alternate realities

besides having conversations about nothing as a kid, i often challenged people with the notion that life as we know it might actually be the proverbial hell people are so afraid to end up at when they pass away. for that matter, how do you know that we're not living in the afterlife and that this is death, that when we die, we actually go to that other place in the land of the living? how can we be so sure that the earth, the solar system and heck, the milky way aren't inside some giant's stomach... or in the eyeball of a squid for that matter? that the universe as we know it is actually the black void in some orifice of some other giant being, that we aren't the very bacteria that we study?

parallel lives, parallel realities..

watching one of the 4400 episodes sparked it off. it was a neat concept but i was bursting with frustration because i was just as confused as the main dude who was stuck in his alternate universe. i had to drag it out of A to tell me what happened so that i could finish watching the episode in peace. i promised to give back her pastry brush for the info, but i didn't keep up my end of the bargain *grins* instead, i got some scrumptious cinnamon sticks & accompanying frosting + apple cinnamon swirled toast for my lack of cooperation... how good was that?! =)

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i grew up visiting M's house in san marino every weekend ever since i was like 6 or 7. our parents would yak, i'd sit there and read my ramona quimby or latest nancy drew from the library if M and his brother and sister weren't around. if they were, i was shoved into their care.. these strange grown up people that weren't quite proper grownups because they weren't as old as my parents, but were much older than me.

best bonding moment was when all 4 of us were plopped on their parents' bed watching some tennis final. they were rooting for agassi. A asked me how old i thought she was. i shrugged and avoided answering "old" just so she wouldn't get upset. they forced it out of me in the end.

"old!" they sniggered. "how old is old to you?"

i stared at the tv, trying to figure out which white-clad dude was agassi.

"c'mon! we won't get mad!" they egged.

i stared at the tv, trying to figure out why they all liked agassi. hey forgive me, i was 7...

in the end, i told them that i thought anyone above twenty was old. they burst out laughing and i only remember someone telling me they were 16. i heaved a great sigh of relief. at least i didn't insult anyone by calling them old.. 16 was still younger than 20 so they must still be young.

10 years later, M and R were taking me out for coffee when i visited them in taipei although it was a tad forced. R snuck off, claiming he couldn't find a parking spot and left M with me. or me with M. A had quit med school after one year and was now a blossoming director based in japan. tack on another 6 odd years.. A now has a taiwanese movie starring Lin Yi Chen and Anita Yuen under her belt, M is a chief psychiatrist at a taipei hospital and R is the head of the emergency dept at another hospital. you could say they're a bunch of overachievers =)

now comes the weird part..

their mom apparently blurted out her true plans during my last visit back to taiwan early this year. she wasn't drunk. she meant every word she said and repeated everything to another set of friends the following day. in her exact words, "do you mind if i make amy my daughter? if i can't have her as my daughter-in-law, then by god i'm having her as my god-daughter."

*hears a pin drop in the room as the awkward moment lingers. my dad slurps his noodles to break the silence*

he's a freaking 9 years older than me!! he's supposed to be like an older brother!! eeeeeeeeewwww!

tonight, my mom calls. this random phone call from my mom sparked off more of that parallel universe stuff.. she was calling from M's wedding dinner reception. i could hear my dad in the background. the call seemed misplaced as she asked if i wanted to speak to M. "what for??" streaked across my mind.. i forgot it's friday today. i forgot she said she'd call today. i forgot i was supposed to be out partying today. i forgot i had to finish my case report today. *sigh* for my mom to drag M away from his duties as the groom on his wedding night just so she can pass the phone to some kid-sister figure of his whom his mother tried to set him up with, so she can congratulate him... i couldn't do it. it was too weird. his poor wife. i hope his mother doesn't think she's me. it got me thinking tho.. what if things went according to his mother's twisted plan. she had been planning this ever since i was visiting their house in cali as a kid!!!

what if though... what if.
what if i never left cali.
what if i went to cate and boarded there to finish high school.
what if i still had jimmy.
what if i had found that letter i wrote in 6th grade to a certain somebody.
what if i had given that letter to that certain somebody.

a million and one what ifs that i'll never ever know the endings to. i guess the bottom line is that life is what you make of it. for me, it meant having fun at the pediatric dinner last nite with L and L. L and I were drunk with laughter. the other L on the other hand was hilariously but quite decidedly drunk. after all.. all roads lead to the same point, don't they?

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