Time (part 11)

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“Kelly,” I said.

The other me turned around and looked at me dropping her popcorn when she saw me.

“I…..I’m ….”she gasped.

“It’s okay. Let’s just go somewhere and talk,” I said.

We exited the theater silently and began walking down the street. I noticed that she was shaking life a leaf.

“Is there a coffee shop around here, “I asked.

“We should just go to the park” she said. “We shouldn’t be anywhere where there might be cameras.”

We walked a few blocks to a small park and sat down on what I’m pretty sure was not real grass.

“What year are you from,” She asked me.

“October, 13th 2013 sort of…” I began.

“That’s where I came from,” she said.

“I know I originally came from 2014…it’s….I. I was in 2014 when I discovered the time machine. My …our life was a mess so I went back to 2008 to change a big mistake we made.”

“What mistake,” she asked.

I proceeded to tell the story of how we had the successful psychic business and the secret blog. About how we met a boy who was an auto mechanic, who was mean to us and eventually dumped us and how he outed us as being a fraud on the internet and we ended up losing the business and ended up as Tom’s roommate rather than his girlfriend. I told her that I went back to the past and simply sat in our apartment and did nothing on the day I had bought the car that would lead to meeting the mean boyfriend, figuring that if I never bought the car I (we) never would have met him.

“When I got back to 2014 I went to check my Facebook to see if what I did had changed things. I saw that I still had my ..our business but I noticed that the last post was on October 13th 2013 and so was my last email and my last tweet.”

“That’s weird” she said.

Tom and I went back to October 13th 2013. We found out we were boyfriend and girlfriend and we found your note saying what year you were traveling to and the name of the shop you were going to. I followed you.”

We sat in silence for a moment as she tried to comprehend everything.

“I guess I should thank you,” she began. I’ve always traveled to the future in the time machine. At first Tom was against my selling things, but I thought it made for a good retirement plan. I mean, we’re going to need it being in business for ourselves.”

“Wouldn’t it have been easier to just go forward a day, buy a paper, get the lottery numbers and win the lottery? That’s what I ….I mean or we…” I began.

“I know, exactly. I always wanted to do that but Tom wouldn’t let me. He was very paranoid about that kind of thing.”

“How did you …did we get together with Tom?”

“He came to a party where I was doing readings. He said he wasn’t doing well at work and needed to make a sale or he would get fired. I told him that I sensed a company in the valley needed a new camera equipment provider. Actually, I knew they needed one because I did a reading for a man from that company. He called them and made the sale. I saved his job.”

“I see. “ I said. “Well, if you’re selling things, isn’t he afraid that you will accidently pass money from the future,” I asked.

“I haven’t been saving money. Just buyer points.” She said.

“I noticed something about that on my Subway receipt. What are those?”

“It’s a long story, but from what I have learned since I’ve been here it’s part of a new world order. In 2014 Sony was hacked by North Korea because of the movie The Interview…” she began.

“That was on the news the day I found the time machine,” I interjected.

“Well once the movie was actually released it was a huge hit. It broke all the records. North Korea got even angrier and began hacking into all kinds of American businesses. At around the same time there was a terrorist attack on a French satirical magazine by radical Muslims. Pretty soon there were more attacks on satirist and writers all over the free world by both Muslim and North Korea and it went on for ten years. They would hack attack us and we would bomb them. They eventually formed an alliance. ‘The War Against Humor’ the media called it. For a couple of years it looked like we might go to actual war. President Clinton attempted to impose more sanctions.”

“Hillary?” I asked.

Yes, well, congress blocked the sanctions and she lost popularity because of her inability to stop what was happening. Sarah Palin got into office and we send troops into Korea as well as several Middle Eastern countries and this brought about worldwide economic devastation. That was when the UN had a summit and decided that countries should work with each other rather than against each other. It was decided that each country would do what it did best. Japan and Israel invent things, things are manufactured in developing nations and most of the Middle East is a prison. It is the job of Americans to consume things and buy things. We now have one world leader that was elected by the UN. They appointed Apple Paltrow in part to appease the Koreans as she is genetically incapable of humor.

“Wow, people didn’t protest?”

“A few did, but the media didn’t really cover it. There’s nothing about it at the library now,” she told me.

“So basically it’s everyone’s job in America to buy things and you get points when you do?

“Yes, you used to be paid for the point in money, but they are phasing that out. Everyone will have their points loaded on to their arm GPS and everyone has to get one by January You can just take your receipts and they put the point on. So I won’t be going any farther into the future than that. I’m saving the points in a drawer at home.”

“Were you planning on quitting social media as of today or something?” I asked. “I mean today in 2013?”

“No” she said.

“Well then, I think for some reason you came to this day and didn’t get back. Is there anything that could have stopped you?”

“I don’t think so, “she said.

“I think we need to find out,” I said getting up.

