Graeme had delivered his fourth lecture of the week. He was a professor in Quantam Physics and a research fellow that provided advisory counsel to several branches of military application when it came to the subject of interdimensional travel. He had written countless books and essays on the subject of the photon that could be seen at seemingly two places at once. But his research went beyond that. His research was indeed risky and difficult to understand. He sought not only to unravel the complexities of the field of Quantam Physics, but also how to harness them, and how one would eventually be able to travel from reality to alternate reality in a real world application. Most people wouldn’t understand the mathematics involved in unraveling such mysteries, so I won’t go into great detail of what his work entailed. The normal layperson wouldn’t understand it, and the few geniuses that existed in the world that would understand such things were all entangled in an open heated debate of the practicalities of such measures.

That was what Graeme did in the vast majority of his time. For the practical aspect of his life he taught university students the fundamentals of what quantum physics prescribed. Graeme thought that such work was beneath him and often found himself bitching and moaning about, ‘Giving the babies a talk.’ The babies, that’s what he called the university students who were so-called extraordinary in their talents and understandings. But for a man such as Graeme, they were babies, infants, single celled organisms that entertained themselves through the regurgitation of other people’s work. He could hardly say such things in the open public and kept such considerations to himself. A one hour lecture here or there on fundamentals was nothing to the man, he could manage such tasks with a wave and a yawn.

He would talk to his university colleagues about what they were doing with their lives. But these things were of little interest to the man. They mainly talked of their own lives, the raising of their children and the politics of the university courses that they were running. Not that any of it interested Graeme, he was too involved in his own work, too single minded to be bothered with the accounts of another’s life. But he made the small talk and in conversation was generally well liked by the other academic staff who would play at politics, increasing their own wages and winning pointless arguments of dispute. It was for the fact that Graeme buried himself in his work to such an extent that the others never paid him any attention. He had little time for disputes unless it involved some form of rational or irrational equation or the likes.

The advice that he provided in the fields of military application was generally well received. Although there was some looks of spite in the eyes of the military officers for his personal appearance. There was something of Graeme’s nature that reminded everyone who had any engagement with him of a bird. A large vulture or some other scavenger type. Graeme was overweight, if not obese, he was balding, wore glasses that could not be considered in style and throughout his body layers of curly, greasy hair that would poke from his chest to reveal the cleavage of a body that was not in shape. He sweated profusely, producing intolerable body odour, and people would guess a point in time in which he would suffer cardiac arrest and fall flat to the floor. That point in time would always be around the corner for those who observed him in this manner. Plainly stated, the man was that single minded about his work that he did not take proper care of himself in any fashion.

He lived a lonely existence and kept a pet cat for company. He had named it Schrodinger for obvious reasons and those moments that Graeme did not spend on his work, he would sit in front of the television with a tub of ice-cream and complain about unrealistic conceptions of characters as they appeared on the television screen.

He was always one moment away from the latest breakthrough in his work, the formulation of the equation that would unify the quantum field. But every time he produced some form of resolution, this resolved itself in prompting more questions, more equations and inevitably more work. But this was the sort of thing that Graeme lived for. That Eureka moment, the breakthrough that would unravel itself into more exciting possibilities.

Life rolled on and with every possibility and equation solved, the real-world applications of such work seemed more distant, less concreted and more intangible than ever before. At the age of fifty he went through his own midlife crisis. He had never been married and he began to question his own decisions in life. If he had taken better care of himself he could have done this, if he had played the political game more viciously he could have increased his wage more substantially. He began to question his legacy. That was there was no legacy apart from his work and through his countless teachings of university students, he never saw a protégé who would be up to the task of taking up his own work upon their shoulders. And so it was for this that he became depressed. The realization that his work would find itself onto library bookshelves that would accumulate dust over the years and those who understood such work would be considered a rarity, if not non-existent. He was isolated, alienated… Those conversations with his colleagues where they discussed their family lives, once seen as boring and trivial, were now bringing about feelings of jealousy and contempt.

He sat there, at home one night, petting Schrodinger and drinking a glass of whiskey when he resolved himself to do it. He would engage in an act that was so unlike his character. Completely contrary to what he had been known for, he picked up the local newspaper and browsed the personal ads looking for escort services. He read through the single lined sales pitches, ‘Tammy will make your dreams cum true,’ ‘Sylvia can be naughty… or nice,’ and the final one which shocked him to his core, ‘Interdimensional Space Whore.’ There it was. Written in bold print with a picture accompanying. A photo of himself dressed in woman’s lingerie curling his index finger in his own chest hair laying spread on a burgundy floor with strobe lights in the background. By the hells! Who had done this!? What was the meaning of this!? Aghast, he put the newspaper down and attempted to calculate what was going on. Who would play such a mean prank on his well-meaning person? He paused and thought about it, which resulted in the only answer laying open to him. It was one of his students, or former students, one that he had failed. On a quest for revenge he attempted to calculate which one. There had been so many that he had failed in past exams and essays that it was essentially impossible to determine. They had done some sort of photoshop job and there it was, laying bare for the world to see, the ‘Interdimensional Space Whore’. He picked up the paper again and looked at the advertisement in the escort services section. There was a phone number included in the ad, he looked at the number and found that he did not recognize it. It was neither his personal or professional contact number.

