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Friday, September 30, 2011

Strike a Light




Well, dip me in treacle, peg me up on a clothes-line and blast me with sugar-sprinkles, what a week this turned out to be..

Still ferreting about in search of this missing golf ball of a diamond of mine, it occurred to me maybe the waste disposal unit did actually have good reason for throwing the meltdown it had the other day, perhaps that's where the darn stone landed up? 

'Course, ever cautious, I made certain to cut the power switch before sloping my hand down in there for a rummage.. 'cept, I didn't quite realise just how deep this contraption runs - who would have thought? Before I know it, I'm leaning down almost up to my armpit in there, and still with no sign of reaching firm ground.

But if you think that's odd, 'tis NOTHING compared to what happens next - truth be told, even as I type, I'm still doubting my senses. 

That darn bowl of the unit only springs into life, grinding and gyrating, and with me, my arm still stuck half-way down there, screaming fit to burst.  Instinctively, I yank my arm to free myself, only to find my fingers being grabbed and tugged near out from their very sockets.  The unit has taken a fierce purchase on me, and  I'm battling on the losing side of a now desperate tug of war.  As I'm being fed deeper, sucked in inch by further inch, I hear a high pitch, ear-shatteringly loud wail, hardly registering this is actually coming from ME, yelling my lungs out  as I am at the sheer bloody terror of it all.      

I guess that must've been around about the time I passed out.

I awoke, disorientated, in pitch dark, to find myself lying on the floor of a dank, cold, metallic-like surface, an irritating splash of water regularly dousing my head.  As my eyes slowly adjust, I look up to discern a faint, dim light emanating from a small, circular opening, very faraway up, overhead.  

What, is that a dripping tap I see up there?

Sploosh. 

Uck, I'm completely drenched.  Attempting for cover, I scuttle my bum further along, hopeful to scamper out of range.  This is where I do a hesitant body-check for missing limbs and digits, and thankfully come up much relieved.  However it is I came by this place, at least I appear to have made it in here still fully intact.    

I squint around, trying to get a fix on where I've landed, and discover an approaching warm, bright glow appearing around the curved, domed wall to my left.  It casts a flickering shadow along the smooth, silvered casings, granting a clearer, solid form to my newly found surroundings.

Looks like I'm only sitting in some kind of sodding, ginormous, monster-type of a pipe..?  

SHIT.

How the hell did I get to here????????????

The light source is moving, flooding towards me.  Gaping up, I see burning torches, hand-held by a group of people who appear to be alarmingly headed my way.

Sweet Jesus - WTF, Now??

I'm not daft, I know having seen "Frankenstein", crowds of torch-bearing rabble rarely bodes well for those whom they hunt. 

But there's nowhere to run.

I watch in panic as they draw closer, noting they are all female, and exceedingly, unnervingly, strikingly familiar..

This is nuts.

They are all ME.  

Well, almost.  We are all identical.. except.. not totally, completely.  It's hard to pinpoint exactly how, but it's clear my twin versions  are, subtly, quite different from me, and they are also, peculiarly, obviously unique from one another, too.  I'm struggling to absorb this, blindly awestruck, and seriously grappling for my sanity, as one of my Doppelgangers steps up, smiling.

"Hey there, Shrink, we were wondering when you'd stop by!"

Everyone nods at me, grinning. 

"Who, what the - ?"

Another Shrinky steps forward, "Och, I know, it's all a bit of a jolt, isn't it?  Everyone feels that way first time down.  Don't worry, it's all good, you'll see."

Someone helps me to my feet and passes me a torch (suspiciously resembling an over-sized match-stick), "Come on, let's go grab the comfy seats to get better acquainted."

I'm led around the bend (kind of fitting, I've mentally arrived there, anyway) to where a large chamber, lit up by ample burning sconces, awaits.  Furnished in an eclectic assortment of various over-stuffed Sofa's and elegant chaise-lounges, it resembles something of a cross between a whore's boudoir and a Sport's Bar.  It even has a wall-mounted floor to ceiling flat-screen telly, and a roulette table sitting centre stage. 

Surreal.

A wheel-chair bound Shrinky meets me with a cup of hot, sweet tea, "Here, sit down and sip this, it'll help."

Everyone else takes a pew, and she begins to fill me in.

"Welcome to our alternate sump-hole, this is where we all come to visit with each other."

Shrinky-in-the-corner pipes up, "But not all at once, we just pop in here from time to time if we need to swap notes, compare lives or to perhaps offer some useful advice amongst ourselves."

Shrinky-by-the-door sighs, "We are all alternate versions of you.  We live the lives you decided against.  I'm the one who married your childhood sweetheart."

WHAT?

