[This is from the Book I found. This is what I’ve not written, only read and am now transposing for you.]
Dear Gentle Reader.
My name is David Hersh. I am, and am not, the author of this book that you are reading.
I say, ‘I am, and am not…’ Let me tell my story so that I may clarify what I mean by my statement.
‘I am not the author.’
What I mean by this is, I did not write what you have read thus far. Where my participation begins is at the top of this page when you read, ‘Dear Gentle Reader,’ and nothing prior to this. (I do not count the little note at the front of the book to the possible Me of the past; but I will delve into that in paragraphs to come.) I will be author from this point onward and continue to expound and riff on the events leading up to “right now.”
‘I am the author.’
Not just in the way that I am writing now, but in a way that is much deeper and intertwined than simply saying, ‘I am the author.’
First, let me say that I will, as in the style of the author up to this point, refer to myself as Present Me or PMe and then; the author of this book who in fact may be a Past Me, I will refer to as Long Ago Me or LaMe since Past Me would be PMe again which would complicate not clarify the following story and explanation.
Once again… My Story.
Recently, I spent the day strolling around the city. I enjoy experiencing strangers; people expressing their habits in their habitats, living their public lives, mostly unaware of their tics and behaviour-isms. I love to interact. I love to spy. I love to spy while interacting. Catching subconscious idiosyncrasies brings me such pleasure. I wish I had a basket I could carry with me where I could keep people’s idiosyncrasies and pull them out when I want a laugh or a cringe. Actually, I would love to carry more in this basket. Colours. Sounds. Smells. Faces. Moments of time. That I could just pull out when my spirit needed a boost. A Basket of Life Experiences, kind of like a Horn o’Plenty only you can only pull out what you put in.
I was meandering and as I wandered by storefronts, I was suddenly struck by an antique store’s window. I don’t know why I slowed down because I’d gone by the store many times before but I was struck by something in the window. It glittered. It was one of those old glam outfits from so long ago. It would have gone straight into my basket. Then I noticed, below the glamour, there was a series of books on display. There was one at the foot of the sparkled up mannequin and it struck me as very peculiar. I’m not going to beat around the bush to build suspense; the book was entitled “A Future Story” by “David Hersh” and there was my signature written under the typed up name.
Let me continue.
I am struck by this. I am perplexed. I am an author and I have many stories that have been produced, some a long time ago that would have made their first appearance in book form, but I have never published a story with that title. Did another author share my name? But, no, it was my signature on the cover so I continued to be perplexed, staring through that store window.
Of course, I had to buy the book.
You can’t let someone steal your identity. If someone else was an author with my name they should at least have added an initial. But once again, it struck me that it was my signature.
I bought the book, walked markedly to a cafe, Book clutched in hand, ordered myself a tea, and began to read.
I could not put it down.
What I read was what you’ve just read. It was this book minus this epilogue by me. PMe. I was fascinated. I was scared. I was enthralled and excited and flabberghasted. How could this be?
I had not written it but the voice in the… “Book”… was so familiar, so Me. It was as if I was reading something written for me by me but it wasn’t me because I didn’t write it. The details are not the same as PMy details but the similarities were identical in some situations.
Some information I could not discern because the author, potentially a past me, and I use “a past me’ and not “the past me’ in the same way the author talks about ‘a future’ and not ‘the future’, because the author purposely left details vague, i.e. people’s and city’s names in code. I think I know the cities but cannot know for sure if the names of them would be the same as LaMe – I don’t think Long Ago Me works. I shall refer to the author as Other Me, OMe. And please note, that I am not the Editor Me that OMe talks about. I think OMe edited his own work prior to what you’ve read in this published form.
Please understand that I did not write this Book. I found this Book in an antique shoppe; I have written this little epilogue explaining my involvement in this story, and then have gone on to cast it into the world, while sending the document to an old publishing house who makes limited printed editions for tactile enthusiasts – which I think is the best way to experience this story, a reminder of an older time. Anyway…
I found this Book and my conclusion is that this Book was written by an OMe from a past time. This OMe either a) created a fictional scenario whereby he speculated what it would be like if he found a book from his own future or b) he did find this Book and it was from his future and he then published it as his own in his time/space and everything in the Book is absolute truth – or mostly truth. Who can know for certain?
