Naked Truth

I was at a cocktail party, with a date. There were four of us having a conversation--if you could call it that. It was mostly small talk, gossip about who did what to whom and that sort of thing. But the fellow facing me, who looked nothing like me, was also me. And I was also having a conversation with him, but it was somehow private, the others were completely unaware. I can't even remember what was said aloud, my own contribution being little more than appropriately placed laughs and nods and occasionally filling in someone's name or other random detail eluding my date's tongue. But the conversation with him, with the other me, I remember quite well. His lips didn't move, but I heard his words just as if they had. And when I spoke to him, it was with my other mouth, my ethereal mouth to my physical one as my right hand is to my left. We talked of the economy, of technology, of psychology. We traded sex stories, talked about our mates, swapped an idea or two. My eyes rarely met his, as I could see his emotions without looking. And I had no trouble following both conversations at once--the other seemed to go so slowly. Then for a moment, time almost stood still. Not like a moment of panic which doesn't leave one time to think, but really standing still, as if I could have walked around all the frozen people and swapped their watches without them noticing. Except my own body was frozen too, so I could do nothing but observe--and converse with him, the other me. He said, "Look, another one," and I took the offer of his eyes and saw behind myself a man in the crowd. His shirt turned transparent and I could plainly see a gun beneath it, strapped against his naked body. Then time resumed and I regained my own eyes, and me and me continued our conversation while keeping an eye on the gunman, just in case. But nothing came of it, and the evening drew to a close. My date and I drove home in a silent car with no steering wheel, through beautiful countryside, to a beautiful home. When I kissed her goodnight, I thought, "You love me," and I could feel her body respond with passion. "I love you," she said.

Much of today was spent lifting heavy objects when no one was looking, and ogling naked women through their clothes with my x-ray eyes. The latter was completely intuitive, once I knew to try. It's really very distracting--I don't know how Clark Kent ever got any work done. I guess I need to develop self-restraint.

I've tried talking to people without moving my mouth, but no replies yet. I haven't eaten since yesterday, but have no hunger. And I've been holding my breath for hours again, but with no farting this time. Perhaps the breathing helps process the food? Not sure I want to analyze that too deeply.

I'm half giddy to discover I have superpowers, but am also struck with the irony of being here, in the Pit of Eden, where I can't imagine ever having use for them. Except the x-ray vision. But I'm sure even that will get old. Maybe.

Clearly I don't belong here. I want to get back to my lab, to the world topside, out of this pit, to my friends--or their descendants, or whatever is on the other side of my lone star in the sky. Why hasn't anyone noticed the open door yet? Where is the Wizard of Oz with his hot air balloon to take me back to Los Kansas?

And what is this experiment I have fallen into?

I have told Laura none of this. When I kissed her goodnight a few minutes ago, I thought, "you love me," and I could feel her body respond with passion. "I love you," she said.

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