Touch me. Touch me like you didn't touch me last night. - Where aren't you now?
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Where aren't you now?|
Time for another one like The Crush Entry.
I know you love your kids.
I know you love your lover, your husband, your wife.
I know that you love your friends.
But…we’ve all got that desire in the back of our heads, right? That thing that says “This isn’t where I want to be," or at least, "You know what else I could be doing?” It’s far more complex than that, since so many of us are happy or at least okay with our lives, but it’s there in all of us. You cannot deny it.
In that parallel universe in your head, you’re somewhere else. You’re someone else. A place where everybody you love and care about is still safe and loved and cared about, but you’ve not known them, or you’ve known them in a different way. Do you understand? Everybody in your “real” life is fine in this other world, but you…you’re different.
You could just say, "I'm happy with how everything is now." But there's that other life, isn't there?
So…TELL ME ABOUT IT.
Tell me where Parallel Universe You is right now.
EDIT: Feel free to be completely "King of the Moon" fictional about this, but I'm most interested in the REAL scenarios. The ones you dwell on some nights...
Are you in Italy, running a bakery?
Are you in Spain, just living life, working and then going home to your cat and your dark-skinned lover every night?
Did you never leave the big city?
Did you not blow college by doing too many drugs?
Did you decide to go ahead and blow college by doing too many drugs?
Did you have sex with more people? Less?
Did you take that big risk and succeed…or did you not take it, so you wouldn’t fail?
Did you choose a different person, a different job, a different path?
Me? I’ll just give you a small taste.
Like Real Universe Benjamin, Parallel Universe Benjamin saw his first John Woo movie in 1995. He can’t remember whether it was A Better Tomorrow, or Hard-Boiled, or The Killer, but he saw it. And his mind wasn’t just blown, it was kicked a few nanometers to the side.
I don’t know if he finished college or if he just went to Hong Kong and learned Cantonese by having it brutally ingrained in his head through daily life over months and years. He lives there now, making a decent living writing screenplays for Tsui Hark and Johnnie To. He lives in a respectable apartment. He might be alone, apart from his cats, or he might have found somebody. He has his books and his toys and his DVDs and every day when he steps out into the street, it’s like a new world all over again. Heh. You should see the things he eats.
And man, you should hear what his vacations are like. I.P. logging is off, Anonymous Comments are enabled, so now it's your turn. Tell us the truth. All of it.
“Now John at the bar is a friend of mine,
He gets me my drinks for free,
And he’s quick with a joke or to light up your smoke,
But there’s someplace that he’d rather be.
He says, ‘Bill, I believe this is killing me,’
As the smile ran away from his face.
‘Well I’m sure that I could be a movie star,
If I could get out of this place.” – “Piano Man” - Billy Joel
Current Location: so far away in my head
Current Music: the air conditioner
Tags: anonymity, another life, another you, audience participation, changes, choices, decisions, jobs, life, lovers, me, parallel universe, tell me, tell me about it, tell us all, the truth, where are they now, where are you now, you
|From:||evil_egg — |
|Date:||September 25th, 2007 08:39 pm (UTC)|| |
Alternate Evil Egg, eh?
Well, given the sheer proliferation of the multiverse, literally anything can and indeed probably has happened. So the universe in which I am happiest is doubtless out there.
That's right, one Alternate Matthew is in fact Kyle Katarn. Aww yeeeaaahhh.
But where's Parallel Universe NON-FICTION Matthew?
Can I go back in time and be the saviour of the fuckin' Roman Republic in my parallel universe because that would be properly sweet
I wouldn't even try to show them slavery is wrong. That's what Parallel Universe Jimmy is like.
|Date:||September 25th, 2007 08:53 pm (UTC)|| |
1) we'd be married. we'd have children. our life would be lovely in a quiet, simple way.
2) we'd be married. he'd be faithful. we'd set the world afire.
3) I'd be skinny and beautiful and therefore relevant to others. I'd make a living just off my looks. I would exploit the everliving hell out of it.
1) The domestic approach,
2) The wild abandon approach,
3) The "We All Feel Like That" approach...
|Date:||September 25th, 2007 09:01 pm (UTC)|| |
My alternate is getting married to your alternate. RIGHT NOW.
It's a very lovely wedding, I might add.
P.U.B. probably hopes you like Chinese food, then...
|From:||mwissa — |
|Date:||September 25th, 2007 09:05 pm (UTC)|| |
The Alternate me would have been wild and carefree in her teens and settled a bit in college to get a journalism degree. During my internship (which I got because one night at the opening of a new restaurant called sTone I sort of got drunk and ended up making out with a stranger in the bathroom. He was the hiring director/chief editor)at Time Magazine, I fell into a wildly popular column in which I review restaurants and end up being paid very well to travel the world and eat.