Although I give two possibilities, the one I believe to be true is b). I believe this OMe found this Book from a future. Maybe he finds this book that I’ve published. Maybe he finds the Book that was published in another timeline. Maybe this Book lives further into the future and is sent by an even more Future Me, or an Alternate Universe Me, or maybe a future family member. I don’t know how OMe got this Book but somehow, sometime, he will… he did.
Now a curiouser fact that I have not tackled is the fact that what PMe is writing right now, did not appear in the Book PMe found. I will be “I” or “me”, I find it difficult to write as my predecessor did. I will talk about myself as normally someone would and I will continue to refer as the Other Me as OMe. To rewrite the beginning of this paragraph…
Now a curiouser fact that I have not tackled is the fact that what I am writing right now, did not appear in the Book I found. Only what this OMe had written was in the Book so if in fact he does end up finding this precise book in that bookstore so long ago, this should also appear in his Book. If this is the case, then what we must conclude is that this Book you are reading and the Book I found are actually two different books.
Hypothesis Explained: OMe finds a Book from a future. It is this Book. This Book has my writing in it. OMe reads the Book and sees this epilogue from me and realizes that the Book he’s reading is from the future. He also realizes from reading my epilogue that my epilogue was not in the Book I read and I have only added it after the fact. Therefore OMe, must have realized that when I read the Book my epilogue is not present so OMe must therefore publish the Book himself without my epilogue. And if he hadn’t figured that out yet, by the time he reads this, he’ll know what to do. Therefore: two different Books; one with my epilogue which OMe finds and one without my epilogue which I found.
It still does not explain how the Book time travels but it does explain certain aspects of the story.
Another point of question is: Is OMe the same me as Me or is OMe an Alternate Universe Me?
Because I did not write this Book to begin with, at least I do not remember writing it, I hypothesize that this Book comes from an alternate dimensional timeline. In this other timeline, OMe has lived another life, with some similarities, but not exactly the same, which is why I don’t remember living it.
But there are many similarities in our actual lives; as well as in our philosophy of the world, speech and thought patterns. I find it fascinating, thoroughly fascinating and exciting; exciting to what the future holds.
Before I sign off, Gentle Reader, I would like to do an exercise that my counter part engaged in. I want to have a conversation with OMe and see how it turns out. I will do this under the same conditions; i.e. I will not edit myself but let it be as is.
A Conversation in which I talk with the Other Me
OTHER-ME: Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to talk to you.
ME: Not at all. I didn’t realize that you would be so enthusiastic, or speak so quickly.
OTHER-ME: I didn’t realize that I’d get this chance. I have so many questions for you.
ME: You have questions for me? How does that work?
OTHER-ME: What do you mean?
ME: Well, I have questions for you. Pardon me, but I thought this would be a one way conversation because I’m here and real and you’re just an imaginary figure and didn’t think you’d have much to say unless I engaged you.
OTHER-ME: But you’ve opened yourself up to me and you’ve read so much about me and how I think that you’re able to channel me quite easily.
ME: So who is going to ask who what first? Did I just say that?
OTHER-ME: It sounds a lot like me.
ME: It does.
OTHER-ME: Don’t worry I’ve done this with frequency so I understand. You’ll get used to what your voice is and what’s mine. So, why don’t we take turns asking questions. Why don’t I go first, that way you can ground yourself in your own voice.
ME: Okay. Thank you. Go ahead and ask a question.
OTHER-ME: What year are you in?
ME: Hmmmm. I don’t know if we should get into specific questions like that. I don’t know if you will end up reading this, so I think I should remain vague in reference to specific time and my actual life choices, then you won’t feel influenced by my answers.
OTHER-ME: Okay. I get what you mean. Nothing that would make me expect specific events at specific times.
ME: I think that’s best.
OTHER-ME: I agree. Okay. …How are you?
ME: I am… I see… How am I, really.
OTHER-ME: Yes. Not the in-passing, “How are you?’; the real truthful, you’re talking to someone who knows, “How are you?”
ME: I am happy. And not the in-passing, “I’m happy.” I am truly, deep down in the pit of my heart and soul, Happy. I experience the world with open eyes and a receiving heart. When a problem arises with a person, I see the pained individual within, I see the pain remembrance within myself, I realize that we are one and the same and then I let it go and return to my happiness and know that my shift from pain to happiness will be somehow internalized by them and therefore change their life and give them a spark to change their own pain to love. When I am inside a difficult scenario, I do the same. I feel the emotional charge I get, I give thanks for the reminder and then I let it go because I am much happier when I let go and live in love. It is a brilliant place to be.
