There came a startling knocking sound…
“That’s odd,” I grumbled to myself. “What the hell is that?” I looked around and it seemed to be coming from a mysterious object I had once named, at random, a “door.” Found upon the door was a piece of spherically-shaped metal which I brilliantly intuited could be used to pry the bloody thing open.
Gazing through the gaping portal I saw a most hideous thing standing on the go-away mat. “What the hell are you?” I gasped.
With an eerily familiar voice it replied, “I’m you from the future.”
My mind reeled. “How far in the future?”
“Tomorrow, to be exact.” God, it sure was ugly. It looked irritated and menacing, too. “Are you going to invite me in?”
Once inside it looked around the living room as if with the eyes of a child. “You’ll have to forgive me,” it said. “This sure brings back memories.”
By now I was feeling pretty damn irritated. My normal routine had been severely disrupted. “I’m feeling damn irritated,” I said. “You’re severely disrupting my normal routine.”
For a second it lost it’s composure. “Don’t you think I know that?!” it snapped ferociously. It took a deep breath and slowly exhaled then seemed to go limp in resignation. After an awkward silence, it finally continued. “I’m here to help you,” it said softly. “To help both of us.”
“Go on,” I barked.
“A few minutes from now,” it said ominously, “something is going to happen. Something completely out of the normal. Something disastrous. I’m here to stop it.”
Suddenly I noticed a gun in it’s hand. That’s odd, I thought lamely to myself. We don’t own a gun. What the hell had happened to me?
Bang. The gun went off. I fell to the floor while clutching my stomach in pain. He had shot our most prized possession. He had just shot our LCD 42″ flat screen TV.
“You son of a bitch! You die!” I screamed as I felt my life oozing away. “Why??”
“Poor little idiot,” he said, literally looking down on me. I couldn’t help but notice he was starting to twinkle, almost as if he was slowly dissolving away. He smiled.
He looked at his dissolving hand in wonderment. “It worked, it worked,” he said, forgetting the question that was currently pending on the floor. Then an expression of fear gripped his hideous face. “At least this time.”
His expression changed to one of resolve then went soft as if he had reached some sort of climactic decision. “What I’m about to say may end the space-time continuum as we know it, everywhere, everything, but fuck it. It might be our only chance.”
“Shut up!” he hissed. “We have very little time.” By now he was about fifty percent translucent, much like the time I had tried to Photoshop a profile image using a real picture of my own face.
“I don’t know what I was thinking,” he said to himself, ignoring me completely. “I never watch broadcast TV. I never even turn it on. I hate the commercials. I avoid it like the plague. But I was supposed to be working. So, yeah, I guess that might be how it happened.”
He turned and looked me in the eye. “I turned on the TV,” he said. He was starting to scare me. “I did it on purpose. It was showing the CBS morning show. God help me, I don’t know why, but I watched.” I was stunned to see tears streaming down his face. “They called it ‘Note to Self.’ Oh God, why did I watch?”
He was almost gone now. He sparkled like a glinty trick of light and I had to lean and strain to hear what he had to say.
“Don’t do what I did. Don’t ever, EVER,” he hissed, “make the mistake of watching Note to Self. It’ll be the death of you.”
And with that, he was gone.
Dazed, I slowly got to my feet and swayed. Wow. What a trip. And what an idiot. How the hell was I going to watch anything with a bullet in my TV? And how the hell was I supposed to avoid doing real actual work?
More importantly, who was going to clean up that mess of ectoplasm where the bastard had been standing?
Who will pay his fair share of tax?
Who will shoot straight with all the facts?
Who’ll watch out for even you and me?
Don’t look now, it ain’t Mitt Romney.
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A few times a week I host an informal meeting. It’s a small, semi-private affair attended by me, myself and I. Just the three of us.
No, don’t call the nice men in nice white coats just yet. It’s not like that. At least I don’t think it is.
The attendees are not variations of the current me or echoes of my id. It’s not quite that simple.
In addition to myself, the meeting is most graciously attended by the me of before and the me of next.
Hale and well met!
Beam me up!
How you doin’?
We welcome you to Munchkin Land!
Any of these sound particularly appealing? If not, what can you come up with that is better for you?
Pictured on the left is Gerard Butler from the movie Timeline. This was an excellent book by Michael Crichton that was made into a mediocre movie. Like most of Crichton’s works, the books were practically born as screenplays. Not much adaptation was needed to bring them to the big screen. But not all adapted as well as others. Timeline was doomed to be average. But even with its flaws I still enjoyed the movie very much.
Butler plays the role of André Marek who is described as a “medieval enthusiast.” When the professor on their archeological dig in France disappears, it isn’t long until they discover his eyeglasses and a note in his own hand, and in the very chamber they were currently exploring, and somehow both are about 700 years old!
What you’ve got there is one whopper of a time-based puzzle. 🙂
Marek and his friends end up going back in time to 1357 France to find their professor, save the day and bring him back. (It’s a long story.)
The important point here, though, is that Marek is happy as a clam in the past. He fits right in. It turns out that he definitely had the right hobby. In fact, Marek likes the past even more than the real life he left behind. 1357 France is the time and place where Marek was always meant to be.
Given that golden once-in-a-liftetime chance, Marek doesn’t let it slip away. After the castle has been stormed and the professor has been saved, Marek waves goodbye to his friends and embarks on his new life. It’s poignant because we all know it’s a one-way trip.
So this got me thinking. Do you think that here and now is the best “era” for you? Or do you feel you were somehow meant to live in another time or another place? Or both?
Most of my life I considered myself a “futurist,” basically one who likes the latest and greatest. Especially computers and home electronics. But over time my relationship with futuristic things, like technology, has gradually waned, and I find myself looking more often to the past, simpler ways and simpler times. And I find myself thinking strange thoughts, like maybe I wasn’t meant for the future after all.
What do you think? Are you in the right place and time? If you could choose something else, what would it be?