"Yeah, that's why I'm a little more worn - he really was serious about raising that football team.. we even managed to top it with two reserves and a spare keeper, as well."

Sheesh!  I look askance at Shrinky-in-the-wheelchair.

"Oh, I'm the you who DIDN'T give up sky-diving, after starting our family.."

Blimey.

"And you?"  I ask of the power-dressed Shrinky.

"I'm the you who stuck by her resolve, after ditching that two-timing fiance of ours - I stayed single, focusing on my career, which, incidentally, flourished."

"You still have the agencies?"

"No daaaarlink, I eventually went public, floated them on the stock market.  I'm retired to Marbella now, happily settled in with my delightful new toy-boy."

Crumbs.

"How many of you are there?"

They all shrug in unison.  Shrinky-by-the-table laughs.  "Countless!  For every choice you make, another alternative of you takes up the  discarded role.  We all lead full, complete lives, it's just each of them are completely different."

"I-I had no idea..!"

Shrinky-by-the-door shakes her head, "Most never do."

"What, you mean EVERYONE has alternate selves down their sump-holes?"

"Don't be ridiculous, we don't actually LIVE here, we simply come by to visit from time to time.  We all go back to our own lives, just as you will, too.  We use this place to confer together, occasionally swap lives with, or to try to prevent any really mega-bad future decisions from fermenting.  Um, not that we always succeed, of course." She casts her eye over Comatose-in-the-corner-Shrinky.  "She's the you who chose to say yes."

"To what?"

"Everything wonderfully bad."

"Ah."

She flicks on the television, and my world floods the screen.  "This is where we keep an eye on you, try to contain the worst of your actions."

"Steady on, sod off!  How DARE you spy on me?"

"We're spying on our futures with you, be grateful.  See that roulette table?  We roll your chances on it, discard as much of your ill-choices as we can.  We look after you, silly-one."

Time stands still in the sump-hole, and it turns out we all have one.  I stayed for what felt hours, learning all there was to it.  I can go back any time I please, and exiting home again isn't as hard with practice (so I'm told).. though I don't think I'll ever feel comfortable arriving back stark-naked in a puddle of sick. 

Yours is in it's own special place, not necessarily down the waste-disposal unit, but it's around if you care to look.  Not all of us find it, but those who do are truly blessed, indeed.  Gone are the "what-ifs", and forget any regrets.  I've learned I'm actually living the life that's truly meant for me, and I also now happen to have the bestest set of concerned advisers exclusively on tap (cringe), any time I might ever need commit to a hard decision.  It's kinda' comforting, really (I think)..

Though I still can't help but wonder what the Shrinky-who-found-my-diamond is currently up to..

(Sigh.)

So tell me, what alternative lives do you think YOUR Doppelgangers might be living?  

57 comments:

Tabor said...

Wow a whole chapter from a Stephen King novel on your blog! How did you get him to write that?

mythopolis said...

Well, you really had me going on this one! First, I thought it was true, that the disposal had chewed up your hand! YOU SCARED THE HELL OUT OF ME on that part. Then It seemed like The Incredible Shrinking Shrinky had actually gone down the drain! And finally, your mind gets shattered and you turn into multiple personalities!! You became beside yourself, beside yourself, beside your self..... I wonder if any of the Shrinkys ever lived here in Pottsville because I feel like my house is haunted!!!

Mike said...

What fun, usually these kinds of conversations happen only in my head.

Leslie: said...

You had me, too! However, I could just as well have been you reaching down into that toothy hole to find something of value. What a mind you have! Take that as you like...lol

nick said...

Are you playing with matches again?

secret agent woman said...

I was afraid this was going to end with losing your hand in a gruesome way.

Hilary said...

Well I knew by your typical cheeky sense of humour (and the fact that you had to type this) that you had not lost your hand. I didn't know where it was going to take me though. You have such a clever, creative mind.. which is evident in your fun story as well as the image. Thanks for the entertainment. But I sure wish you had found that ring.

Brenda said...

Delightful reading, and the photo is so intriguing.

Ms. A said...

Oh my gosh, you crazy nut! You had me quite concerned at the start... actually, I may still be quite concerned. I would ask if you'd seen a Shrink(y), but it appears you've seen several.

#1Nana said...

I was worried there for a minute, imagining you with a new shiney hook for a hand!

Jinksy said...

Fab freaky tale and photo to MATCH!! You are a clever old STICK. *smiles*

Shrinky said...

Aw shucks Tabor, you've gone and made me toes curl up in delight, writing that - thanks for making me smile!

Shrinky said...

