UNDERGROUND VOICES: FICTION - 10/2011
TO WHOM THIS WILL CONCERN
The night it occurred (or I think it occurred) there was a storm. That is the only difference I can come up with---my life since, becoming something rather…unique, fantastical even.
I’m pretty sure that had been the defining moment, Bruce.
Yes, most definitely.
This is the part where any sane person would commit to crumpling up this letter looking for the nearest trashcan, yes? I thought so. Any way I could persuade you not to, Bruce? Won’t take long to get where I’m going. Just a few more minutes. Promise.
I had been stopped at a red light when it happened: when he/I passed. Now, like you, I know that time is constant, that every moment elapses the same, but damn, if it didn’t feel like time had slowed down right then, Bruce, somehow thickening, my other’s car cutting through an unseen molasses as he turned, turned, and continued to turn from Culver and onto Main.
Bizarre cannot begin to describe this feeling, Bruce.
The best comparison I can give you is a combination, one which includes both elation and fear; a quick, inner spark that chills you, spreading outwards across you, like losing track of a child perhaps, but one who is then soon found. It was surreal, any way I describe it, and my mind raced because of it; couldn’t wait to unlock the reason as to why I could no longer hold a stake in claiming myself the one true original.
It was me, of course, the one who was foreign; me who had somehow travelled from my place there to this place here. Not him, my other, but me; which is really nothing new when you think about it, Bruce. As it seems I have always been a wee bit intrusive during the course of my existence---ever the interloper to be sure. After I saw him/me driving though…
…when I fully---fully---grasped my situation…
…and realized the significance of what I had been given---well, let’s just say you are going to be some surprised to see me.
I have a clean slate over here, Bruce.
Something the masses call Tabula Rasa.
Can you blame me for intending to use it?
As ever, I was careful; watched him/me for days. Like this entire world, I took note of the differences between he and I, the little things. He seemed heavier than me. Not overweight per se, but fuller. He wore glasses as well, whereas I did not. These little things, I thought, did they extend to our personal traits as well? To one’s personality? Did what make him him make me me? If we were not identical on the outside, was it then safe to assume there was a chance we were opposite on the inside? I wonder if I have to tell you that the conclusion I came to did not bode well for my other.
No. It did not.
I buried a hammer in his eyes, Bruce. The aforementioned glasses now but pieces in the bone I was excavating.
Before I took him though, there was conversation. Well, not really; mostly it was me talking and him just blubbering. To his credit, he did wonder how this was happening and why. This was followed by an Oh God please let me wake up as I pulled the ball peen hammer from my duffel bag. That was when he went and messed himself, there in the chair I tied him to. What. A. Jerk! Grade A. Seriously, to think that he, over here, had always been me, could somehow be me. Show some respect. Please!
Nevertheless: I’m coming for you, Bruce. To perpetrate an act I never thought I’d have the pleasure, privilege or possibility of recreating.
Bruce: I know you are a librarian.
Bruce: I know exactly where you live.
I am a non-descript white male who has taken over two dozen people in his lifetime. Guess who was first?
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