Thursday, January 16, 2014

Zoe vs. Mirror Universe Zoe

Nerd, c'est moi. I grew up during that decade of monstrous hair, i.e., the eighties, in Queens. While other kids were hanging out in schoolyards and learning to flirt aided by Bartles & Jaymes, Saturday evenings at my house meant two things: hamburgers and Star Trek, which was in syndication on WPIX/Channel 11.

Die young and penniless!
Recently, I was reminded of the episode "Mirror, Mirror," which featured an alternate universe that Kirk and company stumble upon after a transporter accident, and the denizens of that universe are their evil twins. We know this intuitively because the Spock of this world sports a goatee. That was my biggest takeaway from the episode, and apparently it's not just me because it's a pop-culture cliche. Everyone knows: evil doppelgangers have facial hair---usually Van Dykes or pencil-thin mustaches. The women's equivalent is wearing too much makeup. 
The reason I was reminded of this episode is because I think Zoe may have an evil doppelganger.
Since she can't grow a mustache I never know which Zoe I'm dealing with. I'd look for a hair-part switch but considering the dandelion puff of knots that encircle her head on good days I'm hard-pressed to find a part at all let alone figure out which side it's on.
So I don't know which Zoe it is till she starts talking. Mirror Universe Zoe speaks in a deeper register, sort of guttural, and she says things I have said in the past, addressing her dolls, things like, "You have to go to bed now" or "Finish your dinner," but it sounds really creepy. (I refuse to believe she's imitating my voice.)
Sometimes she seems to be both regular Zoe and Mirror Universe Zoe at the same time. So maybe it's not alternate realities and I've got the wrong pop-cultural reference, maybe it's more like Fight Club.

You don't have to ask Zoe twice! Or at all!

At the beginning of the movie we learn that Edward Norton's character is suffering from insomnia and it's this disorder that leads to his dissociated identities. Zoe never sleeps so I may be on to something.
I hear her arguing among herselves sometimes. One's dominant, always ordering the other one around. "That's my boat." "No, that's my boat! Get your own boat!"
I have many questions, among them, why does Zoe's Jungian shadow self need a boat?
Then again, sometimes it seems to be more than two people occupying her body. One that I've identified has a higher voice and is perilously silly. She (or he?) makes odd noises and sometimes seems to be speaking another language or speaking in tongues. Then the voice will fall silent momentarily before following up with a shrill scream and a maniacal laugh.
So maybe the right cultural touchstone is Sally Field in Sybil.

You like me's. You really like me's.
(Couldn't be helped, folks.)

In any case I'm just glad she's working her psyche out on her own or with her dolls. Because sometimes she'll look up at me while she's using the low, raspy voice and I honestly don't know who, or what, is looking back at me from the fathomless deep.

Precious Moments or . . .

. . . preciousss moments?

Zoe: 27; Universe: 0


  1. I love this. Zoe is incredibly powerful but luckily you've got the decoder ring!

  2. I mean, look. I think you are okay provided she doesn't start disappearing at night and showing up with a fat lip.

  3. I am laughing so hard I can hardly stand it. The way you describe the Mirror Universe Zoe voice is hysterical!! But then your two "precious moments" photos at the end?! OMG...I almost peed in my pants from laughing so hard. You need to warn an old lady about things like that before it gets messy!! --Lisa

    1. LOL! The main reason I write is to cause incontinence!

  4. Yeah, just let her work it out on her own. Self therapy is the toddler's version of self-soothing, right? It just occurred to me that Zoe is probably going to be taking over a small country in her teens.

    1. Ha! She's got to start somewhere. Monaco in 2021!

  5. Love the description of the guttural voice. I used to be a teacher, and every once in a great while, I might get a mimicking voice from a middle schooler. I would go, "What was that? Was that supposed to be me? Was that you doing me?" Because obviously I'm very mature. :) It was normally quite funny; I loved those little stinkers and their senses of humor.

  6. Shay, I would've loved to have you as a teacher instead of those (mostly) humorless nuns at my
    Catholic school.