OTHER-ME: That’s what I want. That’s what I’m working toward. Thank you for showing me that I might get there.
ME: I thought that would be something you’d like to know.
OTHER-ME: I did. I am grateful that you shared that with me. Now you can ask me a question.
ME: This exercise is interesting for me. When I thought about doing this I had no idea what would come from it.
OTHER-ME: No. I never knew either. You just have to be present and write and channel whoever you’re connecting with and let things happen. Do you have a question?
ME: I must. But I’m so… I don’t remember you, you know.
OTHER-ME: I know.
ME: I remember nothing of your experiences and yet you’re supposed to be me.
OTHER-ME: I know, but I think that I’m just another you. You said it yourself. We both are hypothesizing the same thing; we are the same person but from two separate timelines.
ME: Right. What is your biggest challenge?
OTHER-ME: Whoa! Really? What is my biggest challenge? In life? Why is that question bringing tears to my eyes? Why do you want to know?
ME: I’m just curious if our challenges are the same. Are we the same soul just living different choices or is there a more significant separation and we are truly two separate entities? Sorry about the tears.
OTHER-ME: Are we the same soul or are we separate? That’s a profound question. Who can we ask who might have the answer?
ME: You mean, someone outside of ourselves?
OTHER-ME: Yes, is there someone who can answer that?
ME: Why don’t we just answer it? Does that scare you?
OTHER-ME: Yes. You ask me what my biggest challenge of life is and then you ask whether we are truly the same soul or two separate beings and you don’t expect me to be a bit afraid?
ME: Why are you afraid?
OTHER-ME: I don’t know the answer, that’s why I’m afraid.
ME: Are you afraid to ask?
OTHER-ME: I just haven’t thought to ask. You’re the one that’s been living with the knowledge of the duality of Us but this is all new to me. I haven’t known that you existed until you started writing, until that point it was just me speaking to me and to the invisible audience I wasn’t even sure existed.
ME: But now that you do know, now that we’re here, what do you think?
OTHER-ME: Jeezabel. And yes, I meant Jeez-abel.
ME: I know.
OTHER-ME: Frack, you’re being all understanding and patient and shit. I’m avoiding. I know. Okay. Frack. Hold on. Let me begin by breaking this down. Do you mind if I invite a couple of friends to bounce these ideas off of.
ME: You still want that outside confirmation from a higher being?
OTHER-ME: Not really. I just have some friends that help bounce off ideas that are just parts of me. Indulge me.
ME: Go ahead and invite your friends.
SHERLOCK: Pip pip, everyone.
DOWNEY JR: Holy mind-fuck. Now what have you got us into?
ME: Oh my. This is a surprise.
DOWNEY JR: How is it possible that you’re able to bring us into this conversation when we’re a figment of the imagination of a figment of your imagination? This is some fucking deep shit.
ME: I don’t know. But I’m just going to step outside and let the Other Me do what he needs to do to answer the question.
OTHER-ME: Thank you. Okay boys. The question is, are Me and FMe two totally separate, free thinking, individual beings? Or are we the same being living in multiple universes at the same time?
DOWNEY JR: Ooooo, the multidimensional question.
DOWNEY JR: You’re asking the multidimensional question.
ME: Are you making that up? Is that a real “thing”?
OTHER-ME: He’s always saying stuff.
DOWNEY JR: Gotcha!
ME: Does he ever contribute anything meaningful?
DOWNEY JR: All my contributions are meaningful. You just don’t understand my meaning.
OTHER-ME: You have to get used to him.
DOWNEY JR: Sha-bang!
ME: He’s distracting.
DOWNEY JR: Exacting.
OTHER-ME: Here play with this. (OTHER-ME hands ROBERT DOWNEY JR a miniature model of the Universe.) That should distract him for a while.
DOWNEY JR: Ooooo, super-cool.
SHERLOCK: One being or two. What is your evidence so far?
OTHER-ME: We are two separate people – heck I don’t even know if we look alike.
ME: Your physical description of yourself earlier in the Book could describe me.
OTHER-ME: Is that good enough?
ME: What if I put a picture of myself when I was roughly your age in this part of the book. Then you can tell me whether you look like that. I’ll do it right here.
OTHER-ME: Great and I’ll write on one of the blank pages whether it’s me.
ME: Oh, that’s what that means.
