Alternate Universes

It was weird being in the flat alone last night. As much as I complained and moaned about Pete and Sarah and all the people they drug into the house, last night it was too quiet.

D, B and I did a Google plus conference call after I finished blogging, and we all bitched about what a horrible cow Sarah is. Oh yeah, Pete’s pretty shit himself. He’s not off the hook. But I’m more upset that Sarah would do that to me. She was one of my closest friends, and she used me. I can’t believe that she’s so conniving that she told Pete to pretend to still be my boyfriend just so they could have a place to live.

D and B said that they weren’t surprised. That I’ve always had blinders on when it comes to Sarah; they also said that I pretty much have blinders on when it comes to all my friends. What’s even more ridiculous is that I’m a bit worried about Pete and Sarah. I don’t know where they went, and I hope they’re okay. I know that’s stupid of me, but yeah, I feel kind of bad that it all went down this way. I wish Pete had met Sarah before he met me. Then we would still all be mates.

In fact, I’ve been thinking a lot about alternate universes. See that’s what happens when you sit in an empty flat with no furniture. You think about ridiculous stuff. But I was thinking, ‘What if Pete met Sarah before he met me?’ Which also then got me thinking, ‘What if I didn’t go travelling, and I stayed in Glasgow with HarryPotter?’ At that point, I didn’t know the Agency would be based in Dundee (I thought I would be working in London), so would I have turned down the post with the Agency thinking it was in London? If I tried to do that, would the Agency have then told me about the Dundee option? Would I now be living with HarryPotter in Glasgow commuting to Dundee? What if all those months ago, both HarryPotter and I stopped acting like immature fools, admitted to liking each other, and started dating last year? What if I realised how great he was from the start, and I was with HarryPotter instead of Goatee? You see, I can’t stop running through all these ‘alternate universes’ looking for one in which I’m not sitting alone in an empty flat really sad that my best friend is a user douche bag.  

And this ‘alternate universe’ thing is totally something I got from HarryPotter. I would have never in a million years even thought about alternate universes if it weren’t for HarryPotter. He’s the one that taught me about sci-fi-geekdome.

In fact, it’s probably is fault I’m pushing this Conspiracy thing so very hard. As much as Conspiracy’s writing isn’t my cup of tea, I totally, totally respect him as an author. And it’s due to the fact that HarryPotter introduced me to that whole world of zombies, apocalypses, and general Neil Gaiman type fiction that I have any repsect for Conspiracy’s writing. And as much as I like to bang on about how writers should learn to promote themselves — and if they won’t help themselves then why should we? – I feel like Conspiracy is the perfect author. He writes because he loves it. He’s gotten good at it through practice and repetition – not through an expensive Master’s course. He’s smart and talented and the world should see his work, even if he is a miserable, paranoid bastard.

In my alternate Universe, I’m happily living with HarryPotter. He didn’t have an affair with that Dawn woman, and I am commuting into Dundee everyday. There is no reason that the Agency in the alternate Universe should be any different from this Universe, so Loraine gives me Conspiracy to deal with. I go to his house for the first time, and I see Fife standing in his garden. Without Greece in our past, do we still fall in love? (Whether or not Fife and I are actually ‘in love’ in the real Universe remains to be seen, but so far so good.) Anyway, in the alternate Universe are we still drawn to one another? Do I then start sneaking around on HarryPotter to see Fife? Do I then break HarryPotter’s heart? Do I regret my affair with Fife, or do he and I live happily ever after? Is the life I’m living now pre-determined, thus negating the possibility of my Sliding Doors situation?

God, see what sort of drivel I come out with when I hang-out with PoshPhD. I went around to hers last night, but she wasn’t in. But today after being home for about an hour and getting super bored, I went and knocked on her door. She opened it wearing her tiny pants, and she had a half smoked fag hanging off her bottom lip. She did not look good. Without saying anything, she motioned for me to come inside. She poured me a large glass of wine and we sat on the floor of her lounge.

Her laptop was open, and there were books, magazines and papers everywhere.

‘So, things have been a bit shit lately?’ she said.

I nodded and took a big gulp of wine.

She said she’d known about Pete and Sarah from the beginning. She could tell how they looked at each other – oh, and she could hear them through the walls going at it while I was at work.

I asked why she flirted with Pete even though he was a cheat with two girlfriends. She said that’s exactly why she flirted with him. He must have had something raw and sexual to pull that one off. I asked if he ever returned her flirtations, and she said no, ‘nothing serious’. And she would have never taken it too far, not without our Sarah and I’s permission. Giving a girl ‘permission’ to shag your boyfriend makes me think of a 1960s love-in commune, and that was not a pleasant alternate Universe to be in, so I changed the subject.

I asked PoshPhD how the old thesis was going, and she said that is the worst question you can ask any researcher. It’s worse than saying MacBeth to an actor. ‘Never’, she said, ‘ask a PhD how their work is going. Either it’ll be going badly and they’ll tell you so, or, even worse, it’ll be going well and they’ll tell you all about it.’ 

This must have been my clue to shut up, so I just sipped my wine. She didn’t tell me anything about her actual research, but she did tell me about the problems she’s having with her supervisor and commitee. She feels like they’ve made a decision about her work. That no matter what she does, they don’t think it will pass. No matter how much it improves, or what she does to it. She showed me notes that her supervisor made on an old chapter, the revisions she made based on his notes (and from what I can tell, she did as he asked), and then his subsequent and contradictory comments telling her to rewrite the chapter like it was the first time. PoshPhD thinks that they won’t kick her out because she’s fee paying, and they’ll just string her along until they’ve gotten a sufficient amount of money out of her. Additionally, it doesn’t look good to kick your PhD students out or fail them, instead they just made your life hell until you leave.

I really do feel bad for PoshPhD. I know she’s a nightmare, and she does kind of faff about all day, but isn’t that what Lecturers do? (Don’t tell me it isn’t, because I dated one for three years, and he did bugger all.) And she has been working really hard. She’s been through five drafts of this one chapter. In my opinion, that’s just cruel. At least they could let her start on another chapter and come back to this one.

She and I hung out for a couple of hours, then she kicked me out to work on her thesis. I talked to Fife for a while on the phone, but he couldn’t talk long because he was having a hard time getting the little one to bed. So, now, here I sit in a empty stupid flat. I’ve learned my lesson, and I really will be careful what I wish for in future.


3 responses to “Alternate Universes

  1. “What if” has to be one of the cruelest phrases in any language. Maybe it wouldn’t hurt diving into your slush pile head-on, just to take advantage of the quiet and get your mind on something else for a bit? That might be really awful advice. I just wish I had something helpful to say. =/

  2. SkyddsDrake, it is good advice. Today was busy at work, and I was feeling much better. Thanks.

  3. Hello, I enjoy reading through your article. I wanted to write a little comment
    to support you.

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