Washington, D. C., January 23, 2017, Star-Gazer News Service–Woke up this morning and worried about the fact that my waking up might be a lie. In a post-truth, alternate facts world, it’s easy to doubt oneself, because wrong is suddenly the new right.
My therapist asked me to talk to a sock puppet named Billy Joe.
“Tell Billy Joe how you feel about your lack of certainty,” my therapist prompted.
“I feel bad and that ain’t good,” I said.
“Don’t we all,” said Billy Joe.
“I don’t know who you are anymore,” I said, “much less who I am.”
“Well, I’ll tell you. Most people don’t know what happened on Choctaw Ridge,” said the puppet as he settled down on top of a copy of Carl Jung’s Red Book. “I went up there to talk to my guru, and he said, ‘Every lie is true somewhere and vice versa.'”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
My therapist was furiously taking notes, and by that I mean, writing quickly rather than with anger.
“It’s cutting edge quantum theory,” said Billy Joe. “Unfortunately, the world didn’t understand such things very well in 1967. Personally, the guru’s revelation led to that embarrassing Tallahatchie Bridge incident.”
“I’m sorry that happened,” my therapist said.
“Don’t fash yourself over it because I’m not really dead. Sure, that’s a lie in this universe, but not in the universe next door. As my guru explained, everything that can happen does happen. But the things that happen split off like a family tree into many universes with hundreds of worlds, worlds more numerous than the stars in a clear night sky over the rock of waters.”
“Does that mean alternative facts are true in another universe?”
“It does,” said Billy Joe. “Once a person learns how to listen to the spirit of the depths, he’ll understand that.”
“You’re still up at the sawmill in alt-reality?”
“Alive and kicking along with the cat in the box.”
“So, somewhere else, I’m still asleep,” I said.
“How do you feel about that?” asked my therapist.
“That’s why you pay Billy Joe and I $375 for a 38-minute hour,” she said.
She stood, tossed Billy Joe back in the sock puppet bin along with “Big Bopper,” “Buddy Holly” “Ritchie Valens,” and “Judge Crater.” When I walked outside, I saw morning had broken and realized for the first time since February 3, 1959 that the music never died and that even though the spirit of the times loves alternative facts and post truth, the truth will never die either.
As a journalist, my job is to remain neutral while writing a story, but I still think it will be fair for me to ask those whose facts don’t ring true, “What universe are you living in?”