin. She was a special relative, that was for certain. And he had his own theory about her. And not an unpleasant one, at that. Perhaps he might escort her -- along with his wife, of course -- to the theatre some night. The orchestra might play some Mozart. And he might be able to show her how dearly he appreciated her friendship...
... relatively, of course.
Oh Albert, stop! he chided himself. Get to work. You want to be an underachiever all your life? He glanced at the clock: only another three hours, and he could go home and hide in his study to attack the work again. It was almost there, he knew it. But somehow, the equation still wasnt right. E equaled something, he was sure of it. But what?
Perhaps his wife's cousin would have some insight. He could certainly show it to her without engendering talk, couldnt he?
Of course he could. After all, it was all relative...