Would You Live in Someone Else’s Body for a Day?

51IXfx3ChrLI 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?

8 thoughts on “Would You Live in Someone Else’s Body for a Day?”

  1. I’m traveling for work today and needed to start a new book. I noticed this was only $1.99 for Kindle, so I bought it and dove right in. Just as my flight was landing, I got to a chapter where A wakes up as the type of person I was going to suggest before I started reading it: someone who is very, very physically attractive. Like, someone who is unequivocally attractive and turns heads wherever they go. I think this would be fun to do for a day as both genders, just to see the differences in response that I’d get.

    Also, as someone who is 5’0, I’d love to be tall for a day. I’ve come to accept that I will never have the advantage of height, but it would be nice to experience it for a day and not have to struggle to reach anything and everything! I’m sure there would be a bit of a “newborn baby deer” moment when I tried to stand and walk on my new legs in the morning, but I’d love to see what it’s like. I get secretly excited now when I meet an adult who is shorter than me, so it would be a delightful day to literally look down on everyone I meet!

    • Katie: Yeah, that’s an interesting chapter. I considered putting that on my list too. I’d also be curious to be in the body of someone who has an irresistible personality–the “life of the party” type of person who can brighten any room. I’m a little envious of that type of person. 🙂

  2. At first I was tempted to pick the beautiful, athletic, rich or talented person. But I had a thought. If I ‘knew’ this was an ephemeral thing, I think I’d like to pick the worst days people have and experience it for them so they didn’t have to. This is with the knowledge that when I wake up the next day I would not be stuck in that situation. I think most people would start out with finding out what it’s like to have all the advantages, but end up at the some point where they try to find a way to use their gift to help people.

    I’m no one special so this isn’t about trying to sound better than I am. I just thought about my son who has pretty bad PTSD from his two tours in Iraq and I wish with all my heart I could take his worst days and carry them for him. I think most of us would get to this point eventually.

    On a different note, I’d like to be a dog for a day. Dogs are just crazy happy most of the time 🙂

  3. Will this book make me cry?

    I don’t mind being a cat for a day. Nap all day and be a total butt to whoever and still getting love. That’s pretty awesome.

    If X-men were real, I would like to be Professor X for the day. Read everyone’s mind.


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