The soft bulletin: Leigh Alexander's "algowave" short story
A lovely piece of writing from Leigh Alexander:
For the past few weeks, I'm pretty sure I've been seeing another me. Wednesday afternoon I left my apartment to walk to the train and I saw her — me — crossing the intersection at the top of the hill, walking briskly. Then over the weekend I was washing dishes and staring out the window, just spacing out, and she was crossing the park, a shape appearing and disappearing among trees. I couldn't get a good look.
I know you're thinking it can't be, that it must just be someone who looks like me. I'll admit that none of the clothes I see her wearing are mine, but they're similar — like when I saw her jogging near the gate at the foot of the hill in the park, she was wearing a fleece exactly like my mint one, but purple. In fact, when I saw her the first time, barely a speck in the distance boarding a bus, I thought I'd buy that handbag and then oh my gosh, that's me.
I think it all has to do with the gelatin sphere. I think she knows how to find it. Maybe she even looks at it every day. You might think it's wild that I've been seeing another me, right in my own neighborhood, for weeks, yet the main thing I want to talk to her about is the gelatin sphere. I get that, but given the precise timing of when she appeared, it's hard not to be convinced she has answers I don't. Since she's definitely me, it could be the only thing she knows about that I don't. What else would I have to talk about with myself? I talk to myself enough already as it is.