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time travel

Time (part 12)

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Other me got up and began walking beside me.

“What where you going to do if I hadn’t shown up,” I asked her.

“I was just going to stay at the theater all day and night and then go have a meal at Denny’s at around 3:00 a.m. Then I was going to head back around sunrise,” she said.

“Well, for some reason doing that doesn’t end well,” I said.

“Right,” she said.

“We could just go back.”

“Together,” she asked.

“No, then there would be two of us. I mean you go back to 2013 and I’ll go back to 2014.”

“Yeah, I guess so,” she said.

“I mean, I think it’s probably the best idea don’t you? God only knows what happens to you.”

“Yeah,” she said.

“Is there something wrong,” I asked.

“Look, let me ask you this she said, what do you think of Tom?”

“I think…I mean he seems nice.”

“Really?”

“Well, he seemed a little standoffish…,” I began carefully. “But that’s probably because he didn’t get to know me …”

“I’m afraid you …I mean we just traded one abusive relationship for another.”

“Yeah, well he didn’t seem so thrilled when he found out we were together,” I admitted.

“Yeah, well I think that he was only ever with me in the first place because he was so grateful for my saving his job. He rewarded me with his willingness to be my boyfriend,” she said making air quotes.

“He’s never hit you has he?”

“No, he’s just really cold. I always feel like I’m in trouble. “

“Well, if we I mean one of us could break up with him.”

“Yeah, then no more time machine.”

“Right,” I said.

“Look, I think we could both stand to meditate a little bit and since the theater is out I wanna show you a places that’s really pretty cash as the kids say now-a-days,” she said.

We got on the bus and headed to the heart of Beverly Hills. We headed down Bedford Dr. to the basement of a small office building. “Sensory Anticipation Center.” the sign on the door said. We entered the office and other me asked for two tanks. The beautiful blond receptionist told us she had one appointment at 2:00 and another at 2:30 p.m. We reserved them and then we sat down in a dark waiting room that was surrounded by glow in the dark fish tanks.

“Where are we?” I asked.

“Remember when we were twenty five and we floated in that sensory deprivation tank?”

“Yeah, that was frustrating, I mean we couldn’t really relax enough to enjoy it.”

“Yeah, well the idea there was to put you in a place where you are unaware of your physical body and can get in touch with your inner thoughts,” she said.

“I remember. If you remember I remember, remember?”

She laughed and went on.

“Well about ten years ago they perfected the tanks and more people started using them. Well, pot use and floating go hand in hand and at first the pot growers association was thrilled at all the business they were getting. Float tank places sold brownies, even. After a while though, people began having epiphanies, they started becoming less materialistic. This scared advertisers and so they came up with these new tanks, you’ll love it trust me.

“Shelly,” the receptionist called.

She jumped up and told me she’d see me in two hours in the decompression room. I sat gazing at the fish, they were quit hypnotic and colorful, and they were also robotic.

The receptionist called my name and led me down a hall to a small room with what looked like a standard issue sensory deprivation tank. I showered and got in. for a moment everything was silent and dark.

Suddenly, there were stars everywhere and I began to have the sensation of floating forward though space. A tall handsome man was hovering over me. I felt myself being pulled upwards towards him and following him at an astounding rate of speed as the stars spun around us.

Waltz music began to play and we were dancing together in an opulent ballroom surrounded by beautiful revelers. I was no longer naked, but wearing a ball gown. He took me by the hand and pulled me out of the room and we ran down the street to a parked sports car. We got into the car and drove fast as beautiful scenery dashed passed us. The car stopped and he started floating through the stars again.

Suddenly, the sky turned pink and colorful cakes and candies began to float by. They looked close enough to eat and I tried, but they pulled away. The images turned to 3-D images of bottles of high end alcohol. The bottles spun very slowly. The stars returned and spun at an astounding rate until I felt dizzy. The darkness returned and again I floated there for a moment. I felt anxious I wanted the images back. Soft music played and the lights came up.

I climbed out of the tank, showered and headed towards the decompression room. Several people sat drinking tea and thumbing through magazines, but other me wasn’t one of them. I noticed a small local paper on the coffee table. I sat down and looked at the story.

