Sunshine Measured

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       The chimes floated. A to E. Slight, but audible to Eve, who had flung open the front door before the bell could wake her parents. Eve’s parents slept in on Saturdays.

      “Hi, Evie, Hot out already,” said the postwoman. “Multi-world Package delivery.”

     “It’s from an alternate. Cool!”

      “Don’t open it without your parents, Evie.”

     “What, me?”

      The postwoman laughed. Her footsteps quieted down the street, and Eve tore open the envelope, reaching for the recording cube.

      The voice was almost her mother’s: “Bob, Alice. Heeeey. Thanks so much for the letter. So… Bob and I, we realized that your world is missing something. Can’t send it to you exactly. But this should work just as well. Point it at a window on a hot morning. … This may change things dramatically. So wait until you’re r-.”  

      Rustling. Bathrobe? Eve quickly switched off the recorder and grabbed the other device from the envelope.

     “Eve, who was that?” Eve angled the device above Alice’s head, toward the window.


Alice Wan
Street with the Orange Tree
Probability: California, North America
World Portal 137

Postage (Bob Wanes), World to World Parcel Service


  Dear Alice 137,

     You asked in your last letter why I didn’t just call you Alice 2, or Alternate Alice. Please know that next to Alice 1034, you are the Alice dearest to my heart. The numbers are merely a classification system intended to bring order to our increasingly complex realties. Don’t read into it.  It has nothing to do with the gift. The gift is great. Really.

      Anyway, Alice 137, I’m writing to ask you…well, lately we have been fighting over stupid things:

      “It’s a particle.”

      “No. It’s a wave.”

      That’s how it started anyway… We’ve been arguing about this one stupid thing, which is basically… everything.

       And there is no end in sight.

      “No end in sight,” being, of course, one of the lexical entries that Bob 137 mailed me with the definition side left blank, presumably expecting me to extrapolate, because he was curious about how we would define things from our own experience.  (I get it. It’s cool. Sometimes I’m a little Bob 13, too.). Well, anyway, I understand the expression now. Another one for 137’s lexicon. 

       Ugh. This is starting to sound like one big guilt trip, isn’t it? And that isn’t my intention. We’re all grateful. It’s just that things used to be so simple. Now the spectrum keeps expanding, and it’s just…complicated.

      Anyway, since we wouldn’t be in this position if not for… Settle this one argument? Please dearest Alice 137. So much would be resolved if you could.

Yours eternally

Bob 1034

*P.S. I won’t tell you who is team wave and who is team particle before you weigh in. But you can probably guess.  



Bob Wanes
Street with the Small Juice-Spheres (Slightly bumpy) Tree
Probability: California, North America
World Portal 6.2607004

Postage (Alice Wan), World to World Parcel Service


Dear Bob,

     Don’t think I don’t know you're trying to butter me up. You’re not any better at this than Bob. I mean my Bob. The Bob in this w- Whatever.  I might have to start using numbers, too.

     I have some bad news, Bob. I can’t settle the argument. We haven’t figured it out in this world either. It’s kind of a particle, and it’s kind of a wave. I mean I have my own opinion on the matter. Who doesn’t, really?  

     I am sorry if my Bob and I have been the cause of any discord. We didn’t mean to upend your world so quickly…it was just a bit of radiation. That’s never hurt anyone, right? JK (too soon?). And really, we didn’t think that Eve would get to the package before you… Well our Eve, she never gets into trouble, so, it just wouldn’t have crossed our minds.

Warm regards,

Your Second Favorite Alice

P.S. Send another of your arguments. I can try to settle that for you. Glad to help.



Dear Alice 137,

    Well, that is disappointing. I mean you have a thing in your world for like billions of years and you can’t even define its true properties.

   Anyway, thanks for the offer.  Here one recent argument. Typical.

   “We need new living room chairs. These are hideous,” she said.

   “You picked them.”

   “I didn’t know they were hideous when I picked them.”

   I ran my fingertips along the chairs, and I had to admit the ridges on the cushions were somehow less satisfying now that the interlocking circles had declared themselves garishly on the fabric… in puce.  But do we have to change everything now because she’s developed a sense of palette?

   I’ve included a picture of the chairs. We have cameras now. Thanks for cameras, Alice.

P.S. I’ve also enclosed the latest glossary expansion. Go nuts.


Bob 1034


Dear Bob,

Alice 1034 is right. The chairs are hideous.  Replace them.  

Warm regards,





Dear Alice 137,

     We bought new chairs, as you advised. Floral for the living room.  Shiny black for the office. We bought candles and lamps too, and flash lights and chandeliers.  Why not?

There are those conical things that cover the lamps. Are those lampshades or candlesticks? Well, anyway the lamps were incandescent, but they’re much better now.

And Get this: The other night, Eve 1034 said to Alice 1034: “Mom, if you look, really look at the moon, there is a man up there. Do you think there’s a man in Eve 137’s moon too?”  

Kids, right? Is Eve 137 so precocious?  

     I’m sorry if I’ve been short with you lately. It’s just been…well so much to get used to.


Bob 1034


P.S., Alice 1034 updated the glossary. I think we understand purple, beaming, and monochromatic now. Please correct any errors.



Eve switched it on. Numbers appeared on the screen as the photometer took the measure of the sunshine, streaming for the first time through the living room window.  







About the Author: 
Lori Fromowitz is a speech-language pathologist and sometimes writer. She currently lives in the Bay Area in California.
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