“There was a time I was driving down Tatum Blvd, from Cactus to Camelback Road in the North Scottsdale/Phoenix.
It had just rained.
Jackie had just let me know she was moving out of tow, back to Phoenix.
I was sad.
I cannot say I was heartbr0ken any longer, as my heart had been broken so many times I had been getting more numb as I grew older.
But I had noticed something.
It was as if my emotions were externalized.
That in this rain.
I’d remembered times with Rachel as I drove towards Camelback.
And times with Jackie.
And reflected on the other women I’d been with romantically.
Kena. Lisa. Amy. Donna. The list goes on.
It was in that moment, a part of me was wanting to disappear, another part of me was wanting to forget, but there was another part of me that wanted to find a way to rewind my life to parts of these relationships, and relive them.
With one exception.
Be in the moment.
You see, I had never really been.
I’d been so busy trying to prove myself to the world, and to myself, I felt so incredibly insecure with who I was, and had thrown myself into working and business only to mete with mild success and a host of stress related health issues by the time I turned 33, that I’d started giving up on life.
In fact. When I feigned suicidal intentions to get out of the US Army in 2003 via a sure fire honorable discharge when everything else had failed, it was easy to vividly imagine actually wanted to commit suicide when I visited the Psychologist. I’d prepped myself and convinced myself I was suicidal before visiting him. It was easily to mentally revisit the times in my past with my ex wives were I sincerely considered it.
So when I looked in the mirror, and put on my best sad face, shifting my mind to a time where I could feel the sorrow of the loss of my ex wives, the desire to commit suicide reeked from me. Sometimes I would plan events out that seemed aligned with those previous suicidal thoughts which I would intentionally do around a commanding officer – particularly one who I knew would report it to my CO and the Psychologist I was reporting it to, which ultimately, resulted in an ejection from the military faster than anyone who was slated to get out.
With a Narcisstic Personality Disorder. Or abbreviated, NPD for short.
Now I’d chuckled – for years, at that psychological disorder code.
As Narcissism is defined as self-loving, self-admiring, self-absorbed, self-obsessed, conceited, self-centered, self-regarding, egotistic.
And I’ll be the first to admit – even then – that the idea of selfless service for the military was possible as long as the military aligned with my interests and desires. And when it didn’t.
For instance, despite making it clear I wanted to travel the world, the US Military had issued orders to serve at Fort Bliss, Texas, a podunk town on the edge of a border I’d crossed at least 50 times in my life, I was fed up.
There was more – much more that had led to my immediate dissatisfaction with the US military as I perceived it.
I’d joined the military to see the world. To get laid by exotic women around the world. To receive an education. But most of all, to actually commit to something when I knew full well I had a difficult time with commitment.
And oddly enough. The military delivered, and did precisely what it needed to do for me to give myself everything I’d wanted on my own.
After joining, I obtained two degrees, a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. I’ve seen 35 countries since then. And not long after, I met Rachel and Jackie. My soulmates.
And as for commitment. I suppose the military taught me – whether intentional or not – to believe in myself.
You see – they’d diagnosed me appropriately.
There’s some things about the world around me I’ll never figure out. And I have come to be fine with that.
And that is. Do I have free will? Or am I just a puppet on strings?
Bill. you asked how did I learn about Time Travel to begin with?
I started remembering.
Being shot in the head in boot camp at Fort Knox during a live fire event. Being shot in the head by the DC sniper outside of Fort Meade, Maryland. Being blown up in my Lexus in North Carolina.
As I started experiencing Deja Vu events more and more frequently. Questioning where emotions come from, why, where memories come from and are stored and why, and questioning the efforts this world goes to protect us from ourselves – I stopped questioning the validity of the memories. I started noodling on how to change the relationship I had with the world from that of being it’s child to one of equality.
I’m not entirely convinced anyone has had the courage to do what I’ve done, and being sincere, I’m not 100% convinced that what protected me from myself wasn’t me.
Now I choose to believe it’s something outside of me. For the simple reason that I have seen plenty of evidence of infinite possibilities. Whether that’s God, or two women named Rachel and Jackie who’ve taken control of the TARDIS who I imagined leaving on the 18th hole not realizing imagination could be someone else’s reality.
I choose to believe it’s not me. Because logically, that makes more sense than believing it’s all me. “
Bill’d caught me alone, he’d come directly home from work that day as he wanted to chat in private about the situation.
“So why do you think you’re in my future?,” he said.
“Patterns. If you pay attention to natural patterns, everything recycles. Trees create seeds which have a tendency to wither and die, and invariably feed the seeds to become trees. Humans tend to go through the same process, but i noticed a big difference between humans and the natural world – humans recycle ideas. Those ideas give birth to new choices and – new personalities – new historical figures. And the Matrix is about the collective mind of humans discovering nature’s cycles and fears of being a part of that system.
But if you keep following those patterns – where they merge – humans and the natural world. You see evidence of this convergence in the ideas of the planet – fiction. Super mutants. Superheroes. Gods. World leaders. Wealthy Business owners. Etc. I’ve found evidence the time war and war in heaven was real, a war for the collective mind – nature versus nurture, which humans lost time and again until I chose to rise above it all and take ownership of my destiny and quit waiting for it to be master planned for me, as that time would never come.,” I said.
“YES, I suspected that for a while now, and that’s ok,” I said to the question Bill was thinking.
Spencer walked in with Pam, and then the others followed in.