I never have kids, but this time I regret it, and I leave 5 husbands in my wake. I always have a 25 year old man slave and I die at 82 with a Bloody Mary in my hand and a smile on my face. No regrets.
I like that. A lot.
Sometimes my brain wants me to have been more "wild and carefree" when I was younger, and part of me wonders why I don't just fucking do it now.
sTone is, incidentally, in my steampunk hotel.
|From:||toreinne — |
|Date:||September 25th, 2007 09:14 pm (UTC)|| |
I'm sitting with my dad, learning LotusScript.
|Date:||September 25th, 2007 09:35 pm (UTC)|| |
I never went to college. In high school I had some sort of awakening, some sort of revelation. I took up music, the guitar, the trumpet, jazz percussion. By 20 I had visited Spain, Monaco, Greece, and North Africa, and by 23 I'd left the US entirely.
Now I'm wandering the former Soviet republics, doing enough work to get by, staying as 'local' as I can to stay out of trouble, and learning every instrument I can find. I spent eight months with a kopuz teacher on the southern shores of the Black Sea, and another five learning cigirtma and contemplating quintive scales in the mountains of Georgia. In Azerbaijan I spent two years playing naqareh and and ghaval in a mugam troupe. Despite my best intentions, I never quite grasped the throat singing, and I always just missed finding religion. In a calm period in Russian Ingushetia, I lived with a man who made zurnas by hand; it became my favorite, and I learned to make them with the care and precision that he did.
I never found love; I was too itinerant. I never found a home; there was always another horizon to cross. I make music with strangers and find a family there, one road to the next, despite leaving my own back in America. I have started to contemplate returning -- maybe New Mexico, or Wyoming -- but have always wanted to see Ethiopia...
I want to make this movie.
The soundtrack would be a three-disc set.
I act in horror movies. I am a monster at times, a victim at others. I get to sit in a makeup chair and practice lines, miss out on important events and then return from shooting somewhere remote and catch up on everything over wine and darts and food. I get to yell and scream and get covered in blood. I get to kill and love and protect. I fuck the wrong person and then fuck the right person and then act incredibly stupid and then manage to make it out, broken but *alive*. I pose and snarl and sigh beautifully and die.
Jesus fuck, that is perfect.
Your autobiography will be called Pose, Snarl, Sigh Beautifully and Die.
I'm pretty content with my everyday life- and I've worked pretty hard to get there...but sometimes when I'm out walking around with my headphones on- I imagine that I'm Brazilian...tall- I look a lot like Penelope Cruz- COMPLETELY different body type from my own...and I'm a ballet dancer...and really sunny...I would live in a big city like New York and I've had an amazing dance career--and now- at the ripe old age of 24- I'm retired- teaching little kids dance in the village...I have a really cute apartment and I still have my cats and Estabon...we somehow managed to meet and fall madly in love...I came from a pretty poor family in Rio- I have a little brother named Papito and he loves to play soccer...and I'm working on getting my citizenship- and my friends throw me a big party like the 4th of July after I pass my exam...it's all very lovely.
I wear t-shirts off the shoulder and tiny tiny gym shorts-I can totally get away with it-- and everyone thinks I look fabulous...:)
Now I'm going to read everyone else's fantasy and see how goofy mine is comparatively:)
This was fun!
Heh...just can't shake him, can you? I wonder, though...would he fall madly in love with the Brazilian dancer who lives in a small village? Or rather, would he be able to stay in love with her?
The 4th of July party is a nice touch.
|Date:||September 25th, 2007 10:37 pm (UTC)|| |
1) Men are a smorgasbord, and I'm making a long dinner of it.
2) I'm living with the man I'm having an affair with, and loving it.
3) There was a very special moment, an almost-kiss, back in high school. If that kiss actually happened...
4) If someone I love hadn't been born with a neurological disorder.
|From:||zehara — |
|Date:||September 25th, 2007 11:03 pm (UTC)|| |
Men are a smorgasbord, and I'm making a long dinner of it.
|From:||wagemage — |
|Date:||September 25th, 2007 10:41 pm (UTC)|| |
It's 1996. Instead of being dumb and walking straight ahead and picking a college because it's where most people from my area go, I do the overwhelmingly logical thing and take the awesome scholarship I was offered from Iowa State.
I never meet any of you, and I have no idea where I am, what my career is, what my interests are, or who I am.
