In the DC comics universe, a planet called “Htrae” (“Earth” spelled backwards) is populated with bizarre versions of superheroes. A Seinfeld episode made the idea of this Bizarro World popular, where the characters encountered their opposite selves.
Craft a scene in which you meet an opposite version of yourself — or a story in a bizarre, backwards world.
I hated her the moment I saw her. I have only seen her once in the most bizarre dream I have ever had. Once was enough. I wandered down endless streets of houses that seemed vaguely familiar, yet I was certain I had never been down them in the waking world. Every now and again, I would turn because I was certain I was being followed, but no one was there.
Why were the streets weird? The blocks were long. All the houses sat on huge lots with enormous and well-kept yards. In the waking world, the only time houses were so widespread were if I wandered out in the country. However, here, I was clearly in the city. Also, yards were never this uniformly neat. It looked out of place in the city I was so accustomed to. Most people try to keep up their yards, sure. Yet, every now and again there would be a person that didn’t care. Also, peoples’ ideas of keeping up with the yard work varied quite a bit. Most mowed the yards, but ignored weed choked flowerbeds.
I stopped on this dream street and admired the quiet neatness. This enjoyment was ruined yet again by the feeling of being watched. I looked again. This time, in the distance, I saw her. She stood in the middle of the street rather defiantly. I couldn’t see her face yet at that point, but intrigued, I moved forward. Why? Because there was no other person on the street.
She was dressed completely opposite me. She had a very revealing top and very short skirt. Her hair was down and very straight. She wore a good amount of makeup and somehow stood on very high heels that made her stand several inches over me. Amazingly, she wore a watch on her right wrist, though I would be amazed if she didn’t have a cell phone on her. I looked at her in surprise. She mirrored my expression.
“Why would you wear that?” she demanded of me.
“Really?” I replied. “That’s how you’re going to start this?”
“You know why.”
“Are you sure?”
“Oh, yes. That much I am sure of with you,” I told her.
“Society spends far too much time following unspoken rules,” she shrugged. “Why?”
“It keeps society out of complete chaos. If you can’t follow simple rules of etiquette, I wonder how you make a living.”
“I have men falling over me. I have plenty who are willing to support me.”
I was disgusted and made no effort to hide my contempt. There wasn’t any point with her. Again, she mirrored my expression.
“I bet you have a job where you follow rules and have to be on time,” she sneered.
“But I don’t require supervision and I’m reliable. I get satisfaction from my job and can support myself. I don’t spend hours bored in bars and clubs and chatting up any guy who looks my way. How many men warn their fellows behind your back after what you’ve done? How many girls steer clear of you because you bring trouble with every step you take?”
“At least I talk to people. You avoid large crowds and only have a few friends. You spend time at home alone, but never seem to take steps to solve that. You’re so quiet that you scare people and make them question your motives. How the hell is that life?”
“I enjoy my solitude,” I tell her softly. “And yes, I’ve had people tell me later that they weren’t sure what my purpose was when they first met me, but at least I can say that I know the people I consider friends much better than you do. You can’t. You’re undependable, cannot be hired, require constant supervision at any job you do manage to get. You’re content to let any guy use you. You’ve never met a stranger, yet those who get to know you see reason to avoid you like the plague.”
“I have no regrets,” she yelled.
I resisted the urge to look around. No one was here but us.
“That’s because you don’t bother to consider the consequences. How many times have you been arrested? Your record must be impressive. What’s your drug of choice? I’ll bet your family’s proud of you.”
“I’ve lived. You don’t take risks. I can adapt to anything.”
“Maybe. Only because you’ve put yourself in too many bad positions.”
She looked like she wanted to hit me. She almost did. She seemed to realize this was a bad idea. Instead, she turned and stormed off. Those heels clicked loudly on the pavement as she disappeared into the distance. I stood and willed myself to calm down. I looked around. The street was empty, but there was a new sense of peace.
I walked in the direction she had stormed off in, though I knew I would not encounter her again in this dream. Eventually, everything swirled together and I found myself waking to the alarm. I sat up, sending the cats in a frenzy of hungry meows. She was opposite me in so many ways. Was she sent to show me all the good decisions I had made? To let me know what would have become of me had I followed the wrong path? So many other questions followed. I wondered about her beliefs on life and beyond. Then, I looked at the clock and groaned. It was time to get going. My job would not do itself. A good thing, too, I thought as I scratched the nearest cat’s head.
This was a fun story to write. I do not usually take the time of what my opposite would be. I do not think many people would like her. Well, at least the people I associate would not. I cannot imagine that people who actually knew her would like her. Use her, certainly. But there is a big difference. And I am glad I can say that she is not what I see in the mirror.