Parallel Universes

When I was very young, I believed that mirrors were windows to a parallel universe. I wondered "Why is that Rama in the bathroom whenever I am in the bathroom? Why does he do everything that I do? Is he thinking what I am thinking?" I moved abruptly to catch him in the act. The mystery was confounded when my dad entered the room. In my world, he took me swimming, cooked scrambled eggs for me, and helped my brother and me make big block cities for our hot wheels. In the mirror though, there was something sinister about him. Maybe it was his mustache. I spent time, lots of time for my age, trying to peer through the mirror, out of the parallel bathroom, to see if the rest of that house was a reflection of mine. I felt like an astronaut when I finally figured out how to explore it: I found a hand mirror in my parents' bedroom. I took it to the bathroom, found my other self there with his own mirror, then walked out into our playroom studying the new mirror for any minute differences. Except that letters and language were reversed, everything was the same. No monsters or spacecars like I imagined. I guess I lost interest after that.

Nonetheless, I am still a sucker for any thoughts about parallel worlds. When my college friends and I discussed our ideal superpower, my final answer was the ability to divide into parallel selves. To explore all the lives that might be possible for me. I recognized a kindred spirit this year when one of my young students asked "Do you ever wonder, Mr. Hughes, if I might be you? And you might be me? When I get older and when you were young?"

These self-portraits are two of four covers that I drew for my annual music exchange. Each one represents a me from a parallel universe. They were inspired by the evil twins most common in this one.

© 2011 rama hughes

For those of you who missed this year's music exchange, here were some of my favorite songs:

Touch the Hem of His Garment by Basia Bulat
If I Were a Boy by Beyonce
Ta Douleur by Camille
Awkward Annie by Kate Rusby
Who Says by John Mayer
Poker Face by Lady GaGa
Fuck You by Cee Lo Green
Knockout by Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj
Give in to Me by Garrett Hedlund and Leighton Meister
Touch the Hem of His Garment by Sam Cooke and the Soul Stirrers
Teenage Dream by Darren Criss
Clap Your Hands by Sia
Messages by Xavier Rudd
Little Boxes by Regina Spektor
Lovely, Love My Family by The Roots
Lucky by Dianna Agron and Chord Overstreet
Yellow by Jem
Kiss the Girl by Colbie Caillat
The Parting Glass by Mark Seymour
Satisfied by Cee Lo Green