this is the latest complete India Footlock tale. i have been hesitant to put it here b/c the 2 friends who read it didn't get it, so it may just be weird. but i haven't posted here much lately, so i thought i'd see if anyone else got it, liked it, hated it, or whatever
‘Speaking of such things,’ Gloria remarked one afternoon, when we had not in fact been speaking of such things at all, and hadn’t been for several weeks [she had, like all of us, picked up India’s habit of non sequiter, which consisted of suddenly hearkening back to a conversation from weeks or month ago], ‘what do people think of the notion that each of our lives exists simultaneously on several different planes that don’t know about each other? Like a kaleidoscope where each possible combination of stones already exists when we see the one that seems to come up alone?”
India nodded.’ So that each possible thing that might happen to you in a given instant actually is happening in its own realm.’
Uh-huh,’ Gloria nodded. ‘Only it’s much more complicated than that, because most things that happen to you happen between you others—like the eight of us sitting here. And so that each possibility that could exist for every one of us exists on planes that are both individual and collective. Like, reimer here has dozens of possibilities, but in some of them he’s with us, and others not. and each of us too has dozens of possibilities, some of which include the others.’’
‘well, in at least one of these possibilities, I’m getting dizzy,’ muttered Joel.
‘she’s quite right, you know,’ India said firmly. "The possibilities are endless, and quite intriguing. And when you think further than in some of our other-planes, we are different ages or races or temperament, because each possibility for each person carries a separate history. For instance,’ she turned to me, I assume because I was sitting next to her. ‘On one plane, you and I could be young lovers, gently touching each other for the first time.’
I gulped, and joel snickered. much as we all loved India, her place in our hearts was as a more genteel and subversive version of Auntie Mame, not as a hot young woman. And yet, even as I thought this, a vision shimmered through a scrim of not-quite-fantasy, and there was a young, thin, fragile india, dressed in an opaque negligee, her arms around my neck and her small, firm breasts pressing into my chest, as I trembled in my first, awkward caress, while outside, india’s voice continued in its usual neutrally cheery tone. ‘’of course, we could as easily be a pair of hungry rats tearing each other to pieces over a scraggly bit of some long-rotting animal corpse.’’
‘eieuw,’ said Gloria, and joel laughed: ‘india, I never knew you were a romantic!’ the others, myself among them, rushed to change the subject. Yet the feeling that remained with me the rest of the day was neither of our lightly but caringly bonded group nor the ghoulish brutality of the starving rats. It was a slight and contented erotic tenderness to a girl I’d never seen but somehow had known well, and I wondered what was happening between those lovers who might have been india and me and who I knew I’d never see again.