By Saul Greenblatt

Two theoretical physicists, Jason Dunn and Joan Keene, sat at a table in the university cafeteria discussing the theory that there are parallel universes. “Martin, do you think it’s possible that there might be a parallel world or many parallel worlds? Imagine that there is a parallel world where there is another Jason Dunn and another Joan Keene both doing what we do.”

“Joan, if there were one or many parallel worlds, we would have some evidence that there are parallel worlds, but we have nothing.”

“Joan looked at her watch. “Jeez, I have ten minutes to get to my class,” she said, taking her briefcase. “I’ll see you tomorrow, Jason, in our other world,” she chuckled and left.

James followed Joan and went to his office. He sat at his desk and pondered the theory that there are parallel worlds. Could there be an identical Jason Dunn sitting in his office? It’s mind boggling.” As he thought about other worlds, there was a knock on his door. “Come in,” he called and a student entered and sat down.

 “Professor, I have a question. If you pose a theory, one that seems not to have proof…”

As the student talked, Jason found himself staring at the student but not hearing him. After a moment, the student disappeared and reappeared a few feet away. He stared at the student, and was suddenly able to hear him. “So, what do you think, professor?”

“Uh, well, I would suggest that you bring it up during class and see what others think.”

“Good idea. I’ll do that. Thanks,” he said and left.

Jason went to the door and watched the student walk away. He turned slowly to go back to his desk and stopped. His desk was on the other side of the room as were his chair, lamp and book case. He closed his eyes and shook his head. Nothing was where it was supposed to be. “What’s happening? Is something wrong with my brain? I feel fine, but how do I explain what happened?” He went to his desk, sat down and put the palms of his hands on the top of the desk as though to hold it down. He looked around the office. “I don’t like this,” he said, wiping perspiration from his brow. “I think I’m gonna faint,” he mumbled, rushed to the men’s room and splashed water on his face. He took a paper towel, stood up, and, as he dabbed his wet face, he looked in the mirror.  He saw himself sitting at his desk. “My God. I’m in the men’s room and…someone…another me…is in my office.”  He rushed back to his office and saw that it was the way he left it, though not the way it was supposed to be. He went back to the men’s room and looked in a mirror. He gasped when he saw himself entering a cafeteria and looking around. Then the other James Dunn entered the cafeteria and walked through him as though he weren’t there and went to a table. “No, this isn’t possible,” he whined, covering his eyes. When he looked again in the mirror, he saw himself. Then he rushed back to his office. I have to get out of my office. It’s time to meet Phil for lunch. Should I bring up what happened? He’ll think I’ve lost my mind.” Jason took his briefcase, locked his office door and went to the university cafeteria. Phil, also a physicist, was sitting at their usual table. 

“Hi, Jason, come sit. I got you a hamburger just the way you like it.”

“Thanks, Phil.” Jason sat down. “Mm. The hamburger’s good.”

“So, Jason, what’s new?”

“What’s new? Uh…well…nothing much.”

“Well, I’ve been reading articles about parallel worlds. Reputable physicists believe that there are many parallel worlds, worlds where there are other Jason Dunns and Phil Smiths, who are just like us. Imagine that we are living our same lives in another world.”

 “Phil, if there were parallel worlds, wouldn’t they have been discovered by now?”

“I suppose so. But even without evidence, it’s fascinating. Imagine you’d live your life as the other you without being aware that there’s another you or knowing that you are in a parallel world. It’s creepy.  “I have to go to class, Jason. See you later…in another world,” he chuckled and left.

Jason finished eating and went to the parking lot and drove home. That night, he corrected exams until he got tired. “I’ll get up early and correct the rest.”  He set his alarm, got up early and took a shower. While he dried himself, he looked in a full-length mirror and gasped. He saw the other James Dunn get dressed and leave the bedroom, and then the picture changed. The other James went into the den, sat at a desk, and corrected exams.  James hurriedly got dressed and went down to the den. He saw the other James stand, take the exams and leave the room. “He looked around and shook his head. The other James took the exams. He looked at the room. “My…my desk is on the other side of the room. It’s just like my office.  Everything is in a different place. The chairs. The lamps. The couch. What the hell is going on? There must be something wrong with me. I must be hallucinating,” He sat down and closed his eyes. After a few moments, he opened his eyes. “Good God,” the room is not back to normal. What’s going on?” Later, after he regained his composure, he drove to the university and went to his physics class, but nobody was in the classroom. “Where is everybody?” He looked around and saw a student hurrying toward him.

“Dr. Dunn. The class is waiting for you.”

“Waiting for me? Uh, yeah, okay, let’s go.” When he got to the classroom, he looked around. Nothing looked familiar. This wasn’t his class room, but whose was it and who were those students?”

After his lecture, he answered some questions. After all the students left, he walked around the room. “This isn’t my class room. Am I in a parallel world?” He wiped perspiration from his brow and went to the men’s room and splash water on his face. He slowly dried his face. “Do I dare look in the mirror? What will I see?” After a few moments, he looked in the mirror. He saw himself sitting in the cafeteria eating and talking with Phil Smith. He left the men’s room and went to the cafeteria to meet Phil for lunch. He entered the cafeteria and gasped quietly as he looked around. “Oh, no. Everything is in different places.” As he looked around, he heard Phil call him. “Is he calling me or the other James Dunn. “Phil is at another table,” he mumbled and went to the table.

“Glad you’re here.  I ordered your favorite lunch. Pizza with pepperoni and mushrooms.” 

“Pizza? I never eat pizza. The other Jason eats pizza.” Jason looked around the cafeteria and then at the pizza. Tears rolled down his cheeks.

“Jason, what’s wrong?”

“Phil, everything’s wrong,” he sobbed, rushed out of the cafeteria, and ran down a corridor. “It’s true, there are other worlds,” he moaned, stopped and leaned against a wall. Where is my world? The world where I eat hamburgers. Wherever I am, I don’t belong here. I have to find my world before I go mad,” he sobbed and ran down the corridor. “Where is my world?” he mumbled over and over and over as he ran down the endless corridor.

While teaching communication skills and writing at a community college, Saul Greenblatt wrote short stories and plays.  Since retiring in 2000, he has written short stories, novellas, and plays. 


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