Oopsie, Dan, sorry, you know how much I love being a drama queen. And for your information, my mind shattered decades back - it's such fun having all my multiple personalities to play with, you have no idea! Oh, Pottsville? That must be the Shrinky-who-never-returned-from-Seattle from two years back - has she travelled there now? I do hope she's behaving herself?

Shrinky said...

Hi there Mike, ah, aren't those conversations always the best one's (wink)?

Shrinky said...

Oh Leslie, seems my mind is truly warped and weird compared to most, I'm afraid 'tis the burden I have to live with, but on the bright side I AM very easily amused..!

Shrinky said...

Like a moth to a flame, Nick.

Shrinky said...

As if, Secret Agent!

Shrinky said...

Ah Hilary, glad you spotted the obvious clue there (grin)! I've been having fun playing about with Photo Shop this week, in truth it was the photo that came first, I wrapped the post around it.

I've more or less given up on finding that diamond, no sense in fretting, eh?

MarkD60 said...

I read this and don't even know if you REALLY stuck your arm down the garbage disposal.

You should write a book.

Shrinky said...

Hi Brenda, oh I had a blast playing about with that photo, it doesn't take much to keep me amused..

Shrinky said...

Ha, Ms A, I highly recommend everyone should see a Shrink at least ONE time in their lives!

Shrinky said...

No #1 Nana, that one is reserved for my next Pirate post (laughing)..

Shrinky said...

Ahhhhhhhhhhh Jinksy, I am so glad you get it, you are such a bright SPARK (giggle)..!

Shrinky said...

Actually Mark, I DID stick my arm down there hunting for that illusive stone, tho' it was all to no avail (sob). A book? Nahhh, I hold the attention span of a goldfish, sorry to say..

Shammickite said...

Now you have me wondering about all those other Shammys... the one who took that really good job offer that I turned down, the one who emigrated to Australia instead of Canada, the one who married that first boyfriend that my mother liked so much, the one who went to medical school.... hmmm... but I'm not venturing any part of my body down into the waste disposal unit (if I had one) to find out.

Shrinky said...

Oh Shammy, I am so thrilled - you are the ONLY ONE who has gone on to run with this idea (which was actually the my whole point of this post)., thank God you stopped by, I was beginning to give up..!

BRUNO said...

Got any of that stuff-left? Must be some of that prime-Lebanese blond hash, of "The-Days".☺

REAL-friends share, y' know.....!

YELLOWDOG GRANNY said...

holy fuckme..you nearly gave me a fucking heart attack..have to go lay down.

Kate said...

Brilliant Shrinky! Fretting over "what might have been" is a total waste of energy. Glad your doppelgangers are helping you out in your day to day living. Sorry they didn't know where the diamond was hiding!

X. Dell said...

(1) I dunno. But I hope most of them are doing better than I am.

(2) A cross between a whore's bedroom and a sports bar? With a TV and a roulette table? I know a lot of guys who would think that's Heaven.

Not me, of course. I don't like roulette.

(3) Your multiverse sounds interesting and fun. (You wouldn't have the quantum frequncy of the one who always says "Yes," would you?)

(4) I'm wondering if they could use that TV to determine where the #$@! you lost that diamond.

~Babs said...

Priceless!
(shakes head)
This so much reminds me of a Dean Koontz, "From The Corner Of His Eye".
A book in which there are multiple alternative universes, each varying only slightly from the next.
Very similar concept, though yours would be much more informative.

I retreat to one or more of my 'others' often,,,when the need arises.
It can be very convenient. :-)

Shrinky said...

Nah Bruno, who needs any of that sort of stuff, if you're living with a personal reality like mine?

Shrinky said...

Argh, JackieSue, you alright (eeek)?!

Shrinky said...

Hi there Kate, hmnnn, I think ONE of my Shrinky's knows very well where that blasted diamond is - grrrrr!!

Shrinky said...

Hi X-Dell,

1. Awww, surely not, huh?

2. Maybe it's just as well this is a female-only parallel universe.

3. Thanks for that link - now I have a grain of PROOF to show all those Doubting Thomas' out there.

And um, I refuse to incrimate myself by answering that other question.

4. I suspect the devious Shrink-Who's-Now-Wearing-My-Diamond already has done so, X-Dell.

Shrinky said...

Hey there Babs, I've not read that book, maybe I should! I do love Dean Koontz. And yeah, thank God for our multiple personalities, eh?

Jeaux said...

I’m pretty sure mine’s in the conch shell on my etagere. But I haven’t found a way in yet. I can only hope it resembles “something of a cross between a whore's boudoir and a Sport's Bar.” Hey this stuff has great possibilities - don’t let Charlie Kaufman see it.

