It's not very original to compare the worldwide web to a monkey banging on a typewriter, but here we are. Millions of us have been banging on keyboards for many years now and somehow, somewhere, someone predicted the current predicament some are calling "Hiddleswift" — two years before it happened, and with some eerily accurate details.
I'll recap quickly for those who haven't been keeping up: Taylor Swift broke up with her exceptionally boring boyfriend (a rich DJ named Calvin Harris) two weeks ago. On Wednesday, a bit unkindly, the entire Twittersphere was thrust into the ice-cold shower of a Sun exclusive. The British tabloid published several photos of Swift canoodling with Tom Hiddleston on a pile of rocks near her home in Rhode Island. The pictures showed them wearing leather shoes on a beach, which was equally disturbing to some. Me, I'm just wondering who made the insane rock sculpture in the corner of the frame.
this relationship already felt like fan fiction
The Sun also embedded a video of the two dancing at the 2016 Met Ball, where they met — three weeks before Swift and Harris' breakup. They are both terrible dancers, and Tom's tuxedo has tails.
Even as I type, these events seem improbable. What would the world's biggest pop star have in common with a 35-year-old man who has only recently been able to book acting jobs outside the Thor universe? Who falls in love at a dinner party sponsored by a global tech corporation? Seriously, who takes the time to build a Blair Witch-inspired craft project in between spit-swappings?
Yet, these events aren't only real, they were predicted. Jennifer Stanley, a fan fiction writer who posts her work on Archive of Our Own, wrote a 12,000-word piece called "Wildest Dreams" in late 2014. It accurately predicts the celebrity relationship moniker that sprung up around the Hiddleston-Swift romance ("Hiddleswift!") and depicts the pair meeting at the 2015 Met Gala. It's the wrong year, but I'm still chilled right down to my bone.
Is Taylor Swift the all-seeing eye? It's just a coincidence.
Some highlights from the most terrifying piece of fan fiction I've ever read:
Taylor Swift struggles to remember watching Thor.
"But there was a flash of blue eyes somewhere in the crowd that met mine and held my gaze—if only for a split second. They were all too familiar, but where had I seen those eyes before? I bit the inside of my cheek after I had glanced away, losing focus of the conversation taking place in front of me as I fished through my mind like mad to figure out where I had seen them before. Where? Where?!"
Tom Hiddleston has strange anatomy.
"A cute chuckle rumbled out from his chest."
Taylor learns a lot.
"I learned so much more about Tom that night than I could ever imagine. Hell, I even learned so much about Ancient Chinese Culture."
The rest of the fiction is NSFW, and is tagged with a "smut" warning. (Hey mom, I'm reading smut at work!)
The oddest thing about the story is that Stanley integrated lyrics from Swift's song "Wildest Dreams," making the encounter with Hiddleston serve as the creative impetus for the song. Hiddleston actually looks a lot like the guy in the music video for "Wildest Dreams," which was released last August. He has an extremely standard English face, and he's constantly wearing linen shirts. The video is also very "Old Hollywood," and Hiddleston is considered the frontrunner to take over the role of James Bond. I don't know what I'm saying, really, but I wouldn't be shocked to discover that Swift has had this stunt in mind for a very long time! Is it so hard to believe that Swift reads all the fan fiction about herself, carefully selecting the best plot lines to integrate into the Grand Narrative of Swift?
I believe it! Okay, that's absurd, she's a person.
But how do you explain Stanley's sequel to "Wildest Dreams"? In "I Know Places," Hiddleston and Swift are hanging out in "the water," when their relationship is exposed prematurely by the media. It was written in April of 2015.
The real life "Hiddleswift" even feels like fan fiction — they're both pop culture figures that young internet denizens are extremely passionate about (Hiddleston is often referred to as "The Internet's Boyfriend") and they have ostensibly nothing to do with each other. The only place they possibly could meet is at the Met Ball — Manhattan's annual party for anyone who is famous for any reason.
I don't know why "Hiddleswift" has happened, but I do know, by the classic laws of probability, that it was just as likely to happen as any other thing. And while that is the basic premise of fan fiction, it is the antithesis of the premise of Taylor Swift's expertly curated life. In all our days on this messy Earth, we will never know what is random and what is Swift.