This post is long overdue. Five weeks overdue to be exact. One draft per week, for a total of five, and all of them got annihilated by the sinister DELETE button. I’ve been meaning to write something about a parallel universe. The idea seems cool, cutting-edge, science-y. Writing about the topic would also make me appear more intellectual than what I really am, which is kinda nice. So for five weeks, I tried to churn out something, anything, about a parallel universe. All efforts were futile.
I wanted my writing to be deep. Thought-provoking it should be, I told myself. It must be revolutionary. It must say something that has never been said before. It must grip the heart of every reader. And so, on my first draft, I wrote my first line:
“In a parallel universe, I am not an engineer. And you, you are not a molecular biologist.”
Sounds catchy, I praised myself. This is it. I’m getting good at this. This momentum must be seized. And then, I asked myself, “If I’m not an engineer in that parallel universe, what am I then?” This question taunted me for minutes, just looking at the monitor blankly, with no hope of a deep answer.
And so that was my first draft. First draft deleted.
“In a parallel universe, I am a writer. Not the frustrated, narcissistic, self-indulgent writer that I am right now. In a parallel universe, I am a real writer – someone who actually gets paid to write.”
This is the continuation of the first line I wrote in the first draft, which I deleted, remember? So in a week, it dawned on me that in a parallel universe, I must be a writer. Why? Because in real life, it’s not James Bond who gets the girls, it’s Pablo Neruda and Nicholas Sparks (Nicholas who? WTF!) But you get my point. Writers get the girls. That’s a fact. And so, in a parallel universe, I am a writer who gets the girls. Awesome, right? But then, if I am a writer, how do I make a living? Yeah right, I write for money! Inconceivable. I can’t write for money! It’s like selling my soul in exchange for money! Again, inconceivable. I can’t do that, not even in a parallel universe.
And that was the end of the second draft. Second draft deleted.
“In a parallel universe, I am a writer. A poor yet charming writer (who gets the girls). I wait tables in a restaurant during the day. At night, with a piece of paper as my canvas, I paint you – my Muse – with my words, and every painting reflects your poignancy and beauty.”
If you’ve noticed, this third draft is a continuation of the first two drafts which I deleted. Sometimes I’m like that – weird and irrational. Why would I delete the first drafts and always end up re-writing the lines again and then continue working on it? Because boo-ya, that’s why.
And so, I have decided to be a poor writer, in this parallel universe we are talking about. Because I have yet to see a real writer who’s rich. Because I know there are writers who are filthy rich but I hate them because they write with such flair and have millions in their bank accounts. Because they can write for money, and I can’t. And so I decided to be a poor writer, but nevertheless charming (so I still get the girls). And oh, in case you are wondering, I chose to wait tables in a restaurant because there’s a big chance that I could get some free meals. And so I can feed myself, because I’m poor.
“In a parallel universe, you are…”
This signaled the end of the third draft. What will you be in a universe where I’m a poor writer (who gets the girls)? Third draft deleted.
“In a parallel universe, you are Mulan. You kicked asses and mastered kung-fu. You’re feisty, fierce, and no one messes with you. Your name incites fear and horror.”
Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait (you’re supposed to read those six words in a quick manner). Mulan? Like the Disney movie Mulan? What century are you in? Where the hell did that idea come from?
Fourth draft deleted.
“In a parallel universe, you are who you want to be because I don’t have a freakin’ idea what you want to be in that universe.”
Damn. I give up. Fifth draft deleted.
This is supposed to be the sixth draft, my sixth hopeless attempt to write something about you and me in a parallel universe. The problem is I can’t quite put a finger as to what you will be in a parallel universe. Will you be a famous actress? A world-renowned athlete? A nun?
But no matter who you are, I already have the end in mind, in this parallel universe where both of us exist:
“In a parallel universe, we’ll be completely different persons from who we are in this universe. In that universe, I would probably be a vegetarian (I’m “allergic” to vegetables in this universe), and you, a sports freak. We’ll make gazillion different choices from the choices we’ve made here, and we’ll take different paths. Yet somehow, amidst the randomness in that parallel universe, our roads will still cross.
In a parallel universe, I will still end up choosing you.”