In an effort to investigate the incident, he grabbed his mobile phone and dialed the number. On the other end he heard the phone answer and was greeted by a voice, his voice. The bastards had taken a recording of his voice, arseholes!

“Greetings… You have called the Interdimensional Space Whore where your fantasies will and can come true. Tell me, what would be your pleasure?”

“This is Graeme Perriwinkle and I demand to know the meaning of this absurdity!”

“Ah… So it’s you. I was wondering when you’d call.”

“When I’d call? What is this nonsense, I demand that the ad be taken down and that you cease and desist this horrible escapade that you are on at once!”

There was silence at the other end of the phone, then after about twenty seconds, the voice, his voice answered, “Listen, I know you must be confused and upset by all of this, but there are some things that we need to talk about.”

“What’s there to bloody well talk about! You made a mockery of my person and I demand an apology and financial reimbursement.”

“Meet me at the Golden Pavilions Motel on the corner of thirty-third street in approximately one hour and I’ll explain everything.”

The phone call ended there. Like that. Graeme sat in his seat and contemplated the matter. What was he meant to do? Call the police.He was that infuriated, that he skipped the notion and went straight to calculating his physical vengeance upon whoever had done this to him. So Graeme prepared himself. He looked through his belongings and found in his possession a large hunting knife. He dressed himself in a coat and wore a large shaded hat, and a pair of versatile pants. Thus, hiding away the knife beneath his jacket and proceeded to venture to the location, ready to confront and exact vengeance upon whoever had belittled him in such a way.

Graeme caught a taxi to the address. It had been raining and the weather had dispersed the crowds to the locum of their own living rooms, sheltering, which suited his circumstances perfectly.With nether a witness in sight, he entered the Golden Pavilions Motel and proceeded up the stairs to the designated room.

Outside the room, he pulled the knife out of its hiding place and knocked on the door, readying himself to attack. When the door was opened, he was confronted with a vision, an exact replica of himself, naked apart from a G-string and bathrobe. At the appearance of such a vision, he lost consciousness and fell to the floor.

When he awoke, he had been disarmed and lay on a couch that took full view of the streets down below, through window and balcony. There was a slow pitter-patter on the glass windows as the storm outside raged on. He was not constrained in any way, but through the darkness of the hotel room. He moved his head around to catch a sight of what seemed to be his doppleganger. A shadow moved around in the recesses of the room.

He called out, in exasperation, “What is this!? Who are you!? I demand to know what is happening!”

For a moment, there was silence. And then the lights turned on. There, standing by the light-switch was Graeme’s doppleganger. “The simple answer to that question is… I am you.”

Graeme felt as if he was about to pass out again through shock, he couldn’t make heads or tails of what was happening. “What!? I don’t understand! How!?”

The doppleganger, now dressed in more appropriate attire, moved towards him and with a hand placed a single finger to Graeme’s lips. “Hush, dear one… Give me time to explain.”

And with those quiet reassurances, Graeme ceased his struggles and waited for an explanation. “Okay…”

“I am you. The version of you that was able to solve all of those equations and help create a supercomputer that allowed for interdimensional travel to become possible. After I achieved that impossible feat, I was allowed free reign of the supercomputer and have travelled from dimension to dimension in search of what I seek.”

“You did it!” Graeme explained, astounded, “But how, how did you manage?”

“That’s not important any more. What’s important now is what I seek.”

“I see…” Graeme paused, “And what is it that you seek?”

“The same thing that you have now come to seek in your own life. Companionship.”

“Companionship?”

“Yes, after I accomplished what I’ve done, I sought companionship. First, in my own dimension and then others.”

“Well, what happened with that?”

“Nobody would have me. I am brilliant or rather we are brilliant, that is true. But all of that time I spent on my work disallowed me any understanding of others and they have no understanding of me. So for a while I equated myself to this life of loneliness that I now lead.”

“I see…”

“But then it occurred to me that there was one person who would understand. Understand what I have achieved and what I have done. Seeing the true beauty of my own endeavours.”

“Who would that be?”

“Me, of course, or rather you. I had access to countless dimensions and so I travelled from dimension to dimension in search of love and companionship. I am repulsive to all those who meet me apart from one person, and that is me, or rather you.”

“What you’re suggesting is ludicrous.”

“Ah, you say that. But think what is it that you want in your life at this point in time? Why were you looking through the escort services, how did you find me?”

Graeme thought about it for a period before admitting to himself, “Companionship.”

“The same as I. And think; you would partner yourself with the version of yourself who actually did it. Who unified the field and has access to an infinite number of dimensions. You would essentially be partnering yourself with the best version of yourself.”

“I see…” Graeme’s doppleganger came closer to his person, they shared an estranged look of lost longing.

“So what say you?”

Graeme looked into his eyes, his own eyes but not. Then spoke the words,”Oh, what the hell!” And engaged himself in a kiss, the swirl of their saliva and tongues, sealing the deal.

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