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Time (part 9)

 

 

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The machine rumbled and stopped; I stepped out cautiously. There was nothing in the closet except two rats who stared up at me after I came out of the machine. I bolted out of the closet and into the bedroom which contained many more rats. I ran to the front door, but there wasn’t one: they building had been abandon. I walked down the stairs avoiding several more rats along the way. I almost tripped over a homeless man on my way out.

The street outside was just coming to life in the early morning hours and a boy skated past me on a hover skate-board. A little old lady walked by me with a small yapping dog in a pink designer bag. I did a double take and realized that the dog was actually a robot. The woman looked familiar as well, she was tall and thin with white hair and a pointy noise.

I walked towards the train station to find it still open and operational. I went to buy a ticket, but discovered that the machine was not accepting cash. I went into a drug store and went to the prepaid credit card rack. The selection was very sparse and there were signs everywhere saying “Micro-chipping deadline January 31 2041.

I loaded the card with $100 and walked back out into the street. The neighborhood had definitely gone way downhill. I wondered if North Hollywood wasn’t the new Downtown, based on the homeless people wandering around the train station. There were many abandon apartments and several homeless shelters lining the street.

I purchased a ticket which I was shocked to see was $10.00. I asked several people on the train platform if they’d ever heard of an antiques store called Luther’s most of them looked at me oddly and shrugged their shoulders. One man told me he could find out he rolled up his sleeve and revealed a small screen on his arm. He gave me an address in Silver Lake.

I got on the train to find almost everyone staring at their arms. I looked around at how the girls were dressed. Business clothes hadn’t changed that much and skanks had taken to wearing halter-tops with skorts and high heels. I couldn’t help but notice that the majority of people looked a lot fatter than they did back in 2014; I’d never felt so thin. The train itself was likely the same one I’d ridden on thirty five years earlier (a few hour ago). It had not aged well, the seats were torn and there was scrub off graffiti on the walls.

I got off at The Sunset and Vermont station and headed up the escalator. Several hover mopeds raced by on the street. A couple of young white men walked by wearing backwards baseball caps and pants down around their ankles. I walked by a pizza shop called Old School Slice, boasting bacon, gluten and sugary sauce on the windows. I found Luther’s in a tiny shop on Sunset. I walked in to find a pretty young woman standing behind the counter wearing a backwards baseball cap, a Taylor Swift tee-shirt and a bored expression.

I looked around the store for a moment. There were several old movie posters including Showgirls, The First Wives Club and The Interview. I looked to see if there were any posters for any of the early 21st century Oscar winners, but I couldn’t find any.

Two soft faced young men wearing backwards baseball caps walked by me. I noticed one of them had a teardrop tattooed on his face.

“What you have to understand is that most of Penshee’s concepts were based on Buscaglia’s early writings, which were fundamentally exercised in pop culture existentialism,” one was saying to the other.

A man of about eighty or so entered the store carrying a large box. He set it on the counter and began to remove Items the girl did not help him.

“Do you know how many copies of we have of A Night in Paris? The girl said tossing it aside.

“What’s this?”

“It’s a Salad Spinner, “The man said trying to sound cheerful.

“You spin meat in here?”

“No People used to make salad out of vegetables instead of meat and candy. It used to be hard to get them all combined.”

“Well I doubt people are gonna wanna put there algae tablets in it.”

“Believe it or not some people still eat vegetables,” the man said somewhat impatiently.

“”A hundred,” she said.

“Okay,”

“Fifty Shades of Grey? Everyone who went to high school listened to this book,” she scoffed.

“That’s signed by the author. I know you can use it you have a very educated clientele around here. Radsters love classic literature. I’m not so old that I don’t know that.”

“I’ll go get Barry,” she said rolling her eyes.

A moment later she returned with a man of about fifty who came out and took a look at the book. There was more negotiating and the old man walked out with $200.

“Hey there Kelly are you still here? See something we can help you with,” Barry said to me.

“Ah no, Well I mean yes I’m not Kelly. I’m her sister Tracy. I’m visiting from Denver. I thought she said she was coming here and I guess I must have missed her.”

“I thought your hair looked different,” He said.

“You don’t happen to know where she might have gone do you, “I asked trying not to sound too anxious.

“I really don’t know. She never says much when she comes in here just sell her stuff and goes. We’re always glad to see her! I don’t know how she does it, but everything is always so well preserved it looks like she bought it yesterday.”

“Oh, she comes in often then I take it? “
“About every two months or so, but she never mentioned having a twin.”

“You don’t have any idea where she might have gone do you?”

“Sorry, I don’t” Barry said.

“Why don’t you just use your GPS. The girl said pointing to her arm.”

“Oh, yeah right duh, I’ll try that,” I said heading into the street.

I walked down the block looking to see if anyone would lend me an arm.