In spite of all my enlightened wisdom about choosing and living with one’s choices [remember this astute post from a few months ago?], there I was a couple days ago indulging in a morsel of negative thinking. Bad Voice was nattering on about how I shouldn’t have had the ankle fusion surgery and how it might not work. And then of course Good Voice was saying, this kind of thinking is not helping; it’s going to work fine, but will just take a little time; try thinking about something else.
Of course it’s not that easy to just start thinking something else. So instead I tried injecting a touch of humour, always a favourite solution.
The following screenplay is the result.
Try not to worry too much about the physics.
Heather 1 (speaking aloud to the galah): I’ve been advised to have an ankle fusion and I’m wondering if I should do it. (The galah yawns, indicating that this is a boringly familiar question).
But this time there is a sudden POPPING sound and the galah disappears. It seems there has been a break in the space-time continuum, as another very similar Heather appears on the deck. This one has an extra wrinkle or two and is riding on a knee scooter. They eye each other in astonishment.
Heather 1: Well, look at you! You must be from the future—clearly you’ve had the surgery.
Heather 2: Isn’t this amazing? I was just sitting there on my own deck when a galah started asking me questions, and suddenly here I am. Yes, I had surgery 10 weeks ago, and just had the cast removed yesterday.
Heather 1: Wow. Well, now that you’re here, you can advise me. With the benefit of hindsight, do you think I should have the surgery?
Heather 2: This might not be a good day to ask but I would have to say no. Bad idea.
Heather 1: Oh! Okay, well, that’s good advice and I’ll take it.
Heather 2: But hold on. I said this might not be the best day to ask. Here’s a thought: if you got hold of me so easily, why don’t you try getting hold of another future Heather who had surgery a full year ago? She could give you a much more informed idea about how this is going to work.
Heather 1: An excellent idea. You’re obviously a wise person. I’ll give it a try.
Heather 2: Whew. Good; less responsibility for me. At any rate, I should likely get back before we do any damage to the space-time continuum.
Heather 1: But wait on a moment. What will happen to YOU if I decide not to have the surgery?
Heather 2: I think we’ll exist in parallel universes. You’ve have the old ankle, and I’ll have the new one.
Heather 1: Hmmm. Cool. We might be able to get together and compare notes. See who was right.
Heather 2: Yeah, I’m not sure the universe works that way. But who knows?
Heather 1: Just a minute. Before you go—I like the shirt you’re wearing. Where’d you get it?
Heather 2 (laughs): I just picked it up at Costco over in Canada during the summer. Check it out in mid July.
Heather 1: Terrific; thanks for that. But I have another important question that’s been bothering me: how does it work out with Mum this summer? Are we able to find a way for her to keep staying at home?
Heather 2: Nice try but you’re on your own with that one. Anyway, I’d better get going before we cause a major time travel paradox here.
Heather 1: Okay, okay. Here I am left figuring everything out on my own yet again. Aren’t there ANY shortcuts? What’s the use of multiple universes if I still have to think and then stick with my decisions?
Heather 2: You said it, Sister. Good luck to you.
Heather 1: Yeah, you too. Maybe we’ll see you ’round the traps.
There is another POPPING sound and Heather 2 disappears. A galah pops into existence on the bird feeder, looking slightly bewildered.
Fade to black.