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My Blurry Girlfriend

Michael Jaoui is a writer based in Brooklyn, NY. He recently discovered twitter and now most of his work is done in 250 character increments. Come say "hi" @MichaelJaoui.

She only had one photo on her profile, and it was blurry. I don't usually go on dates with people who hide their face, online dating being what it is. It's not that I was afraid she'd be unsightly--it's that she was hiding something, and I don't like mysteries. But I took a chance and met her for coffee.
When I got to the cafe, I saw her sitting there with a cup of coffee jittering in her hand. It shook like it was her tenth cup of the day. And she was still blurry. I sat down and made small talk. I rubbed my eyes. I blinked. I wondered if I was going blind.
"You're rubbing your eyes because?" she said, a little shyly, I think, it was hard to tell with all the motion blur.
"Rubbing my eyes? No, I'm not. Or I am, but I'm only tired."
"It's because I'm blurry," she said.
"Are you? Blurry? I hadn't noticed a thing," I said.
"It's okay. People do it a lot. And I am blurry." And that was that.
Turns out, her mother is some genius physicist and worked on a particle supercollider while she was pregnant with her daughter. As a result, this girl was born in a quantum superposition. I didn't know much about quantum physics at the time, although I've done some reading since, but she told me part of that meant she's never observable in one place exactly or at one velocity exactly. With particles, it just amounts to numbers on a chart. With her, it resulted in a sort of charming uncertainty.
The first date turned into a second and then a third, until we had been dating for a few months.
One night, while we were making love (or right before--I had to position carefully because her indistinct position could cause uncomfortable logistic problems, so to speak), she disappeared in a flash of light. Apparently that can happen to quantum particles. They spontaneously excite into a higher state of energy. Or that's what her mother told me when I tracked her down.
"Don't worry," she said, as she swilled a mouthful of scotch. "She'll pop up again at one point or another. The first law of thermodynamics, you know--matter is never created or destroyed, it merely changes form."
She said "merely" as if it were a far away star popping out of existence, not her own flesh and blood. She leaned back and leered at me with half-drunk eyes.
"You don't look like much, but you must be something in bed to make her flash out like that. The last time it happened, she was sixteen and I took her to a concert of some skinny, drug-addict of a rocker. He looked at her funny or something and she went up like cesium in a rainstorm. Good for you."
I didn't see my blurry girlfriend for more than ten years, but one day she popped up in my bed again, right next to my wife. They gave each other a good scare. My wife was shocked by the blurry girl who suddenly appeared in our bed, but the girl was very apologetic and understanding. As I walked her out of my house that night, I noticed that she looked just as young as I remembered. Maybe she hadn't aged the decade she spent as immaterial energy. Or maybe one of the perks of being blurry is that you just can't tell.
The End
This story was first published on Tuesday, March 15th, 2016

Author Comments

I often see real people in real life and create entirely fictional stories about them. I'm sure no character I create will ever resemble the real life equivalent, but it's a wonderful jumping off point. This story is inspired by a mysterious online dating profile I stumbled across. I never went on a date with the person, but I always wondered if she really was that blurry.

- Michael Jaoui
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