Solitude’s slight light falls faintly across my folded hands
Surrounded by the vacuum of his absence I shiver
a freedom vibration to the tune of Footloose and Fancy-free
My electronic mail alert nails me to my screen
“ASAP! Exclusive! Alleged time traveler in Scranton, PA.”
I shake my head from bourbon to blond.
I don lacey, luscious, Victoria Secrets for
possible post mourning possibilities
Rocket away on the three-hour Express
from LA to Philadelphia, PA
King of Prussia, Allentown, and Wilks Barre
slide under the shadow of the jetcopter to Scranton
I blister a path from the copterport to,
Jester, the soiled, seedy side, dive bar holding
the nut job that will grow my blog numbers by the million.
Per my informant, the man from the past is
dressed in sable and is black as the tomb.
I launch my drone camera and set it to live feed
He is an obsidian glow dwelling in the darkest corner.
I adjust the drone lighting accordingly.
His thick ebony hair is braided down the side of his face
through his beard. Two long braids hang from his chin.
His lips, nose, and face are broad. His eyes darker than Original Sin
His voice is a dark, thick, heavy syrup. Flowing with authority,
“Sit. Our coherent time is brief.”
“Hello, Time Traveler. I’m Revelation with five million fanatical worldwide followers—”
“You look bereaved, disheveled and shadow fucked in a soiled bed of sorrows.”
I spit red flames back in my mind. Insane asshole! I don’t take shit from lunatics. The Time Traveler reads my mind.
“I’m from the past and the future. I see through you, into you. I will do you every harm.”
And I know he will. Without hesitation or regret but with a slight smile and considerable skill.
I force down my anger. Sit across from him. Shiver.
He starts. “Space and time travel are not about travel at all. It’s about standing still. Stillness is the Heart of Darkness. To be still is to be contrary to the nature of space and time which are forever in motion. To stand still is to step outside of time and space and have them both available to you. At the speed of thought.
So teaches Sun Lun, an undistinguished philosophy professor, who lives in Innsbruck, Austria, and teaches in Rome and St. Petersburg, Russia. Today. Right now.”
A search on my phone confirms that such a professor does exist. And has part-time teaching appointments in The University of Rome and in the St. Petersburg College of Philosophy.
“And is he right? Did you stand still to travel back and forward in time?”
“Space travel and time travel do not necessarily require mechanical and electronic contraptions. They do require that one have the ability to make the mind stand still. The body will follow. The Traveler must have a clear destination in mind. The trip will be like stepping outside of time and space and stepping back in again at your destination. Instant. Timeless. Simple.”
Damn! My bra itches burns across my back and under my breast. My panties chafe and rub me raw. Even while I’m not moving. “Excuse me alI. I have a wardrobe malfunction.” I flee the table to the decrepit, decaying restroom, remove the offending garments. Stuff them in a non-plastic zip-lock lunch bag. Jam the bag back into my purse. Race back to my interview.
“Sorry. An emergency. I… do you have a name, Time Traveler?”
“Professor Lun has exhausted his last twenty years perfecting his process.”
“What is this process? Can you demonstrate?”
“At the stone-heart stilled beat of this journey generator is a simple chant. A six-year-old child could master in five minutes.”
“Please show us—”
“The mantra rewires the brain to generate a counter frequency—”
“Time Traveler the proof is in the pudding.”
“No. The proof is the eating of the pudding. In four hours, one could learn the entire travel program, take two test runs with a trainer and solo. Maddingly simple. An irresistible temptation. A diabolical disease. A worldwide epidemic.”
“I don’t understand. Why describe it as a disease or epidemic?”
There is a nearby rustling, mewling sound that grates on my nerves.
“Every trip outside of time and space unsettles, deforms, mutilates time and space. The world becomes an unreliable place. All life, no, all existence, is threatened.”
“I don’t get it. You time traveled here, right? I mean, why do that if it’s such an existential danger—”
The rustling is louder, coming from my jerking, swaying purse.
“What the fuck?”
I stand. Dump my purse out on the table.
My underwear is alive – lacy, red flesh twisting, turning, struggling to be free of the bag.
I scream. Jump back from the table.
The Time Traveler calmly picks up the bag, drops it on the floor. Pounds it with his thick boot until the whimpering and screeching stops.
“Anomalies like that DNA transfusion occur with increasing frequency wherever time travel occurs.”
I wrap my arms around me unable to stop shaking.
“Jesus Christ! My God.”
The Time Traveler is looking into the camera.
“Our last hope is to destroy Dr. Lun and all his work today. This very moment. If you value existence, act decisively and immediately.”
He’s soliciting murder. I grab my phone from the table. I kill the live feed. Too late. His murder message has gone out to my manic millions
The Traveler dissolves, implodes, laughs himself out of existence.
Within the hour, mobs attack Professor Lun’s home in Innsbruck. Setting it afire, burning the professor to death. Other groups attack the arsonist crowds in vain attempts to save the professor and his incredible technology.
Digital trolls, gangsters, true believers, non-believers, and hackers fight on and off-line battles to destroy or save the professor’s research.
The Time Traveler’s last words to me were, “If, if your society slides, glides from prose, from prosaic prose, to the pestilence of poetry, poverty-stricken poetry – we are doomed, doomed, destroyed.”
I rock, rock, rock
from side to side
in this dismal dive.
held to my sorrowful breasts.
My ninety-day dead
lover revived in
top hat and vest.
Frederick K Foote
Image – Pixabay.com