OTHER-ME: What do you mean?
ME: You wrote on one of the pages just at the end of your part of the Book, “BTW, it’s me.”
OTHER-ME: Whoa! But you hadn’t done that yet?
ME: I just did it.
OTHER-ME: And I responded before you did it?
ME: It must have been that person you call Editor Me.
OTHER-ME: So that’s a picture of you.
ME: Yes. And it’s you too?
DOWNEY JR: Awww, family reunion.
OTHER-ME: Play with your universe.
SHERLOCK: So you appear to be the same person physically.
SHERLOCK: But you are living in separate timelines.
SHERLOCK: Different histories?
ME: Partly. We were just trying to figure out how much is the same and what is different.
SHERLOCK: Are you going to go through every moment in your lives?
ME: I didn’t think we would.
OTHER-ME: What if we find out about major life events?
ME: Will that work?
OTHER-ME: What do you mean?
ME: You are still just an imaginary person. I am not really talking to you right now.
SHERLOCK: How do you know that?
DOWNEY JR: If you are the same Being, then maybe you are communicating in a way that transcends space and time.
ME: If that is the case then I will just have to trust that the answers we give are truth.
ME: That was the same as I read, July 27th.
OTHER-ME: Same year? Crazy.
ME: Parents names.
OTHER-ME: I’ve been trying to be vague about people’s names so they are not harassed if this is ever published.
ME: It is published, at least in my Universe. Okay, no names.
DOWNEY JR: Why don’t you talk in some deep David code that only the two of you would know?
SHERLOCK: That’s a good idea.
OTHER-ME: Where do I spit?
ME: On Denmark.
DOWNEY JR: What the…?
ME: What did the woman in white say when I saw her in the rearview mirror?
OTHER-ME: “Don’t worry, everything will be all right.”
OTHER-ME: What was the name of the café in Chartres and what was on the poster?
ME: As if. Melodia café with a poster of a panda. Wow, those are very specific events, sayings and experiences. I cannot believe that they are the same.
OTHER-ME: Neither can I.
SHERLOCK: I believe this proves you are part of the same Being.
DOWNEY JR: Really? The same Being but two different lives?
ME: I guess I always thought that I was just one line of consciousness in a larger Being called David Hersh. And this David Hersh has multiple consciousnesses who each live a separate set of choices in separate timelines but who are ultimately all connected and can be traced back to the source David Hersh – this one multi-conscious being. Somehow we connected and this Book has been the conduit between our timelines.
OTHER-ME: Do you think that there are more of us?
ME: Many, many more; each with his own timeline.
OTHER-ME: And do you think that there are other Davids who have read either your Book or mine and are going through the same experiences as we are right now.
ME: I think that is definitely a possibility.
SHERLOCK: A probability, I’d say. If you already share obscure similarities, I would wager that other yous do as well.
OTHER-ME: What do you think is the nature of Time?
ME: Time is a structure in our three dimensional world that keeps track of our present. What we experience in the moment is our present, and what isn’t now is a product of time – of our relationship to time. If it is not now then it is the past or the future. Time is also broad. It is not a single line representing only one definitive possibility. Time is more like a wave with multiple timelines side by side making a huge, thick tapestry of possibilities.
OTHER-ME: And then this Being, David Hersh, is conscious of each of these timelines.
ME: Yes, and is collecting information through all of them in order to grow and learn. Think of the Consciousness of David Hersh as being a physical body and that each of us individual timeline Davids are like cells in this greater Body. Each of our consciousnesses are just a fraction of the whole consciousness of the Home Base David Hersh.
DOWNEY JR: That’s fucked up. And hypothetical bullshit, no?
OTHER-ME: No real bullshit.
ME: But hypothetically theoretical, none the less.
OTHER-ME: And still possible.
ME: Yeah, why not? Each of my cells doesn’t know it is part of a larger whole that makes up my Physical Body but it still does.
OTHER-ME: Why then couldn’t we be “cells” or parts of a larger whole that makes up a Conscious Body.
DOWNEY JR: You guys working together now, are you?
OTHER-ME: Thanks for your time again, boys.
DOWNEY JR: No problemo. Call anytime. Ciao. (He tosses ME the Universe he’s been playing with and exits.)
SHERLOCK: A pleasure to be a part of these fascinating discussions. Venture on. Until next time. (He exits. We are left alone.)
ME: You did that all the time? Talk to these characters in your mind?
