I’ve decided that this is not Earth. I know it looks like Earth and we call it Earth; all the textbooks say it’s Earth, and the greatest minds “on Earth” concur, but I don’t believe it. Somehow, and I can’t claim to understand how, we were relocated to a look-alike planet – a very good reproduction. I mean, we’re all here, and everything else that was around before, still is. In fact, I’d defy anyone to point to a single physical difference between Earth as we knew it, and the one we’re living on right now.

Just in case you’re thinking I’ve lost it, this isn’t one of those conspiracy theories or body snatcher scenarios. “But Billy Bob, don’t you see? Everything has been replaced by an exact duplicate. It’s’ space aliens and there’s proof!” Nonsense. Only one thing has been replaced – everything else is just fine. So you see, I’m not crazy. A little neurotic from time to time; slightly obsessive compulsive; way too passive aggressive, and occasionally depressed, but I’m not crazy.

I’m confident I’d know if something wasn’t right, and this place ain’t right. Nobody likes anybody anymore, and that’s not the world I remember. Sure, there have always been small bands of people who didn’t like this bunch or that group; there was always someone beefing with someone else, but not like now. And all our societal woes have become the fault of other nationalities, races, religions, sexual preferences, or political persuasions. Maybe there’s something wrong with the water on this exact duplicate of an Earth. Maybe we’ve been drugged en mass. At this point, anything is possible!

This place is falling apart too, and that hardly seems fair. If you’re going to take us away from home sweet home, the least you could do is fix up the place a little. Global warming? Coronavirus? Rogue countries with nuclear weapons? A return to nationalism? Presidents who tweet? C’mon already! I’m all for some creative thinking once in awhile, but nobody wants all that crap.

For example, whoever made the switch should have gotten rid of racism, not found new ways to express it. And who wants to wake up one morning to a pandemic? It’s a really awesome pandemic, but people don’t like that sort of thing, so why include it? The oceans are rising, the temperature is soaring… Please put that imagination to better use and come up with something people can really appreciate – free bowling, bigger crab cakes, ninja lessons for all. No one wants the climate changing – it’s incredibly inconvenient and it’s messy. Folks don’t like messy.

You see, that’s how I know this isn’t the same Earth. Old Earth was doing pretty well, if you ask me, but New Earth is a serious drag, and on top of everything else that’s wrong here, we have to stay home and social distance. Can’t hug old friends or shake a client’s hand; can’t go to restaurants or catch a ballgame; not supposed to help old ladies cross the street or buy shoes at the mall. We can’t do anything, go anywhere, or see anybody, but we can wash our hands, wear masks over our faces, and stay home. Fun new additions to New Earth.

Thinking about all the problems on Current Earth – from gun control to prison sex, I just don’t understand why our issues have become so confrontational. Back on the old planet, things were always serene – placid and peaceful; war, a thing of the past; no one hated anyone. We loved everyone and got along no matter what our differences. And America truly was the home of liberty and freedom; the shining light on the hill or something.

And then this cruel joke – the switch; this 3-card monte of a New Earth, where nothing works anymore. Oh I actually realize that Old Earth had the same problems, so maybe I am crazy. At the very least, I’m wrong. Maybe I just woke up one morning and discovered my limits. One too many presidential lies to suffer, perhaps. Maybe one too many senseless deaths, or too much disrespectful treatment of others. Perhaps one too many rich guys appropriated a poor man’s last dollar for me to continue tolerating. Maybe I just couldn’t deal with another hateful comment or racist meme. Perhaps I’ve reached the end of my rope with negativity, nasty untruthful rhetoric, and the lack of equality and regard for one another.

And I guess I shouldn’t expect you to understand, but honestly, I don’t recognize this place anymore. I wonder. Are we impostors? Have we always been frauds, and have I only now just realized it? I don’t have one single sure fire suggestion on how to fix that, but I don’t see how we could without first determining the answer to my question. Are we impostors? Because if we are, everything is worse than I thought. If we are, I don’t see us accepting it.

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