To make our conspiracy even more delicious, I’ll introduce another element to the above scenario by means of a riddle. What do you get when you cross E.T. and The Truman Show? What you get is a secret task.
Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to locate ‘The Other’. It’s to get back into touch with (or meet for the first time; it's a moot point) some really important individual. We share a very close tie of an unknown nature.
But I, or s/he, or even both of us have been brainwashed (as per the above). The knowledge of our relationship has been scrubbed. The grand conspiracy has worked to separate us. (By the way, I’ll use the name Theo from now on—from THE Other—and refer to Theo in the second person singular to avoid having to dither between ‘he’ and ‘she’.)
It has hidden Theo. Maybe you’ve morphed you into an unrecognizable form. I don’t know what you look like, or even if you’re human! I don’t know where you are, or when you live. But somehow through some means or another I must reach you and convince you of our plight.
How’s that for a premise? Rod Serling would have loved it!
I refer to this as a mission because Theo could be anywhere in the world. For all I know, you may be living in another time period also. I hope you don’t live in the past, because how could I you reach backwards in time? But if you occupy the future, then clearly the best way forward is to plant this book for you to find.
Another difficulty is that we wouldn’t necessarily recognize one another on sight. We’re both in mufti. How would we get around that one? I, at least, have the benefit of knowing that there is a person to be on the lookout for. I’ve got my eyes primed. But you don’t necessarily know that there’s even a game on. Your lenses—your overview of the situation—may not be so clear.
Still, I can make a stab at Theo’s characteristics, feelings, perceptions, attitudes and mental orientation. I must trust that you are fortunate enough to live in a relatively open society, one in which differences are at least tolerated, and where it is possible to harbor variant thoughts (as long as you keep them to yourself). Those around you probably follow a conventional religion, and you might also, in spite of the fact that you’re not one-hundred-percent convinced. But Theo is the type of person who goes along with the flow. I warrant that you’re not the sort of person who makes waves.
That being so, I figure my best course of action is to send Theo a message-in-a-bottle. Not only must I spell it out clearly, but I can’t waste any time. An added complication is that things are not static. As the search goes on (and as I write) Theo and I are moving around. Every day we wake up in different bodies.
What a predicament! Is our situation hopeless? Come back and find out—same time, same place, next week.