WordPress ask us to “Craft a scene in which you meet an opposite version of yourself”….
I was sitting in a coffee shop, working on my blog, when a voice said “Are you writing a story?”
“No, I’m crafting a scene,” I said, a little proudly. “WordPress says so.”
“Your name’s Tinman, isn’t it?”
I looked up then, and felt somehow that I was looking at myself. I’m not sure how I felt that, I’m short, with brown hair and brown eyes, whereas the other person was tall, with blonde hair and sapphire-blue eyes.
And she was a girl.
We were both gorgeous, so we did at least have something in common.
“How did you know my name?” I asked.
“I sensed you as soon as I came in here,” she said. “You’re a regangleppod.”
I frowned. “Have you just insulted me in Welsh?” I asked.
“Look, let me explain,” she said. She sat down opposite me, then looked deep into my eyes. It felt oddly familiar, yet disturbing, as if we were soulmates but she had just punched me in the soul.
“It feels like looking into a mirror, doesn’t it?” she said. “And in a way it is, because just as a mirror shows everything backwards, you are the exact opposite of me. Apart from us both being gorgeous, of course, I don’t understand how that happened.”
She had a habit of flicking her hair back as she talked. I never do that, though it’s mainly because I don’t have enough hair.
“You know how they say that everyone has a doppelganger?” she continued, “Someone on the planet who is exactly the same as them? Well, everyone also has a regangleppod, someone their exact opposite. You and I are unkindred spirits, and I don’t mean that unkindly.”
“How do you know all of this stuff?” I said.
“I’m a Professor of String-Theory Physics at Trinity College,” she said.
“String Theory?” I said.
“Yes, it means that we’re all connected by a metaphysical piece of string,” she said.
“I see,” I said, “and you and I are one of those knots that you can’t undo without breaking a fingernail.”
“Exactly. And to answer your question, I knew that you’d be called Tinman, because my name is Namnit.”
“Er, that’s not a girl’s name you hear very often.”
“It means ‘brightest blossom on the flower of true enlightenment’ in Sanskrit,” she said. “And Tinman’s an odd name for a guy,” she said, “unless your parents were obsessed with Judy Garland.”
“No, I have it because I have a pacemaker in my chest,” I said.
“Well, I have fake boobs,” she said, “so perhaps we’re not quite as different as we thought.”
I stared at her. “A professor with fake boobs?”
She blushed. “I am still a woman,” she said. “And it’s so hard to get guys interested in you when your IQ is so much higher than theirs that they’d need snookers even to get it close.”
“I see your problem,” I said.
“And what do you work at?” she said, then clapped one hand to her mouth. “Oh, I’m terribly sorry, I shouldn’t have asked that. It obviously has to be something really mundane and unimportant.”
“I’m a firefighter,” I said defiantly.
She raised one eyebrow.
“Ok, I work in an office,” I mumbled.
We both smiled. “Do you know, it really has been nice to meet you, Tinman.”
“And you,” I said, holding out my hand.
“Oh, we can’t touch,” she said. “It would be like the sun touching a black hole. It would destroy the galaxy.”
“Oh,” I said. “Then there’s no point using my ’opposites attract’ chat-up line, I suppose.”
She smiled again, and stood up. “It would be safest if we left separately,” she said.
I watched her as she walked towards the door. She had fabulous legs with an astonishingly pert bum swaying gently above them.
“I know what you’re doing,” she said, without turning around, “and you should stop it. Since we’re basically each other in reverse, it’s like looking out of your own arse.”