I am intrigued when life turns on a dime causing huge personal or sociological implications. The assassination of President Kennedy is one of those events. The United States changed irreparably, culturally, and governmentally when JFK was gunned down. Sometimes in history it is the motivation of individuals such as Washington crossing the Delaware absolutely changed the Revolutionary War and the history of the United States.
This blog is about an average guy and his wife living happily in suburbia with their children. Peter Sturgis’s reward for leading the exemplary life (he was Citizen of the Year) is not just to lose his wife Jeannie. It’s worse than that. He gets thrust into another timeline where his Jeannie exists but without him.
Okay you’re asking how does Peter end up in this trash bin timeline? Peter “Pete” is married to some woman named Roberta Jo in the same town of Westerly New York. He is an acknowledged bum and low life. He has a son named Curtis but his former children don’t exist. All this courtesy of one man who came in contact with an alien outpost five hundred years ago. Who is this man? Let’s hear the prologue.
So now we know who we’re dealing with. Ricardo is a fiend, a killer and a self-agrandizing egotist who will punish anyone who stands in his way. Martin is more like a servant but he is also an enabler of Ricardo. Peter has just won the Citizen of the Year award in Westerly New York. He and Jeannie, still sweethearts, are about to attend a company party in a trendy plaza downtown. The CEO of that company Riccom is Ricardo and he’s skimming funds. Peter and his friend Melvin try to nail Ricardo.
Picture this: You’re innocently arrive at a company party and the CEO is infatuated with your partner. You mention some irregularities on the Riccom books. Then Ricardo maneuvers your partner up to his suite. This is just the beginning of your life sliding down the skids where you lose everything you hold dear.
I once took a job in a department store in California before I found my outside sales job. The chain store was identically built, identically stocked with identical signage as the store I worked in back east. Yet all my friends from back east were gone. To say I freaked out was an understatement. Years later time gave me the idea for a story of identical surroundings but in another timeline. Human relationships rock every time. Plus, it supermotivated me to find that outside sales job in LA which I did.
Fox’s Sliders had alternate dimensions with every new show. I absolutely love the designation of ” Home Dimension.” Quinn finds a portal where different earth timelines exist: Alien invasions…US a part of Britain… Cool
Black Mirror provided a frightening array of alternate realities, dystopian or humanity hanging in the breach. Use of out-of-control technology allows a persistent conflict of characters.
The Man in the High Castle
The Man in the High Castle was molded in the thoughts of Philip K. Dick’s novel of the surprisingly called The Man in the High Castle. Listen to this: the Axis won World War II and occupy the former United States. Always with the possibility of a better life in an alternate timeline. I like it.
Michael Britten trapped between two realities after a car accident. He designates the “red reality” and the “green reality-Flipping realities and interacting with components and people within both timelines. One season. Not fair for such a good series.
In Counterpart, J.K. Simmons is Howard Silk, eventually learns that there’s another Howard Silk. Silk controls navigation from another Earth “Prime” Earth and another more ruthless Howard Silk. Series nosedived on Starz but that never stopped me from liking the concept.
And now back to our story
Peter tries to adjust to his infamous notoriety in Westerly New York. He gets closer to Curtis, his son in that reality, but he misses his children and Jeannie. It is only when Peter thumbs through the pages of a national magazine does he realize what has happened to Jeannie. She has been taken by Ricardo as he changed realities in Cibola. He became a Hollywood director and she a star. Peter organizes a plan. He must find Melvin and travel to the West Coast to reunite with Jeannie. But as they say things do not always turn out the way we think.
I will say this: Peter and Curtis find Melvin, who is very happy in this new reality. Jeannie alive but Ricardo has cleverly molded her into ‘Jean’ a movie star with her own past. It is, however, when Ricardo finally is confronted by Peter that this five-hundred-year-old, obsessed reprobate begins a long battle with Peter to the end of the book.
And what of the alternative Jeannie? She is battered by the lifestyle of the alternate timeline but she still is attracted to Peter but lives in the shadow of the controlling misogynist Ricardo. And therein lies the conundrum of dealing with two realities. The interesting concept is whether two people with the same essence from the alternate timelines can fall in love. It’s not only possible. It’s inevitable. They eventually meet at Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles and voilà!