I recently finished reading a remarkable book called Every Day by David Levithan. It’s about a person named A who wakes up every day in a different person’s body (he’s 16, so the bodies he occupies are also 16) within a few hour’s radius of the previous day’s body.
A can access the person’s memories if he wants to, and he generally tries to go through the motions so when the person reclaims the body the following day, they don’t notice anything different. The switching of bodies is a process that A doesn’t understand and can’t control–it simply is how he lives his life.
It’s an amazing book. At its heart it’s a love story as good as anything John Green has written. But the twist of body jumping and the things A notices about the human condition elevate this book to a whole new level.
As I read the book before falling asleep over the past week, I couldn’t help but wonder: What if I woke up in someone else’s body tomorrow? Unlike A, what if I could choose the person? If so, whom would I choose?
The thought is weird. Occupying someone else’s body is weird. But after reading what A learned about other people, I know I could learn so much by walking around as someone else. A woman. A black person. A really old person. A person with depression (A has a day like this, and it’s crushing). A physically disabled person. A baby. A professional athlete (I’d like to know the difference between what their body can do and mine). And perhaps, if an exception could be granted, a cat. Just for a day.
If you were given this opportunity, would you take it? Whose body would you choose?