Sunday, March 11, 2012

Time Travel

I met a man who claimed to have invented a machine that would allow him to "jump" through time.

"'Jump'?" I asked him. "What do you mean?"

"I mean," said the fellow, "that when you enter my device and turn the dial, you hop to the time indicated, moving over all the boring parts in between."

"That could come in quite handy," I said.

"Yes, but there are still a few problems to be ironed out," he replied.

"Problems? Such as - ?"

"Hard landings," said he. "The further forward or backward that you go, the harder you hit the Present when you stop. It feels like you are slamming into a wall or the ground after leaping off a building.

"I jumped a week ahead, for example, and twisted my ankle. When I tried hopping to last year's national meeting of the Grand Fraternal Order of Ironmongers, to which I belong, I felt like I'd leapt off a three-story building and rolled into a moving train. I broke a leg and a wrist, and my head hurt for a month.

"So my device is not practical yet, I'm afraid. And until I can make it safe, I will no longer travel through time except at the usual speed," he added.

"I don't want to risk jumping to a final conclusion."

Copyright © 2012 Laurie J. Anderson. All rights reserved.

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