P.U.B. understands that sometimes others get left behind in the quest for what we really need to be.
I'll give you a taste... if you want more, you have to ask in an e-mail
I would have gone to the school I got into early decision. I went to Sarah Lawrence in New York, following my dream to be a writer. I graduated in four years with decent grades, a few actual publications, a drinking problem, and a serious smoking habit.
From there, I took a page from karoac and hitchhiked my way across the country, meeting people, having strange adventures of both the normal and the erotic type. I explored my sexuality more completely and am now living in Manhattan, dating people of all genders. I write a column for the Village Voice, I work with William H. Macy and David Mammet. Sometimes I write plays, other times I work as a screen doctor. You can find my books among the likes of Chuck Phalenchek and David Sedaris, but also among the ranks of Stephen King and of Isaac Asimov. I write six hours a day. I still drink a lot. I had it under control for a while, but it's getting bad again.
You see, I followed my dream, but I never did go on medication.
This is me. Or rather... it's not.
|From:||benchilada — |
|Date:||September 26th, 2007 01:22 am (UTC)|| |
Re: I'll give you a taste... if you want more, you have to ask in an e-mail
Now write that.
Jesus, Joe, you're really fucking good at this.
So tell yer wife to get over here.
Another me, a less scared and insecure me would have followed the dream. I would have gone to art school racked up the debt, rather than the secure university I went to. I'd end up fleeing the country to Ireland to excape the bills. I would be living in Dublin often traveling the countryside to paint the misty moors and hidden ruins. Documenting my journey through life and the emerald Isle. I wouldn't be rich but I would be well off from the regular gallery sellings of my work.
I would have met up with the distant family of mine that still resides there making lasting friendships and meeting a neighboring staping young farm boy that I would kidnap and take with me, he would be my muse and would often tell me he couldn't envision a life where he wasn't at my side. I would die an old and happy man with a bottle of wiskey in one hand and a paint brush in the other, I would be painting the sky at sunset. As the sun faded from the sky I would disappear along with it.
Fleeing To Ireland.
I hereby declare that the title of your autobiography.
Painting in the moors, running from the feds, delightful boy by your side?
Anybody who says they need more is lying.
|From:||khamsin — |
|Date:||September 25th, 2007 11:06 pm (UTC)|| |
A Few Options
1. I'm still married, and mostly unhappy but with a couple of kids to compound the regret. He's still stuck in some adolescent fantasy of what being grown up is supposed to be, and still a little too reliant on his parents and his best friend for us to ever really have our own life. I'm still working jobs that I don't really care for, and still trying to compensate for my lack of interest in the rest of my life by having complicated relationships on the side (with his approval) that I try to hide from my parents. I hate just about everything about my life, but am too scared to really do anything about it.
2. I didn't get married when I had the option, and instead left to be with her. I helped her raise her daughter, and we were happy for a while. I liked living in Wisconsin and probably eventually stayed there, even after things ended between us, because I'd given up too much to go back. My parents might've forgiven me by now.
3. I wasn't scared or bored or - whatever I was at 17 when I made a default decision and stayed in town. I went away to school, had a bunch of life changing things happen, and went down a totally different path.
4. I didn't get into PhD school, so I didn't apply for the job, so I left town a year ago and figured out something interesting to do with my life. I'm scared shitless, but I'm living somewhere different, and probably still single, and trying to figure my life out.
None of these are precisely dream scenarios - just what might have been.
|From:||benchilada — |
|Date:||September 26th, 2007 01:34 am (UTC)|| |
Re: A Few Options
1) That's the nightmare you wake up from at night, I hope,
2) Do you think that it wouldn't have ended, or is that not in the scenarios in your head?
3) And became Queen of Europe?
4) Scared shitless in a new and fascinating life? I could do that.
I see myself in a house in the country. I'm in the attic, which isn't so much an attic as an art studio. It is bright and sunny, and I'm up there painting while my kids are doing their own art projects on the floor.
I don't have a 9 to 5 job. I'm a writer, and I earn enough to live comfortably. Not ostentatiously. I can enjoy my family and my surroundings and it keeps me a happy, calm, relaxed person.
Other fantasies include being a singer/songwriter, one who isn't afraid to share her thoughts and music with the world, or someone who ends up in Happily Ever After with the man of her dreams. Any of those still has the potential to happen...it's the likelihood that's another story.
As for the dreams of the others here, I really enjoyed the musical instrument person. There was a time when I wanted to own all the various band instruments. That had a decent chance of becoming reality when I worked in a music store and had access to them. I may just settle for gaining big (alto and bass) flutes for when I ever join a flute choir again.
