Thursday, May 28, 2015

Story 84: Living With My Better Me

(A seated, slightly unkempt woman is being interviewed on camera)
            Host: (Off-screen) So, tell us a little about yourself.
           Martine: Well, uh, my name is Martine, and I, uh – sorry, I never know what to say on these things –
            Host: It’s OK; take your time.
           Martine: (Struggles against her nervous laughter) OK, um, I’m 29, single – but looking!  I’m in retail right now, but I’ve also worked in telemarketing, diners, zoos, and summer camps; that last one was in high school and made me realize that I hate children, heh heh.  Anyway, I’m pretty good with people; just haven’t found quite what I’m looking for yet.  Always looking!
            Host: Mm-hmm.  And who is this?
         (The camera pans over to a woman seated next to Martine – she is dressed impeccably, is glaring at Martine, and appears to be her identical twin.  The camera pans back to Martine)
          Martine: (Laughs nervously again) Oh, she’s the adult I should have grown up to be, but, didn’t.  Yeah.
            Martine Alternate: I hate you so much.
           Host: (To Martine Alternate) So, Martine actually should have become you when she grew up, and not the sniveling mess sitting before me?
            Martine: Hey.
          Martine Alternate: I don’t know what happened here.  My life was perfectly on track to be awesome – all levels of school, career, several mature love affairs, travel around the world, spouse, two to three kids, maybe a dog if there was time.  I like to blame this debacle on puberty.
            Host: Really?
         Martine Alternate: Hormones have caused more damage on this Earth than all the natural disasters that have ever occurred combined.
            Host: Martine… Prime, I guess we should call you, how do you feel about all of this?
            Martine Prime: (Crying) It’s true!  It’s all ashamedly true!
            Martine Alternate: (Drinks wine out of a bottle) Pull yourself together, woman.  I never would have cried.  (Martine Prime wails louder)
            (Host appears on a city street)
        Host: We followed the Martines for several days to witness this phenomenon further.  Apparently, no one else can see Martine Alternate, so we were in for a unique experience.
            (Someone cuts Martine Prime in line at a movie theater box office)
           Martine Alternate: What a punk!  You’re just going to let him get away with that?!  Why aren’t you all up in his face?!  He’s disrespecting you, and you’re just enabling him to do it to somebody else!
            Martine Prime: (In a quiet voice) I don’t want any trouble.
           Martine Alternate:  Trouble?  Trouble?!  I’ll give him trouble!  Oh, that’s right, I forgot you turned into the Cowardly Lion!  
            Host: Indeed, this is just one of the dozens of examples of Martine’s conflicting psyches.
            (Back in the interview room)
Martine Prime: You don’t know how hard it is to hear her constantly telling me what a failure I am.  In everything.
Martine Alternate: You don’t know how hard it is to watch you fail in everything!  Maybe if you actually listened to me, you wouldn’t be such a depressed crybaby!
Martine Prime: Yes’m.
Martine Alternate: Now you’re not even trying.
Host: There you have it, ladies and gentlemen: a would-be strong, well-rounded adult forced to forever haunt her weaker, pathetic, actual self.  A lesson to us all: be true to your ideal, and don’t sleepwalk your way through life.  Thank you for watching tonight’s special presentation, Living With My Better Me.  Good night, and better living.

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