…. and the conclusion of a very strange psychedelic science fiction short story.
Entering the old historic neighborhood, Charles parked the car in front of a refurbished hundred year old house at the direction of his new Time Traveler friend. Trevor waves at the Grandmother sitting on the porch, hiding behind a troupe of pink flamingos and guides the Writer into the basement from a side door. The dark space was clean and sparse with a small room in the back, which contained only one serious piece of furniture …. a large bookshelf full of books. Light came through a little slanted window in the corner, spreading beams over a series of pillows and an altar covered in candles, crystals and various odd items. Trevor took him on a tour that lingered mostly on book titles and a repeating pattern where Charles had no idea the name of the writer.
“…….What is amazing about her story, is that she was able to read the serial number off the NASA satellite floating in space. Her remote viewing skills were so strong that she was able to prove it in the most insane ways. I think the weirdest thing is, she couldn’t remote view out of the solar system, as if there was a barrier or her connection was lost when she went to far off.” (*real person)
Trevor ranted for a bit until he became self aware of his tendency and decided it was time to get to work. He pulled a little record player off the shelf and brought it closer to his little nest of cushions, resting on small wooden stool, next to an EEG based laptop. Their plan was scripted out between the participants but one little detail was still needed to be determined… the proof.
“I can place myself somewhere between 1990 and 1993, so we need something that I can discover easily, in other words not too obscure, but still unknown to me. “
Charles had an idea. “Do you like sports?”
Trevor laughed. “I’ve been obsessed with esoteric knowledge and time travel for my entire life, so …no.”
“Then you would have no idea who won a regional sports match as a child?”
Trevor handed over a sealed envelope, from a collection in a milk crate, as Charles found a chair and settled in for the spectacle.
“At the 20 min mark, you place this on the turn-table.”
Charles nodded and nervously held the strange yellow paper folder in his hands, attempting to guess it’s dimensions like a Christmas present.
Trevor sat in a meditative pose in the midst of his little cushion shrine and began to breathe in a low but intense rhythm.
“Ffffff, ffffff, ahhhh.” His nostril flared and body seemed to relax with every intake and exhale.
“Fffff, ffffff, ahhh… fifff fifff ahhh.”
Charles wasn’t sure what to do. He glanced over at the books and quietly read titles from the shelf. Radionics, Orogone, Tryptamines, Tantra, Qui-Gong, Astral Projection and other words he had no clue as to their meaning.
“Wasn’t this all just pseudo-science?” he thought.
Ten minutes had passed and Trevor was no longer on planet Earth. The breathwork continued and it felt to the Writer as if there was no one else in the room, except for a sort of breathing pattern of significance. Charles had been playing along with this time traveler, but in the silence, he began to examine the situation.
“Let’s break this down.” he thought. “Trevor believes that he can time travel while in an altered state of consciousness to an earlier point in his childhood to bring back information based on the work of an obscure psychedelic scientist named Stan Grof, using shamanic and remote viewing techniques.”
“Oh boy.” thought Charles “ I am in the thick of it now?”
20 mins had passed and he pulled the sealed envelope open. Trevor had stated that it had been sealed by his mother and shipped from Ohio and he had no idea which record was inside. The Writer had a quiet anticipation that was exploding with desire amd pulled out the 45 rpm vinyl, more specifically, a child’s record. Charles placed it on the little turntable and watched the handsome meditating face as the voice began to speak. It was a classic kid’s story about an elephant that could fly.
The Time traveler had theorized to the Writer during the car ride, that the last time he heard these records was in his childhood. Trevor used the memory of them, while in an altered state, to pin-point that particular moment in time, to in essence, move his consciousness and awareness backwards. Trevor further theorized that he believed, the more he perfected the technique, the less pin-points he would need and was simply training his body to time travelat will.
As Charles sat watching, mesmerized as the mechanical voice gently floated in the small space with a theatrical flair, talking about crows, mice, and elephants in a story to the blank faced, heavily breathing young man, whose eyelids fluttered like a flag in hurricane winds.
Suddenly a noise from the strange distance shook the Writer loose of his own trance state when he realized there was a gentle rap was at the door. Trevor remained unaware as Charles left the room to answer the door at the other side of the basement.
“Who are you?” asked a hooded teenage girl in a sly surprised way.
“Who are you?” came the reply in a hushed whisper.
“I am Trevor’s sister, Mary.” She lifted her hand in a friendly way, her eyes seemed to say something more, and Charles suddenly got it, Trevor rarely had company.
“Come in quickly, he is in the middle of a science experiment.”
She understood and changed her demeanor, coming in and quietly closing the door behind her.
They whispered under their breaths in the dark entrance space next to the stairs, outside the room her brother was….. a universe away…. in.
“Your Charles, right? He told me about you. I am so sorry I interrupted.”
The Writer was taken back by the statement, as he just found out about Trevor last night.
“What did he say?” He asked… curious by the whole experience.
“Oh, he’s been talking about this day for months, I had no idea, that today was THAT day. I should go and come back later.”
Before Charles could make sense of the whole statement, Trevor called out his sister’s name from the other room. They entered the little basement room with an err of caution, as Trevor sat in a meditation pose, his eyes still closed.
“Quickly, please record what I am about to say, as it is fresh like a dream and will drift away as the melatonin within my system dissipates and the fog returns.”
Mary stood in the corner and Charles hit the record button.
“I was there in 1992, as a toddler with Mother dancing around the kitchen. I was eating sweet potato squares in my high chair. Father was in the other room and I tried….. so desperately to see him as I felt an overwhelming desire for just one glance. I heard his voice, Mary, he was telling Mom about work, about that last job he had before the suicide. The one that caused…….”