I wish I could do the calm, relaxed thing.
Well...maybe I don't. I just couldn't do it.
Promise me that you'll never give up, girl, on behalf of all of those who have.
In my other life, I went to film school in California instead of journalism school in Illinois. I would've dropped out in my second year to take an internship at Jim Henson's Creature Shop, building sets to showcase wonderful imaginary things.
Eventually, I would've married a charming and devoted - albiet geeky - fellow whose family had made a fortune in the film industry, and since he's inherited their money we didn't have to work anymore, we bought an old mansion left over from 1940s Hollywood and turned it into a haunted house attraction. I'd use my movie connections to buy cool historical props to include in my haunt, and I'd spend my spare time enjoying my husband and our pets and our lovely home.
Girl, he'd better have been the geekiest charming guy around.
|Date:||September 25th, 2007 11:16 pm (UTC)|| |
Rather than feeling discouraged about my lack of connection to my professors, I applied to PhD programs in Art History in the mid-90s. Afterward, I mobilized contacts the way you're suppose to and volunteered in various historical museums and focused on 18th and 19th century material culture.
Now I'm living somewhere on the history-dense east coast working in a house museum, building curricula to teach students what it was like to live in the 19th century -- or hell, at this point, even in the 20th century.
I might be lonely (little time to acquire a husband or baby) but at least I'm happy with what I'm doing intellectually.
I wonder if one can really be lonely if one is doing what completes oneself.
I had using that pronoun that much.
Moral of the story? Material culture in the 18th and 19th century? Nice.
|From:||lilamp — |
|Date:||September 25th, 2007 11:17 pm (UTC)|| |
instead of dicking around and learning little of much use in college, alternate me became a competitive ballroom dancer and is now touring, teaching at workshops and judging competitions. when not on the road, she sings light opera and acts on broadway. although the object of many affections, she has gone through several tumultuous relationships with (now)ex-dancepartners and has yet to find true love.
I made the "mistake" of going to college to learn rather than learn how to get a job.
I'm pretty sure I don't regret it.
But dance-partner relationships? I've seen those. It's no wonder that Parallel Universe You hasn't found love yet.
|From:||januarychill — |
|Date:||September 25th, 2007 11:33 pm (UTC)|| |
God, I'm such a hippy...
When I got the boot from art school at 20 I broke up with my emotionally abusive boyfriend, packed my shit and moved to Portland. Once there I slept on the couches and floors of friendly strangers until they were all my friends, did odd jobs for a bit of money here and there and sold things I made on the street. Eventually I got a small following for my art and sold a few very expensive pieces to artists/writers/musicians I admire, allowing me to buy a house outright.
It's mostly a faded blue, with white bits. Two stories, a porch with a swing. Four bedrooms and a finished basement that accommodate a steady stream of other art makers of various sorts, and backpackers from all over the world. The garden threatens to run amok and eat the neighbor's children, but it's a beautiful, controlled sort of chaos that produces an abundance of tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, spinach, ridiculous amounts of basil and a variety of other fresh herbs, and is guarded by a living fence of berry bushes. There may be a small cherry tree.
The pittance I charge the various inhabitants of my house goes to ensuring that I never have to do an honesty days work to keep myself in beer, coffee and art supplies. The money I get from selectively selling my art allows me to travel the world over. I get that kind've golden glow of the traveler. I lose the neurotic habit of dying my hair a new colour every few months. It grows out streaky gold, like when I was a little girl, and I wear it up, pinning it in place with pencils and paintbrushes. I'm tattooed by new friends on every continent, I get some gorgeous face scars, and I hang from hooks in an ancient forest, surrounded by people I love. I visit my family and bring them strange and wonderful gifts, and never need to ask anything of them.
My love life is mutable, without boundaries or conditions, and I have many fine affairs of the flesh and of the spirit, and sometimes I run across a lover I last knew in Brazil while visiting Sydney, and sometimes they show up on my doorstep, or I on theirs, but we don't try to keep each other. I may meet someone who moves from Lover to Partner, and we are absolutely faithful to one another, while still carrying on love and lust affairs with other people.
That brings us up to 25. In the future, when I feel like settling down, I'll use my wonderful house to foster kids and teenagers, as well as cats, at least one dog, a hedgehog, and any other strays that need a place to just exist happily.
I spent all day crying and gritting my teeth and telling concerned loved ones that no, I don't know what the fuck I'm doing, and no, I don't know what the fuck I want to do. But that's a lie, because I've just told you exactly what I want. ...I'm so jealous of Damn Dirty Hippy Parallel Universe Me.
|From:||benchilada — |
|Date:||September 26th, 2007 01:46 am (UTC)|| |
Re: God, I'm such a hippy...
