17/09/2015 Posted at 19.35hrs
Dear Me in all the parallel Universes
I found your brief profiles and images on “Parallel Universe Me”. I was surprised to discover that, with three exceptions, you all look exactly like me. I’m not just talking about your features, I would expect the colour of our eyes to match, and our lips to be the same shape, but we all have the same hairstyle (or lack of it) down to the last strand. I spotted the little bald slash at the edge of the hairlines, from the time we were thrown down the stairs. Our faces all carry the same tired expression. You’re wearing the same clothes that I wore on the day that I took the photo for my “Parallel Universe Me” profile. Even the backdrops are the same. All of our photographs are identical!
No only that, but the short descriptions of your lives matched mine, word for word!
All, as I said, except three of you. I will describe the three insurgents, so that you are in no doubt about who you are. While the rest of us are standing in front of a shelf covered with photographs of smiling children, you are backed of a dirty brick wall. The edges of these matching images shows a door covered in peeling, faded green paint with the remains of a silhouette of a woman; a toilet door. Although you share my basic features, you seem to have taken an unfortunate detour. Your hair is long, dirty and matted, your skin is grey and waxy, and your eyes are glazed. An enormous off-white hoodie, stained with something the colour of rust, swamps your skinny, malnourished body. I’m surprised any of you had the strength, or the interest to take a selfie. Your written profiles give away nothing but your names, and the request for a loan of £30 until your dole money arrives on Tuesday.
I wonder which tragic event in our lives caused you to take a different road…
Finding you all leads me to believe that I’m not such a failure after all. I will stop berating myself for letting go of my childhood dream of becoming a successful author. I will stop beating myself over the head about my bad choice of men, and my failures as a parent. I now see that, given my genes, my disposition and my unique set of circumstances (or should I say – our unique set of circumstances) this is the best we could do. We are successes, by comparison to the toilet trio.
However, I’d like to suggest we have a parallel universe web conference to get to know one another, and discuss and plan ways to tweak our lives and our fortunes. After all, 2,376 heads are better than one.
As for the toilet trio, I think we should include you; maybe our success will rub off on you, and we may learn something from your mistakes, but please don’t ask me to lend you money.
17/09/2015 Posted at 20.53hrs
This is so weird and amazing! As soon as I pressed send I got 2,376 emails, and, although I haven’t managed to even come close to reading them all, those I have read are identical to mine!
I’ll get back to you all when I have had time to think about the implications of our identical responses.
©Jane Paterson Basil