Mixed Doubles

by John Schoneboom

Nice Julian arrived on the beautiful island paradise with nothing more than a pad of writing paper and visions of utopia. He hitchhiked to the cabin where he'd be staying and knocked on the door. But which Helen would be there?

A window suddenly blew open and emitted one of the possible Helens. Julian gave her the once over, twice, and and made an awkward smile.

"Hi there," she said -- was that a false note in her voice?

"Hi," answered Julian, but secretly he was just feeling hungry.

Helen paused, half aware of the difficulties of being certain of anything, up to and including her own status as a real person.

"Care for a cup of tea?" she asked.

OK, thought Julian, she is a bit of an odd one. Was she the real Helen, he wondered, or some sort of simulacrum?

Oh, he tried, our Julian, Lord knows he tried to tell the actual from the imagistic. Still he had those dreams with false awakenings, again and again until he didn't know if he was ever truly conscious.

He decided to propose to this Helen; she rejected him. Eventually, of course, everyone died and others were born.
Nice Julian arrived on the beautiful island paradise with nothing more than a pad of writing paper and visions of utopia. He hitchhiked to the cabin where he'd be staying and knocked on the door. But which Helen would be there?

A window suddenly blew open and emitted one of the possible Helens. Julian gave her the once over, twice, and and made an awkward smile.

"Hi there," she said -- was that a false note in her voice?

"Hi," answered Julian, but secretly he was just feeling hungry.

Helen paused, half aware of the difficulties of being certain of anything, up to and including her own status as a real person.

"Care for a cup of tea?" she asked.

OK, thought Julian, she is a bit of an odd one. Was she the real Helen, he wondered, or some sort of simulacrum?

Oh, he tried, our Julian, Lord knows he tried to tell the actual from the imagistic. Still he had those dreams with false awakenings, again and again until he didn't know if he was ever truly conscious.

He decided to propose to this Helen; she rejected him. Eventually, of course, everyone died and others were born.
please wait...remixing in progress...