Friday, July 8, 2011
A Parallel Universe
[From THE CONDO, OR... LIFE, A SEQUEL]
A Parallel Universe
In Chapter 3 Jasper meets some of his neighbors in Paradise Condominiums:
--Daren, a serial killer and his nurse, Selena, who helps him in the painful process of soaking off "the debris in his mind."
--A young man named Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who provides music therapy to ease Daren's pain.
--Makalo, Jasper's former student in an inner city school.
--Leila and Lea, victims of the same war on opposing sides.
Jasper's watch has stopped, and he loses track of time.
By Chapter 4 Jasper is thoroughly confused. Back in his condo, he tries to find answers from the modern world's oracle: the computer.
He saw the familiar Futura web page and his mood began to soar. Here were the pop-up ads he used to hate so much, the offers that promised to enhance his sex life, boost his self-confidence, and ensure his financial security. He surfed to the chat page. He set up his profile, making himself as different from his real self as he could. When he was finished, he was Jason the Astronaut, 19 years old and loved to travel. He typed in his question: “I want to see the world beyond the Condo. I’d like some advice on how to achieve this.”
He pressed “Send” and waited. The first response was not encouraging: “You and me both, buddy. Let me know if you find out, and I’ll go with you. Medea.”
“Hi, Medea,” he typed. “I’ll keep you posted.”
The next message was from Pronto: “According to Roy Kerr, we got here through a rotating wormhole, which made it possible for us to stay in one piece, but he says we had a one-way ticket.”
“Great! Another crackpot. This one thinks he is a scientist,” Jasper muttered.
“Better watch out, Jason. This computer picks up sounds too. I beg to differ. Roy Kerr is a reputable mathematician from New Zealand. He has shown that it is possible to travel from one universe to another through a rotating wormhole.”
“Are you telling me that we are in a different universe?” Jasper wrote.
“Certainly. Why else is it impossible to leave through the barrier? Why else can we not make phone calls with a regular cell phone? Why did our watches stop? Why is time playing tricks with us?”
A pop-up ad suddenly interrupted the exchange: “Enjoy the vacation of a lifetime! Book your trip back to Earth. Guaranteed to take you there and back safely. We use an exclusive wormhole recently discovered by our team of scientists. Hurry! This five million dollar offer ends soon.”
Jasper barely finished reading the ad before another popped up. “I will act as your personal guide through the barrier. You will benefit from my years of experience as a condo guard. Swift and painless passage. No side effects. Reasonable rates. If interested, please respond to ‘Autolycus.’”
If we are in a different universe, Jasper thought, it’s very much like the other. He deleted the ad from Autolycus, the god of thieves.
He saw another message from Pronto. “I know the theory sounds crazy, but I assure you I am not crazy. It would be great if we could get together and talk about our situation. Come and visit me some time. My apartment is # 31415.”
Jasper kind of liked the guy. “Thanks, I will,” he wrote, and shut down the computer. At least with Pronto he could pursue a rational argument.