OTHER-ME: Yes. Don’t you have characters that you talk to?
ME: Yes. I guess I do.
OTHER-ME: I have a question for you. Something significant.
OTHER-ME: You’ve seen the date of my first entry. Do you remember that date? Did you go into a bookstore that day? Do you remember anything about that day?
ME: It’s funny. I did look back in my collection of diaries to see what was going on in my life on that day and I did have an actual entry. On the day you found the book something significant did happen.
OTHER-ME: Really? Tell me.
ME: I was supposed to meet a friend at a coffee shop for a chitchat and usually when I did this, I often went early to look through the nearby used bookstore for a surprise book that would maybe jump out at me. But on this day, my friend called me and asked to change locations and meet for lunch instead, so I didn’t end up going to that cafe and therefore I didn’t end up going into that used bookstore.
OTHER-ME: And this made it into your diary?
ME: Oh, no. It was the reason why my friend changed locations; she just found out she was pregnant, and so wanted to talk over lunch rather than a quick tea. I had written in my diary about the surprises life gives us and how this friend who wasn’t planning on children was suddenly pregnant.
OTHER-ME: Do you think that if you went to that used bookstore, you may have found the Book?
ME: I don’t know. Was the Book meant for my timeline? Or only yours?
OTHER-ME: I don’t know. (pause) Well, both of ours just at different times in our lives.
ME: I guess so.
OTHER-ME: How do you think the Book travels time?
ME: I don’t know, but somehow it is traveling between the two of us.
OTHER-ME: Back and forth. In a loop. So, where does it begin? If I find the Book that you’ve written and you’ve found a book that I’ve written and they’re the same book; who wrote it first?
ME: I found the Book with only your writing and I am assuming, that you found the Book with both your writing and my writing. This would make me feel that you wrote it first.
OTHER-ME: Yeah, but the only reason I ended up writing it is because I found it, which means it had already been written before I wrote it.
ME: Well, I didn’t write it. Maybe there’s Another one of Us in another timeline who wrote a fictional telling of a Book from the future and it is this Book that is traveling across timelines.
OTHER-ME: Yes, but wrote a Book that is word for word the writing I was doing prior to opening the Book? Which also means, that the fictional book turns out to be factual.
ME: Much of our lives seem to have been synchronized so it could easily be that your life and this Another Life were also synchronized for the writing of the Book.
OTHER-ME: Is this your theory?
ME: I guess it is. If we are truly one being living multiple lives, then that theory could work.
OTHER-ME: And the power of this Book to travel across timelines?
ME: I have a principle I live by, “When the bug catches it, the bug catches it.” In other words, “If it is, then it is,” regardless of how impossible it seems to be. I believe in infinite possibilities. This is an unprecedented occurrence but just because it hasn’t been recorded by anyone before does not mean it couldn’t happen.
OTHER-ME: “When the bug catches it…?”
ME: Very wise words from my six year old niece.
OTHER-ME: Does this non-answer satisfy you?
ME: Yes, because I don’t see it as a non-answer, just a “for now until it is clearer,” answer.
OTHER-ME: I guess I can be okay with that too. If you do find out something, send it in another book to me, wouldya?
ME: You got it.
OTHER-ME: Thank you. (pause) I think I am done.
ME: I think I am done, too.
OTHER-ME: Are you satisfied?
ME: Yes. Are you?
ME: Good. Because then I have done what I wanted to do.
OTHER-ME: Take care of yourself. I’m going to drift back to my time and space. Maybe We’ll connect again somewhere, sometime.
ME: That’s going to be some reunion.
OTHER-ME: It certainly is.
OTHER-ME: See you. Enjoy this life. Love you.
ME: Love you, too. (OTHER-ME exits.)
[Back in the Now]
It’s funny, I seem to have answered the questions I posed prior to this conversation.
I did not plan on any of this when I began writing this “Epilogue.” I do not want to say anymore about it. I feel I could go on and on but this is not my story… I play a part but it’s not mine. I shall leave it with you, Gentle Reader. You come up with your own answers for the Hows and Whys. I’ve offered my thoughts and leave it at that.
Thank you, for sharing this experience and if you have any comments or impressions you would like to share, then please do in anyway you feel you can. Someplace where others might be able to respond and discuss.
Take care. Enjoy Life. And remember… “When the bug catches it, the bug catches it.”
David Hersh (The Present)