But what an interesting device you’ve invented. The gut feeling you get about whether you’d like an alternate self speaks volumes about the wisdom of the choice made.

Cool graphic.

Lori G said...

Wow....
Bravo Shrinky!
I thought I loved your writing; now, I positive!
Unbelievable Cool....
Thank you!

Shrinky said...

Jeaux, somehow I've always imagined you sporting a conch shell on your what-not, I'm so reassured it's confirmed..

My eldest downloaded one of Charlie's offering's for me only last week, (I believe him when he tells me it's legal, after all, the boy NEVER lies - often) The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind? Something like that. Charlie's okay, isn't he? (A bit odd.)

Oh, and yeah - I'm brushing up on Photo Shop - isn't it amazing what a bored mind finds to amuse itself (grin)?

Shrinky said...

Oh Lori, I am so, so glad to see you back in here again! How are you, dear lady? Thank you for making my day!

Lori G said...

I'm fine Shrinky, Thank you!
Hoping that you have no cuts or bruises, truly.
You know, you don't need the attention span of anything more than a goldfish. You just need a publisher. The Book, is all right here & it's Fabulous!
Wish I could stop more, it's always a pleasure plus! Thank you for doing & loving this blog.
Take care Dear Shrinky & don't ever stop.
By the way, the ring will show up. :)

Strumpet said...

God, I love a good whore's boudoir.

Sploosh.

(Also, this is so wonderfully a bit like a contemporary Borges. I've got a major thing for Sr. Jorge Luis.)

Fen said...

You been watching too much Doctor Who?

I prefer to think of me in parallel worlds. When I used to ride home at night I would be passed by the train I used to catch and I'd think that parallel world Fen was on that train going home. Every decision we make changes the course of our lives, it's exciting to think what could have been!

Rock Chef said...

Excellent! I was also fooled into thinking that you had chewed your arm off in the disposal unit!

Don't think I would have a huge number of dopplegangers - I think I will write a post about them later in the week...

Thanks for the inspiration!

Fragrant Liar said...

Okay, so how did you get back to terra firma and, more importantly, did you find the diamond? I'm afraid to know anymore just yet, plus the word doppelganger gives me the heebie jeebies.

..................... said...

you know, shrinky, when i initially read this a few days ago you scared the living bejesus outta me. of course, on that same day i had already received bad news about other family members. i am happy to know though that all of you and all of your alter egos are fine. your alter egos sound lovely, btw, but i like this version that i'm finding here on the blog the best. now, here's to finding that diamond. you don't think your dog might have found it and swallowed it? i really do hope you find it. the sentimental value of it is irreplaceable.

..................... said...

oh, this is foam's alter ego, btw .. :)

Barbara Shallue said...

You have such a great talent for drawing me in and then making me realize I'm in the Twilight Zone with you! This is one of your most creative ones, I think. Yikes - I shudder to think where my alter egos are now. I'm sure I made the right choices (for the most part!)

Leslie: said...

Would you please send me your email as I would like to message you privately. Thanks, Carol. Send it to seafairwest@hotmail.com

Leslie

Suldog said...

Wow.

Truly good read (not that yours aren't always.) When you started screaming, I thought you had really caught a hand in the disposal and suffered an injury. As it turned out, that might have been less traumatic; I don't know. Coming upon all of your alternate selves could be quite nice or quite upsetting, depending upon the paths you chose, I suppose.

In any case, it was a great read.

(Hope you find the stone.)

Portia said...

Great read! I do love quantum physics theory (forget all the mathematical proofs!) and love the idea of the many "Portia's" who have the lives I said NO to. Like the one who did NOT break up with that terrible boyfriend... Interesting. :)

Steve Finnell said...

you are invited to follow my blog

Rock Chef said...

Hi - I have done a post about alternative versions of myself, and my first commenter has also copied the format that I used. You could have started something here!

Pat Tillett said...

That was pretty darn good. At first you I thought it was real and then I thought (like a couple others) that it was something very Stepen King "ish."
Good and scary and creepy!
Great one!

terri said...

Rock Chef sent me over here and I'm so glad he did! What a wildly imaginative yet wisely insightful piece of writing. This is serious food for thought! Maybe something will come of it on my end... never know!

Anonymous said...

Don't you ever scare me like that again! (giggle) Playing with Photoshop is doing wonders for your imagination. - Chewy who forgot her blogger password.

Middle Child said...

I think about this sometimes - like what if I didn't take my $2 in 1972 the price of four ciders - to that pub and met Don - of if we hadn't come to where we are might he still have been able to walk - or what about the time at 17 I was going to throw myself off a cliff because I thought my heart was broken - all those other me's and you know apart from what happened and was done to Don - I am happy with all my choices