Sometimes you just have to ask yourself, “What the fuck?” This is a realization I had not so very long ago, in the middle of a cold February night, when my own mind set out to betray me. I’ve been betrayed before. Haven’t we all? When it’s you, thrusting your own self into a fun-house full of mind-fucks, can reality ever work its way back into your soul? Sit back, and drink some iced tea as I regale you with the story of the night I lost myself.
It was several hours past my bedtime in February of 2015, when I put my laptop away and flipped the switch on my lamp. My excursions from the day had my body paralyzed with exhaustion, but I’d needed to stay up long enough to finish one last writing project. With my dog curled into a ball between my legs, I drifted into a dream-filled slumber.
As I blissfully dreamt of a reality non-existent, a pounding at the door and the sound of my dog’s protective growls sent me spiraling back to the unwelcome realm of awareness. With the tips of my fingers rubbing my eyes into focus, I slid out of my bed and staggered toward the front door, with my dog at my heels.
Max was ready to pounce when I pulled the front door open, but when her eyes landed on the specimen of a human in front of us, she ran across the living room, whimpering, and urinated on the floor. I nearly did the same as I caught sight of the strange woman.
She looked like me. Exactly like me; as if I had a twin. I was never told I even had a sibling. My eyes bounced around the woman’s figure, and I caught sight of her tattoos. She had the same markings I did, strategically placed in the same places.
“I am deeply sorry for the intrusion, KJ,” the woman said as she stepped toward me and I stepped back.
“What do you want? Do you know what time it is?” I asked, trying to conceal the quivering in my voice. “How the hell do you know my name?”
“I need to speak with you. May I come in?”
“No you may NOT come in! Who the hell are you?!”
The woman pursed her lips together as they gave way to a hint of a smile. “I should think that’s quite obvious. I’m you, KJ. However, much wiser. I’m you, in three years.”
With my eyes forming into tiny slits, I stepped toward the woman. “Did you just call me dumb?”
“Of course not, sweetheart. You’re just young and careless. Like a feral kitten of sorts.”
“Relax yourself. May I enter now?” The woman gestured toward the couch behind us.
“You bang on my door in the middle of the night, scare the piss out of my dog, literally, you claim to be me, and you expect me to let you into my house? How the hell can you be me. I’m me!!”
“I am you, KJ. I’ve got no reason to lie. I’m future you. Do you understand?”
“Do you understand?” I repeated, mockingly. “Sure. I get it. Because this makes complete sense. Happens all the time. People waking me up at all hou–”
“Quiet! I cannot believe I used to carry on so much. Let me in, and I’ll explain everything. Or we could stand in your doorway freezing our asses off while your dog sits behind you licking herself.”
I turned around and sure enough, Max was on the floor slopping away at her long, thick fur. “When’s my birthday?” I asked, turning back toward the impersonator.
“Sweetheart, if at thirty-one years old you don’t recall your own birthday, perhaps it’s time you seek medical attention.”
My eyes stared blankly ahead as the woman’s last sentence to me repeated in my mind. “Okay,” I nodded. “Come in.” I knew at that moment she was telling the truth.
Her eyes skimmed every surface of my living area as she lowered herself onto my couch. “Hm,” she said, “I remember this place. It’s changed quite a bit in the last three years.”
“Alright. You gotta tell me what’s going on here.” I sat on the couch across from her. I didn’t want to be too close, because I still wasn’t sure who, or what the hell she was.
“Okay.” The woman sat tall and clasped her hands together, resting them on her legs. “I’m future KJ. I do believe I told you that outside. Our world is facing peril, and I’ve traveled back in time to find you, me, and give you a job.”
“What the hell can I do? I haven’t even gotten there yet!”
“Listen!” She snapped.
“You listen!” I waved my finger in the air to the rhythm of my words. “You’ve gotta stop yelling at me and shit!” The irony hadn’t surpassed me that I was having an argument with myself.
“Over in 2018, our world is crumbling! Do you not understand that? Homosexuals are allowed to get married!”
This woman had my body slowly filling up with rage. “They already can. What the fuck’s wrong with that?”
“Marriage is meant to be a holy union between a man and a woman. Anything else is despicable! Marijuana is becoming legal in more states all the time and there are pot zombies walking around the planet, wasting space and oxygen. Pot turns into crack and you know it. More and more people are injecting Marijuana every day. I find needles on the sidewalks all the time. ” The woman made an expression of disgust, then turned her head and spat on my carpet.
“The men in Hollywood have turned into rabid beasts. They think they can use their power to exploit women and abuse them,” She continued. “There are those who say they should be considered innocent until proven guilty, but if those poor women say they were abused, then dammit, they were abused! Fuck proof! Ignorant hippies crying for ‘true equality’, they annoy me.”
The woman shivered as a chill crept up her spine and she snarled like a dog eager to attack. “There are immigrants all over the place. I don’t give a shit if they’re legal or not. They don’t belong here. This America dammit!”
“What? What the hell has happened to you. What’s happened to me? When did I become such a hateful, closed-minded bitch?”
“Excuse me?” The woman stood her to feet, and I stood to mine.
“What exactly are you asking me to do?” I asked.
“I need you to take out anyone who is willing to allow these vile things to keep happening. Our president is trying so hard to make the world a better place, but all these damn liberals keep making his job harder; criticizing him every time he makes a tweet or uses the wrong word in a speech. They call him names and chant that he’s destroying our country. THEY are destroying our country!”
“You want me to hurt the people who’s side I’m on?”
“You’re not on their side,” she laughed. “You think you are, but I’m you in only three short years. I don’t think you know where you stand. ”
I turned toward the kitchen with a blank expression on my face. “Would you like some tea? Do you still like tea?”
“I’d love some.”
I walked to the kitchen and poured two cups of tea before grabbing one last thing and returning to the living room. I handed one of the cups to the mutant in front of me and took a sip of mine. “Can I say a few things?”
“Of course, now that you stayed quiet long enough to listen to me.”
“I like gay people. There’s nothing wrong with two people loving each other, no matter what there gender is. People who can love who want.”
“What?! No. You’re not declin–”
“Shut up, bitch. It’s my turn to talk,” I quipped. My mirror image glared at me with fire in her eyes. I’d hit her button. I knew that look all too well.
“I like gay people,” I said. “I fully support the legalization of Marijuana, which is nothing like crack by the way. I’ve never known anyone to smoke a bowl and say, ‘Hm. I’m gonna go do crack now.’ The men in Hollywood are obviously having their voices oppressed by radical feminists like yourself who do not want equality, but rather they want women to have some kind of ultimate power.” I took my head in contempt. “Immigrants don’t belong here? Illegals need to leave?” I took a single step toward my double. “We’re all immigrants. All of us but the Native Americans. That’s why they’re called ‘Native Americans’ and we aren’t. White people came in and stole their shit. When did you become so fucking ignorant?”
“You’re crossing the line, now. You need to watch your fucking mouth.” The woman opposite me stood tall and balled her fists.
“You crossed it when you entered my home in the middle of the night.”
That was the last thing I said before pulling a concealed knife out of my waistband and thrusting it into my doppelganger’s chest.
I jolted up in the bed, struggling to catch my breath. My dog was looking at me with her head leaned to one side and her ears perked. I looked around the room and discerned that I was still in my bed, and I’d just had the most fucked up dream ever about killing myself. Only, I didn’t kill myself. I killed the me that I hope I never become.