To: Janet Jetstream
Re: To Be Opened And Read Only Upon My Death
I know you gave me every chance.
Looking back I see how thick I was.
I wanted it but every approach seemed too awkward and calculated.
Then, when it finally looked like I was going to have that right moment, that golden opportunity to hold you close and show you the truth inside my heart, the region was struck by the power storm.
When that super-heated atmosphere is sliced by a stellar prominence the thunder can be heard for seven astronomical units and the shock waves can be felt past Saturn. If we hadn’t made it ahead before the bow shock dissipated we’d have been slammed by a white-hot planet-sized cloud that would have deep-fried us into smoke puffs. But even then I imagined that dying wouldn’t be so bad if you were with me.
Then we took that vacation together – as friends – to the Skylands.
It seemed like the perfect place for romance. I think you felt it then, too.
But when that bartender flirted with you and you responded, I turned my attention elsewhere.
When I imagine us making love – embarrassing to admit, but ah well – I’m flushed with warmth, and satisfaction and excitement all at once.
Our adventures together have been fantastic and I don’t want to lose that partnership we’ve forged this past year. I don’t want to scare you or push you away, or even worse repulse you by telling you these things. That’s why I won’t.
But I do suspect that many years from now if we’re still alive, I will say to you “We should have been lovers,” and I’ll apologize for my reticence, my crappy timing and the even closer partnership we might have had.
In the meanwhile, I’ll try not to make a fool of myself while we rescue some of those refugees from the zero-g flood ball disaster across the sector. We rock!
To: Yuri Yango
From: “Janet Jetstream”
Don’t get too excited. This isn’t actually Janet responding to a sealed message that wasn’t supposed to be opened unless you kicked it. But she did open it, and you aren’t dead, so…
Here’s the real deal. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the concepts of quantum tunneling or quantum immortality as they apply to the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum physics – probably not – but the truth is there are more co-existing Earths than there are stars in the galaxy, and on many of them there are other versions of you. It’s the same you, but living a variant life.
Now imagine if you woke up one morning and instead of being the normal you, you were a different you – say, a cowboy version of yourself living in an environment that seemed like 200 years past. You might think you’d gone crazy. You might think that somehow you traveled back in Time. But in reality, you didn’t go back in Time. You went sideways. Because that cowboy Earth is happening now just like this one is…
I know, we’re not anywhere near Earth out here in The Big Sky. But when I say “Earth” in this context I’m talking about this “reality”. This reality includes all the planets, stars, galaxies and superstructures of this universe. Yes, I won’t go there but there are even other universes outside ours. But I digress…
Point is, Janet Jetstream is a variant of me, and I’m a man from an other Earth temporarily – I think and hope – in possession of her body. That’s because for the longest time now I’ve been caught in a kind of reality-glitch that keeps me from staying in any reality more than a few days. I don’t really know what’s happening to the actual Janet right now, but I suspect that she’s found herself in my original body in a straight jacket where she’ll be until I move on.
Being a man like yourself, though somewhat more experienced, I have to tell you that this crush you have on Miss Jetstream will remain unrequited, as perhaps it should since she can’t respect your death request, for heaven’s sake.
I know she doesn’t like you like that because I have access to her brain and all it’s impulses. As we say on my Earth, you’re not her type and she’s just not into you – like that.
But she thinks you’re cool except for this love letter. My suggestion? Write her another letter, saying…
DO NOT OPEN UNTIL AFTER OPENING THE FIRST LETTER AFTER MY DEATH
And when she opens it, have it say…
IF YOU’RE READING THIS AND I’M STILL ALIVE THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE. YOU MAY NOT THINK I’M ‘SEXY’ BUT IF YOU HAVE THE GUTS TO GET YOUR DISHONEST LITTLE BUTT OVER HERE I HAVE WAYS OF TEACHING YOU A LESSON OR TWO. IN FACT I WON’T TRUST YOU AGAIN UNTIL YOU GIVE ME A CHANCE, BECAUSE I KNOW YOU READ THE FIRST ONE. SO ONE DAY IN THE FUTURE, IF YOU WONDER WHY I BROKE OFF OUR PARTNERSHIP JUST LOOK AT YOURSELF AND KNOW THAT YOU SHOULD’VE GIVEN YOUR PARTNER A CHANCE. AFTER ALL, WE OWE EACH OTHER OUR LIVES.
Good luck, I’m getting sleepy and I’ll likely be out of Janet by the time you get this.