Would you believe that's what I wanted to do at 18? I'd had enough, after a rather nightmarish childhood that I don't discuss, and wanted to go where I couldn't be found.
Any family/friends that I really wanted to stay in touch with, I would.
And Wendalyn, darling?
Please, please, do what you need to do. Fuck all the rest of them.
Be you, even if you don't know who the hell that is yet.
Life doesn't slow down for us, and you get no do-overs. Be here now. Do it. Now. You need to and we need you to.
And I hope you enjoy the couple of new readers I sent your way. :D
Now off you go, beautiful...
I've been working on my painting since school, inventing new media crossbred genres, singing in a band for fun. I have old-fashioned skills like book restoration that I get to use in museum basements and the art collections of the rich. I have some society friends who invite me to parties to be eccentrically entertaining. I live in a jumbled one bedroom with lots of books and plenty of space for a lover to move in for a torrid month of debauchery. Then kick him or her out so I can paint in peace. I dress wildly with no thought for matching or season. I invent fabric patterns.
So do us a favor, darling.
Give us just the one.
Let me know when it's done and let me see it.
Wait a minute.
Eccentric entertainment for friends?
Need to be alone to create art?
Yep, you stole that from me. :)
|From:||funranium — |
|Date:||September 25th, 2007 11:58 pm (UTC)|| |
Alternate Phil - All of the following almost happened
Did not say no to Dr. Flegal when he offered me a chance to go to Antarctica back in college. He said that he had no idea why he would need a physicist but he couldn't think of a reason that it would a be a bad idea. The girlfriend, my advisor, and my dad were somewhat annoyed by my collective shirking of responsibilities but off I went for my first of many trips to the Ice.
On my return, I had a urinal epiphany where I figured out how the magnetic field of the earth worked. I called the resident geomagnetism expert at UCSC to run my ideas by him. He asked if I had broken into his computer. I said no. He asked if I had ever heard of the following three Japanese researchers. I said no. He told me that I had just, while taking a whiz come up with the bleeding edge of the thought regarding why the Earth's magnetic field flips. He asked if I would like to work in his lab. Despite already working in the isotope geochemistry lab, I decided to take him up on his offer.
Now I am Dr. Broughton, specializing in the volcanolgy of Antarctica and its mid-ocean ridges. I am also regarded as one of the world's leading authorities on paleomagnetism and am very interested in the formation and functioning of the magnetic fields of the other planets, moons, and stars. I get to consult with NASA sometimes but I'll never be an astronaut. Antarctica is as close as I will ever get.
|From:||benchilada — |
|Date:||September 26th, 2007 12:35 am (UTC)|| |
Re: Alternate Phil - All of the following almost happened
Can I get an amen...Doctor Broughton?
Not much change that I really want. I'm boring, I know. But I would truly love to be able to tell all the stupid, rude, bastard clients I have to take a hike, and still have a large enough income to live on :)
Wouldn't mind if alternate world me found someone just nuts enough to live with me too. I do get lonely on occasion.
But since I decided when I was 6 that a veterinarian was what I was going to be, and I never doubted or had second thoughts on that, I honestly couldn't come up with what an alternate me would be doing instead.
You can still be a veginarianist while "having more" for yourself.
I would have done it right the first time.
I don't think I'd want to do that...
All I know is that the other me would have a car that turns into a robot, probably Bender, and she doesn't have to pay a dime in student loans because the robot car pays them off for her.
It's a wonderful life.
The robots, they make everything better.
When Parallel Sam graduated from high school, she wasn't so afraid of leaving her comfortable Midwestern life. She got out of that damn HS relationship before it became unbearable and took the plunge, moving out to the east coast to go to uni and do what she really wanted to do. She's living in New York City now...most likely in a box near 45th and 10th, but she doesn't care. She's having a fucking fabulous time anyway. Probably does a little less of the drugs, a little more of the sex -- well, maybe it's other way around.
Parallel-Parallel Sam isn't Sam at all, but rather is Seo Yeong Han. She grew up in foster homes and has never been to the US. She might be in college, but who knows? Hmm. I'd ask her what she's up to now, but I can't speak Korean.
Seo Yeong Han?
I want to know, the next time I see you, the exact way to pronounce that.
And maybe get a sheet of paper from you with it written down.
If you're here now, and you're still young, what can you do to bring a little bit of that Parallel Universe here now?
You should probably figure out the drug/sex proportions, though. ;D