Friday, August 31, 2007

Conversation after listening to our heartbeats

This is the conversation I had with Frederique after she asked to listen to my heartbeat (boom-boom) and I listened to hers:

Fred: What does it mean?
Me: It means my heart is busy pumping blood all over my body. It means I'm alive and so are you.
Fred: What happens when you get this people again?
Me: Which people?
Fred: This people (she points to herself)
Me: Another person just like you?
Fred: Yes.
Me: That never happens. You are unique. There is only one little girl like you in the whole wide world. Just one Frederique.
Fred: (sadly) Oh, pleease.

Which reminds me when I was a kid I used to lie in bed at night, looking up at the underneath of the top bunk, picturing how big the world was, how many millions of people lived in it, and how somewhere there must be another girl just like me - another actual me - only living a completely different life. Which in turn reminds me of the incandescent The Double Life of Veronique. It's a powerful dream. On the one hand uniqueness and individuality is something we are taught to value, but the idea of a double, of multiplying ourselves, a perfect self/other, a living mirror companion is nevertheless passionately alluring.