March 14th 2015, Paris, France
To tell you the truth, “Dora the Explorer” was never an accurate depiction of my life. Then again, if it were, it would have garnered a completely different audience. One of the writers was a close friend of mine but, still, he co-wrote a children’s show, not my own personal tale of all that is weird and twisted in this world… and all the other worlds, while we’re at it. That Dora is better off, with her little monkey friend and her arch-enemy, a fox. She’s the lucky one.
I’m not that Dora. The only thing they got right was the name and the haircut. I don’t go exploring the corners of this world. I don’t strap on my cool leather boots, I don’t follow a map and I don’t come back with totems and souvenirs from all the marvellous places that I’ve been to.
In fact, I never come back. I’ve been away from my own home for five years now, since it first started. You see, like I said, I don’t travel. I just fall through the arches of time and space. I bounce from one parallel Universe to another, like slipping through the cracks.
Today is the 137th time that I have pierced that veil, that thin strip of energy between Universes, and the 137th time that I have cursed my own existence and my inability to control whatever this is that I’m doing.
I still don’t have a reasonable explanation for my “condition”, and I’ve spoken to so many people – sometimes the same people, but not the same. I have met Dr. Morgan Farron about thirty times now, and so far his theories, though varied from one world to another, are the least far-fetched.
I have only met him 30 times because he’s only made it alive in 30 of the 137 Universes that I’ve accidentally slipped into. In some, he died an infant. In others, he made the wrong turn at Albuquerque and died.
Farron is a good guy, and every time we meet, he goes through the same process with me: denial, doubt, curiosity and finally acknowledgment of my condition, after I take him to meet my version from that particular Universe.
I find myself in Paris now. I don’t know what kind of Universe this one is, but judging by the velvety orange afternoon skies stretching and swirling over the Champs Elysees, this Universe has moved past the blimp era. I don’t even know when I made it here, but then again, I never do. I just… Wake up and voila! Try making sense of it now!
I can’t help but wonder what triggered it this time. I remember taking notes from Farron’s latest theory, something about my atomic composition. I remember stuffing them in the inner pocket of my jacket.
I remember the nausea climbing up to my throat and spreading the heat through my temples, and I remember telling Farron that it was starting again before it all went black.
At least this time I’ve woken up in a bed and not in the trunk of some car stuck in traffic somewhere in Hong Kong, scaring the living daylights out of the office clerk driving the rusty old thing.
At least this time I find myself in a vacant hotel room, on the sophisticated Champs Elysees. I reach for the notes hidden in my jacket and let out a sigh of relief once I feel them still there.
I need to get out of here now, before a maid comes in and finds me. The last thing I need is another visit to a French police station. They’re not my favourite pastime in Paris.
I need to find Farron again. I just hope he’s alive in this one.