In the DC comics universe, a planet called “Htrae” (“Earth” spelled backwards) is populated with bizarre versions of superheroes. A Seinfeld episode made the idea of this Bizarro World popular, where the characters encountered their opposite selves.
Craft a scene in which you meet an opposite version of yourself — or a story in a bizarre, backwards world.
Research Program Participant
Even when I head out early, I still end up late. Why does this happen to me?
I have received the message that I am to meet my Bizarro World counterpart. Why am I meeting him? It’s part of the research program that the Earth agreed to—“for the betterment and the understanding of all humans of other beings….” I get a day-off, which is good. I’m about to do something I’m not exactly excited, which isn’t entirely good. And I’m nervous, which is bad. Plus I’m late, making it worse.
Up, Up, and Away!
I really hate taking the train on a Monday morning!
Thank goodness there wasn’t much of a hassle in getting into the building. Strangely, they already knew who I am, even before I introduced myself. And yet they asked for my ID. Okay. SOP I guess.
Stranger still, I expected the meeting to be held at the basement. Don’t ask me why. I just do.
But here I am, heading to the 25th floor. With more guards than I thought there would be! And two different sets, mind you. I’m loving the view from up here but I can’t really enjoy it when I don’t know what’s waiting for me inside the room I’ll walk into in the next few minutes. This uncertainty is really killing me!
For the record, I expected him to be taller. At least be a six-footer.
But we’re of the exact height. Only the shoes and hair make it look like we’re not. His has thick soles but mine doesn’t while I have combed-over hair and his is pat-down. Skin and hair color are the same, though his has that glow that mine doesn’t have. Yet I can say this without any bias: he looks older than me. I don’t doubt we’re the same age but he does not look exactly like me.
Did I receive the wrong message? I did not know there was a dress code. Even the guards look snappier than I am. And they’re just in suits. He’s in a tux for crying out loud!
Well, there’s no backing out now. He’s already seen me. And they’ve already closed the door.
We’re both told that they’ll leave us alone but our conversation will be recorded. And there’s nothing to be feared.
“You’re in a safe environment.”
Me: Hi! I’m Mati. You can call me Matt for short. But no really calls me that.
Bizarro Me: Good day. I am Itam. Some call me Tam. I correct them at once. I do not want to be called Tam. And neither do I like to be called Tam. Itam is my name. Please address me properly.
Mati: Okay Itam. (Smile) Some security we have here, right? So many guards—all for this little meeting. Bit too much, don’t you think?
Itam: I would like to set the record straight. Those guards—the men in suits—they are not here for this meeting. They are here for me.
Mati: Your government sent them for you? Wow! Either your government is seriously into this or you must be some dangerous criminal. Just kidding!
Itam: They are not from the government. They are my personal employees.
Mati: (eyes widen)
Itam: I will give you this much though: half of your assumption is right.
This guy is unbelievable!
Have I mentioned this guy is unbelievable? This guy is unbelievable.
Itam lives alone in a mansion. Well not exactly alone since he has many servants there with him yet they’re practically useless since he can do anything himself, from cooking his own meals to properly fixing the pipes and even repairing his computers. Not only that: he can assemble and reassemble stuff, like phones, machines, appliances, cars, and his own house. He’s even done successful minor surgery on a few of his servants. All he has to saw was that he’s a prodigy of some sort!
And that’s just something I cannot reconcile—how can someone who knows how to do so much not work at all? He basically said that he’s not employed. And not only that: despite not working, he still remains rich. Like “top 10 wealthiest bachelors of the world” rich! How can that happen? Seriously!
But he said he’s not going to be a bachelor for long. He’s engaged and will get married soon.
Show and Tell
Why they asked us to bring pictures baffles me.
Not really since I understand that the two of us have to personally compare childhoods. All I heard was the word competition.
There’s no need to compete. I can already who’d lose here.
Draw Back the Curtains
So much for putting him on a pedestal!
Okay, I may not be a filthy rich polyglot who has traveled to every country for at least three times in the last five years like he did but there are some things about him I will never envy. He doesn’t like to read books. Correction: he does not like reading at all!
Itam sucks at writing or even just plain describing so he makes the photos he takes work for him instead. He loves photographing almost everything; his exception is food, which he’s not really fond of since he watches his weight a lot. That makes me wonder, if he’s traveled his world and does a lot of active stunts yet doesn’t try even one of the local flavors, I believe he’s not getting the full experience.
For someone who takes so much pride in his looks, he sticks to predictable stuff. In the last 50 photos, which are mostly vanity shots, I’ve seen enough of the same three poses and angles.
He showed a lot of “trophies,” which were usually fresh kill from a hunt. And sometimes a plain alley cat or dog. And those are the pictures where he has this expression on his face that stands out from the rest. It’s not one for the vanity shots, that’s for sure.
I’m now on my way home.
And I was right to have changed my mind about Itam. It was never outright stated—by him or anyone else there, not even on any paper I saw—but he’s sad and lonely. He grew up without a family; he was raised as an orphan in a mansion where the decorum was people had to ask just to look at him before opening their eyes. He himself can count the times he’s been touch by a bare human hand!
Just before I left the room, I thought of congratulating him on his soon wedding. Then I wondered to myself if the wife he’ll be taking was a remedy for loneliness or another trophy of his.
Like a seer prodding more curiosity in me, he said without me asking,
“Half of your assumption is right.”