Trevor’s voice cracked and he shook it off, with eyes still closed. Mary began to have tears on her face and tried to fight the emotion using her tight fist to wipe them symbolically, but gave up and slumped down in the corner, putting her head on her knees, with the hoodie over her teenage head. Charles sat in the chair, shocked by everything that was happening as if unable to grasp the essence.
“I can see the record player on the table, she must have just finished playing Dumbo, Charles..I have it… it came from the TV, a local team on the news, Wildcats versus the Indians. 3 to 9, the Indians won, summer of 92.”
Charles began to look up the score and teams, but was interrupted.
“Something else happened, as I looked through the door towards the living room, and saw those old photos on the wood panel wall. Mother stopped dancing and….she looked at me in the strangest way. We just watched each other waiting for the Other to do something, like testing a reflection in a darken mirror. I had some sweet potato in my hand, and instead of mashing it ….which was the desire within me, I simply placed it carefully in the bowl and looked at her. She was scared. It was almost as if she saw me watching through me, well, me the now me, and not the then me. I felt such fear from her, and so I simply left my toddler body at that point.”
Charles watched the young man and was amazed at his demeanor, the silence was evasive, so he returned to looking up the score, until Trevor spoke again.
“It was you, that caused my breakthrough.”
Charles looked up at the Time Traveler, who was now watching him.
“When you spoke to my sister at the door, your voice entered my consciousness and I was transported, I went to see you, in 1992.” He smiled widely at his sister who looked up from her sadness. “I didn’t need the record, his voice was the catalyst for a time pin-point.”
Charles looked down at the score and confirmed it’s truth but somehow a disconnect was occurring, a doubt and disbelief at the entire circumstance. Charles was fighting within for the data and the reality of what occurred.
“I saw you at home, a teenager in a room. You had a Red Hot Chili Peppers poster and Star wars memorabilia?”
Charles felt like he wasn’t breathing, he found himself back in his high school room, reading comics.
“Yes” said Trevor “I was there, I could see you, but I was underwater, there was a white Angel Fish next to me, and some small rainbow Tetras. I was floating there watching you pack a bag. You were trying to decide what to bring to Science Camp.”
Frozen in place the Writer remembered his two beloved angel fish, one black and one white, and that disastrous summer when he lost his religion.
“You became my Angel Fish?”
Trevor stretched his body, like he had finished a work out and stood up with a dizzying sort of momentum. He moved over to sit next to his sister, who returned her head to her knees, reliving the traumatic moments of her childhood.
“I don’t know what I was, I just became …eyes … looking out.”
The Time Traveler put his arm around his sister and she cried. After a moment she whispered.
“It’s all coming true, isn’t it? Everything you have seen!” Mary looked up at Charles and lifted her finger toward him. “He saw all of this, you and this moment, months ago, it’s all playing out like a preordained track.”
The Time Traveler gently pushed his sister’s arm down and drew her attention towards his eyes, which shined with a glow of wisdom.
“If I am right, he will understand soon, any moment now.” Looking up together at the Writer.
Charles raises his own hand to his throat, as if to protect it, as his own adrenaline spiked nervously waiting for the other shoe to drop. The tiny little room felt like cavern, with two strange souls staring him down, a bookshelf full of a reality he doesn’t understand, and little record player still spinning, with the needle wildly dancing in the blank space after the grooves.
“What will I understand?” he asks the eyes, pouring into his soul.
“It’s actually not really time travelling, I don’t have a good word for what it is yet.” exclaimed Trevor
“Please tell me more.” weakly spoken by the Writer.
“A couple months ago, with my sister’s help, I was travelling… pulling childhood information. I think the catalyst was not the records, but her. Just by being here, her energy, I understand that now, the object is unimportant, I can travel based on the energy of another …….”
Charles felt something different in his stomach first, like a sensation of squeezing. He took a gulp of hopeful air and suddenly he was unconsciously making strange noises. The humming was guttural, emanating from his own throat and stomach. He felt it in his fingertips as if grasping it’s edges. Trevor stopped talking shifted to his knees, moving closer to the Writer.
“Yes, there you are, you made it!”
It felt like a pressure in his head, and Charles understood that he was not alone. Charles wasn’t the only “thing” looking out of his eyes. The Writer marveled at the man on his knees in front him, and suddenly without warning felt his body shift down to his knees and embrace the young man in a familiar fashion, like a puppet with invisible strings. Charles and his hands were rubbing the muscular back that was somehow known and unknown.
“I am proud of you, Charles, you did your first time-jump.”
Charles looked over his shoulder in a frighten moment towards the sister, who was smiling and sitting cross legged. She spoke to the scared man behind the eyes, that seemed to contain a double consciousness.
“Your a time traveler now, Charles, or will be soon enough.”
Trevor pulled back and watched as his soon-to-be partner drift back into a singular awareness and he comforted him with a knowing smile.
“I know this is confusing, and can only be understood with direct experience, so we will begin your training soon my friend, and this moment will be seen from the other side. All you have to do is surrender to the script. How do you feel?”
The world’s second modern Time Traveler, shook his head and returned to the safety of the chair, crossing his legs, breathing in some semblance of normalcy back to his being and exclaiming with a smile.
“Well…..that was something else, and I think I want some more!”
In a basement somewhere in St Louis, history was broken, a Bereitschafts-potential was mapped and the future was never the same again for humanity. the end