Alice in two

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Halfway through the looking-glass, Alice got stuck. The right hemisphere of her brain couldn’t enter the topsy-turvy world on the other side.

She had thoughts that were neither here nor there. Was she divided from herself or within herself? The silvered glass partitioning her brain gave no clues.

The left half of Alice’s brain, ghosted by its own reflection, became the corridors and rooms of a haunted castle. The right half hardened in its rightness, a ruthless geometry ruling its perfection.

In the left hemisphere, impossible creatures sprouted eyes and teeth. In the right, an army of logicians paraded tirelessly.

When Alice shook her head to try to free herself, a stream of zeros and ones poured from her right ear, a torrent of poetry from the left.

The military dictatorship occupying the right hemisphere of Alice’s brain declared war on the community of poets and monsters in the left. “Maybe if I break the mirror the two halves of me will be brought together peacefully,” thought Alice.

Unfortunately, that conciliatory thought came only from Alice’s left brain. Her right brain countered with “War makes peace.”

—-

Alice languished mid-mirror for hours. Half in one world, half in another, she belonged to neither.

Night fell and the rooms on both sides of the silvered threshold were silent. Alice wept, between dreaming and thinking, imagining and seeing.

“Have I been doubled or halved?” she wondered.

The clock in Looking-Glass Land struck thirteen and the mirror misted over.

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