There is a universe in which Brad Pitt cannot catch a break.
There is a universe in which movies were never invented, and Brad Pitt wanders aimlessly, dejectedly, hands in pockets, through crowded cities that seem empty of possibility.
There is a universe in which Brad Pitt is a moderately successful catalogue model.
There is a universe in which Brad Pitt is a used-car salesman, a little heavy around the middle, and the shy young assistant in the office who has a painful crush on him watches him show off by tossing crumpled papers into the garbage can across the room, the way men do in movies.
There is a universe in which Brad Pitt’s corpse is at this moment being lovingly washed before it will be divided, by people waiting with tweezers and small vials, into the smallest of relics: a fingernail, a tooth, a filling, a speck of dandruff, a booger.
There is a universe in which Brad Pitt died long ago, but many believe his trail can still be felt. If sudden goosebumps rise upon crossing a field or climbing a staircase, people say, “Brad Pitt must have been here.” If a view is especially magnificent, it is assumed that he once passed his eyes over it, a blessing.
There is a universe with a pocked planet where people live in holes. The time of year when the sun shines directly into a hole with neither slant nor shadow, is called “The Brad Pitt.”
There is a universe in which Brad Pitt started the industrial revolution.
There is a universe in which time has obligingly stopped so that Brad Pitt may always exist as he was in 1994.
There is a universe in which Brad Pitt is always supine on a beach, buried in sand up to his neck.
There is a universe in which everyone’s brother is Brad Pitt.
There is universe in which everyone is Brad Pitt for five minutes every day.
There is a universe in which Brad Pitt has fur. No one understands, but no one minds.
There is a universe in which Brad Pitt is a force somewhere between magnetism and jealousy.
There is a universe in which Brad Pitt exists in every mind, not an image of Brad Pitt, but Brad Pitt in miniature, the same bird in millions of cages.
There is a universe in which Brad Pitt fathers thousands of children for the good of humanity.
There is a universe in which Brad Pitt is the form all life takes; even the insects and fish swarming and swimming are Brad Pitt.
There is a universe that is not invading ours at this moment only because of Brad Pitt. As the warmongering interlopers got closer, they caught his movies, carried on waves. The attack has been forestalled until he can no longer make movies.
There is a universe in which Brad Pitt, discontent, changes gender and appearance, moves to my town, takes my job, walks my dogs, is niggled by my small worries, lives my life, becomes me.
There is a universe in which I am Brad Pitt, committed to the reckless silliness of role after role, used to the camera on me and the strange way others strain to act naturally around me. I am benevolently aware of the power in me, barely contained, the fortune of talent and purpose in my limbs. Each sweep of my arm through time and space is an act of stop-motion magic that turns my arm into a thousand arms: as I move, I multiply; new universes bloom from each squint of my eyes.