by LJ Frank
Evening approached with a cloudy sky and hazy ribbons of yellow from the sun above a northern lake. I waited by the campfire near a shoreline not far from a partially rusted vehicle I’d rented from the airport.
I looked at the sky and talked to myself. “Who was she really?” We only met earlier in the day by chance. She was walking out of a classroom that I was walking into. It seems we were both visiting lecturers at a local college. Our arms touched each other. Our eyes met.
We saw each other at a coffeeshop in the afternoon. Chance. We decided to chat. It wasn’t a deep conversation. Still, there was something identifiable, familiar and intimate in her voice and body’s movement, like I was in the audience watching a character standing on a stage in a film and yet I was on stage with her. She told me she felt the same about me. Towards the end of our conversation we decided to have a campfire date, sip some wine and finish our conversation near the lake.
“I’m here at last.” The silky feminine voice said behind me.
I turned around. “Good evening. Thank you for meeting me.”
Standing up I handed her a glass of wine from a bottle I’d just uncorked. I looked over her shoulder and her car was just like the one I owned back home in another city.
“My pleasure,” She said with a grin that beckoned me. “I didn’t know if something like this would ever happen.”
“What do you mean?” I asked as we sat down next to each other near the fire.
“Are you familiar with the idea of a simulated universe?”
“Well it’s something like that…but for me there’s a realization that my life is like a film and there are moments when I feel I’ve somehow found myself in someone else’s film and I’m no longer in the role I was familiar with but perhaps wanted to be.”
“I’m trying to figure out whether it’s a provocative drama or just my comical imagination and if I’m really in control of any outcome given the context of my life’s experiences.”
“I understand. For me, our existence is just a biological chance with parallel or multiple realities around us. And up to this moment I questioned whether there was ever a cross over between realities.”
We sat quietly and sipped our wine when she said in a soft voice, “we appear to be in different films…and yet. Perhaps we met before and that’s why we recognized each other. I feel so close to you,” she said placing her hand on my leg.
I nodded, “as I feel about you.”
We hugged each other not wanting to let go. Our lips touched lightly at first. We each took a breath, then sipped our wine, feeling each other’s presence within us while gazing over the water.
A tear formed in my eyes. I looked over towards her to ask her something and discovered she had vanished from my view as if she had been a mirage.
I didn’t know but she had looked over towards me and I had vanished from her view as if I had been a mirage. It was as if our films were on separate trajectories.
And we both sat alone on a beach next to a campfire with a glass of wine in our hands and occasionally glancing over to where the other had sat and wondering what the other’s film was like and wishing…we were together in the same one.