All were in Starfleet Uniforms.
“Aww Spencer, I am imagining you look mighty cute in that uniform,” I said.
“Just so you know, I’m not really into this,” he said.
Kevin strolled in, and was grinning ear to ear.
“Is everyone ready to do this?,” he said.
“What’s the date?,” I asked.
“June 26th, 2009,” Jeff said.
“Oh that’s funny,” I said, “you told me you were going camping?”
“We did,” Pam said.
“Well. That’s the opening weekend of Transformers 2. I had plans to go out with Bill to go see the movie with him, and bailed out on him at the last minute, I’d been hung the fuck over from too much cocaine and crown the night before,” I said.
“So you’re hallucinating,” Gina said.
“No, Gina,” I said with a tone of animosity, “my perception of reality and yours are disjointed. I’m seeing different things than you are.”
I could feel both her and Spencer saying ‘hallucinating’ without words.
“Enough. I’ve detached from everyone this weekend anyways. Shall we go to 2409?,” I said.
The door closed.
But before I could flip any switches, the TARDIS leapt to life, knocking everyone off their feet.
It was unusual. It was harsher than your typical takeoff.
The lights dimmed, and as I tried messing with the console, everyone else jumped on chairs.
“My gravity wells aren’t working!,” Kevin yelled.
“Mine either, ” said Jeff, “Roz?”
“Nope,” she said.
“There’s a failsafe. Seatbelts. Under each seat’s a button, just press it firmly,” I said.
The TARDIS rocked back and forth, knocking Jeff off his seat, he crawled back up to it. I’d been holding on to handles I’d installed on the console which let me ride this out standing up.
Each pressed the buttons, as snapping could be heard and seat belts pushed up through the seams.
“You all good?,” I yelled, but no one responded.
They were all looking up.
What I saw wasn’t fully expected, as the TARDIS had already left Earth’s atmosphere, and while we didn’t feel the tumbling motion, we could see the Earth spinning around as the TARDIS appeared to be tumbling end over end.
“Stabilize,” I yelled, “What’s wrong with you, Rachel?”
“Shit,” I yelled. “The AI’s stripped. Gone. We’re on factory mode.”
“What’s that mean?,” someone yelled, the noise was growing unnaturally loud outside.
“It means we’re passenger and the TARDIS has selected our destination,” I said.
The tumbling stabilized, and the noise outside sounded like a strong breeze but no longer like a hurricane as the Earth grew smaller in the distance.
“Did you know it was this weekend that Stephen Hawking invited time travelers to a party he hosted this weekend?,” I said, hoping to ease the palpable anxiety.
Pam looked confused.
“Who’s Stephen Hawking?” She said.
“A scientist,” Bill said.
“Only one of the brightest since Einstein,” Kevin added.
“I think I know what’s happening,” I said.
“Um. is it my imagination or ..,” Spencer said and then loudly added “IS THE SUN GETTING LARGER?”
“Oh jeesus, “ said Pam,
“That’s not good. That’s not good,” Gina said.
“Hey, ya’all, “ I yelled. We went into a black hole just recently. “Keep calm! Please!”
“You’re crazy, this thing isn’t going to survive going into the damn sun, it’s a million degrees in there!,” Spencer said.
“Spence. I need you to trust me,” I said.
Pam and Gina were looking at eachother. “Uh uh, no way, turn this thing around.”
The TARDIS flew closer. Spencer and Pam began sweating. “It’s getting hotter in here”
But I was surprised at something. The TARDIS had decelerated.
“Ok. Can I explain something about how the universe was formed?,” I said.
“Not if it means we’re going to plunge into the sun,” Pam said.
Fuck. How do I explain this.
“Pam. You’re in, in a literal sense, in my mind. And while I can, to a certain extent, protect you from temperatures and pressures of the sun, black holes, and just about anything, the ONLY thing that makes time travel possible and me to communicate with you like this is because you’re participating actively within my imagination,” I said.
“Uh no, Bri, God you are not,” Spencer said. Gina nodded her head violently in agreement.
“Spencer, when your father took you down the street in a car the first time, did you know how to drive?,” I said.
“Of course not, that’s ludicrous,” he said.
“This isn’t any different. The vehicle – as an extension of my mind – participates in the universe and I have gotten quite accustomed to the rules and laws of the universe and known how to keep you safe,” I said.
I could see them mulling it over.
“Look, all I am saying is – trust me as a driver of a vehicle you’re not fully understanding like a child in a big car for the first time, and nothing more if you have to, close your eyes if you have to, I got you this far, the TARDIS is clearly waiting for your agreement before proceeding, so when you’re ready, I can let it resume?,” I said.
“First can you tell us where you think it’s taking us?,” Gina said.
I smiled, and my avatar carried that smile well, “To the man known as Stephen Hawking. We’re going to bring the party he wanted to him, and if it’s ok with you, we’re going to invite him to the 25th century.”
“There’s no ramps in here for him,” he said, as if to insinuate there should have been.
I knew then there was more going on with Spencer than he’d let on.
“Nope. he’s going to have to stick by the console, which will serve him fine,” I said.
“Fine then,” Spencer said.
“I’m closing my eyes,” Gina said.
The TARDIS resumed.
And within a few moments, the TARDIS slid into the largest black hole existence has ever known.
And yes, to those wondering, it was Stephen Hawking who commandeered the TARDIS – and that’s the reason for the bumpy ride.