Jim Gilmore’s Existence
Jim Gilmore, the one from our universe, looks out at the sea and sheds a tear. It falls off his face, past the pier, and into the bay. It ripples across the still waters. The night is black, and the moon is gone. Literally.
The Alternate Universe Jim Gilmore (AU Jim), who has entered our universe and is running for president, floats down onto the pier and places a hand on Our Universe’s Jim Gilmore (OU Jim). He does not feel remorse and is only performing the required comforting actions to attempt to soothe OU Jim’s emotions. It does not work because OU Jim knows what AU Jim is doing. He looks to AU Jim, angrily crying about how everything has failed, everything has gone to ruin, all because of you. AU Jim looks at the reader, wondering if that’s who he meant, but OU Jim clarifies, saying that none of this would have ever happened if he never arrived.
AU Jim agrees. And then he laughs.
Three weeks earlier, AU Jim and OU Jim are both out campaigning in New Hampshire. OU Jim is meeting and greeting the voters, shaking their hands when needed and giving a cheery smile to show how much he cares about them and their support. AU Jim is holding the attention of voters by raising a mountain out of the dirt next to someone’s house and forming it into solid crystal.
OU Jim Gilmore grimaces, wondering why he cannot do things like that. He wants to win over the hearts and minds of the American people, but those people are so easily captivated by trickery and illusionary feats of viral action. He cannot melt the mind of a badmouthing reporter. He can merely use his words and his wits.
A poll comes out, putting AU Jim at 18% of the vote, in third place behind The Donald and Lindsey Graham. OU Jim is not listed. Due to their visual similarity, OU Jim is usually confused for the other Jim and often completely forgotten. This poll is not an exception to this unfortunate event.
It becomes clear to OU Jim as he watches AU Jim perform feats of impossibility that he must stop his universal counterpart and bring balance back to the Presidential race. It must be done at the cost of anything he can accomplish, which is of course anything that requires both wit and word.
OU Jim Gilmore and Elizabeth Warren, Presidential candidates from across the political aisle, have both begun launching attack ads filled with very charged rhetoric towards AU Jim Gilmore. Elizabeth Warren, her convictions strong, agreed to team up in an otherwise-unimaginable alliance because she believes AU Jim to be the Progressive Movement’s greatest threat; AU Jim not only promised to build a wall around the US-Mexican border, but already did so. Any further reform AU Jim performed would leave the nation deformed.
Elizabeth Warren challenges AU Jim to a one-on-one unsanctioned debate to present each other new ideas about how to govern as an executive. AU Jim disagrees and raises his hand to Elizabeth Warren. She takes this as a sexist slam and charges at him to hit him in the face; this is an unwise move. AU Jim closes his palm and Elizabeth Warren disappears. In fact, time in our universe is rewritten, rewound like a loosened spool and remade. The Elizabeth Warren Campaign is obliterated from continuity in an implosion of sound and time.
Elizabeth Warren now sits in her chair overlooking the floor of the Senate, clapping her hands at a moving speech by Cory Booker. Her smile is genuine, but the fire in her eyes has turned to fear.
AU Jim Gilmore stands before the Supreme Court. Behind him on the prosecutor’s side is OU Jim, who wears a devious grin.
The Supreme Court says in unison their ritualistic chant that they perform once every case they consider. It is a solemn Latin hymn in an indecipherable dialect.
AU Jim presents to the Supreme Court that he is indeed an American citizen with a valid Social Security number and a birth certificate. He says that he is a natural-born citizen while pacing back and forth– on his feet, indeed, which is unlike anything seen from the man before. It makes OU Jim happy to see him squirm.
The court is interested, but there is no passion in their eyes. OU Jim cannot gauge how they feel about the issue, or how they will rule. It is a mystery. He motions to Clarence Thomas and gets his attention, making a very big smile and nodding slowly. Clarence Thomas seems to get the message.
The nine members go into recess to deliberate.
In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court decides that AU Jim Gilmore is not a valid citizen of the United States in this universe, and as a result he is not allowed to run for President of the United States in this universe.
AU Jim is angry.
Justices Scalia and Kennedy fly up into the air and twirl around. It is not of their own will, but from AU Jim’s furiously-dashing arms. He lifts their bodies, now lifeless, into the air, busting them through the ceiling and propelling them into the sky. They zoom past the atmosphere and collide with the moon.
The moon explodes into a million little pieces. Somewhere, out in the depths of space, James Frey smiles.
After the courtroom realizes what has happened, AU Jim bows to the Supreme Court and thanks them for their 4-3 decision to accept his citizenship appeal.
In the present, Jim Gilmore, our Jim Gilmore, is now alone. AU Jim has left the premises to continue his campaign, travelling to Egypt to reconstruct the nose of the Sphinx. OU Jim looks at the latest poll, and sees that he has four percent, which is just above the threshold to be allowed at the next debate.
Another tear falls from his eye, but this time, it is with a fiery soul.
I still have a chance, he thinks to himself. And he very well may.