Three Buildings in North Hollywood to be demolished today, the headline read. “122, 126 and 128 Van Nuys Blvd will be demolished with dynamite at 6:00 p.m. today. The city of north Hollywood elected to demolish the eyesores which have been abandon and uninhabitable for the last five years,” the article read.

I bolted up. My building was going to be demolished in two hour and so was the time machine. Other me must have seen it and run.

I went outside and looked for a taxi, but I didn’t see one. I jumped on the bus and headed back to NOHO. I wondered how I was ever going to make it up the stairs past a demolition crew; either one of me.

When I got there, there were cops and people everywhere. There were a couple of street vendors selling hot dogs and popcorn and souvenir construction hats. Two cops stood talking to a construction worker who appeared to be giving a statement. He looked up at me and pointed. They all walked over to me.

“That’s definitely her.” I heard one of them say. I turned to run, but they grabbed me. They took me to their car.

“What were you trying to do in there, ma’am?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I said.

“Ma’am two people saw you run into the building and up the stairs.”

“When?”

“An hour ago,” the cop said.

“I was on the bus an hour ago and I can prove it,” I said. I showed him my bus transfer. He wrote out a report and let me go.

After another hour the cops determined the building was secured. I watched helplessly as the buildings crumbled to the ground and everyone cheered.

I realized I was stuck in the future.

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.

Time (part 8)

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I took the card from Tom. On the front of the card was a picture of a hundred or so lifesavers. When I opened it it said “Happy Birthday to my love and my lifesaver. Love, Tom.”

“Maybe you saved my life, “he said as if he were trying to explain the relationship to himself.

“Maybe,” I said. Oh, wow I really did do a reading for Tamera Kelly.”

“Really,” Tom said leaning in over my shoulder to get a look at the blog.

Well, I call her Kamera Felly on my blog, but I noticed we had become Facebook friends and what I wrote here describes her physically.”

I sped-read through a few more blog post. It was full of my usual sarcastic observations about my clients. There were only about twenty posts since 2010, it had only been an outlet for my most frustrating emotions.

While I read my old blog Tom found my day planner in my desk. It occurred to me that I should feel invaded or offended or something, but the truth is I didn’t. It was like he was looking at a stranger’s planner. I didn’t know any more about what was in it than he did.

“Do you have your own shorthand or something,” Tom asked.

“What do you mean?”

He handed me the planner and I looked at the day’s agenda.

“T’s feed turt get wi and crack,” it said.

“Well I would guess that I need water and crackers for something.”

“Did you check your Facebook page?”

I went to Facebook and looked, but I did not see any events coming up. I checked for friends events, but there were none that day.

“Let’s check your Facebook,” I said may be they’ll be a clue or two there.

He reluctantly logged on and we looked at his page. His profile picture was of him holding a turtle. There was a picture of the two of us stand in front of the Staples Center in his albums. Other than that there were no pictures of me.

We scrolled down and found that he was going to North Carolina for a few days for work. Most of his post were links to music he liked and a few random articles. He scrolled back several months, but there weren’t really any clues to where I might be. He slowed his pace when he came to a post that said January 11, 2012 became friends with Kelly Peirce.

“Go to Tom’s to feed Turtle, pick up wine and crackers.” I said finally able to understand my note.

“Do me a favor,” I continued, “look to see if we have any mutual friends. There were several one was my neighbor Gina, another was a guy named Frank Peppers who neither of us knew and then there was Katrina Fuller.

“Do you actually know Katrina Fuller,” I asked.

“It sounds vaguely familiar.”

I clicked on Tom’s private messages.

“Hey, what are you doing? He said.

“I wanna see one thing.”

I scrolled though his messages until I got to one from Katrina.

“Why settle for ramen when you could have steak…just sayin….”.

I thought I saw a small smile play on Tom’s lips. I felt jealous, Katrina was pretty.

There was only one other brief exchange in which they discussed a movie they’d both liked.

“Where do you know her from,” I asked.

“Look, Kelly I don’t know what happens in the future, or I mean what happened in the past or I mean, I mean, it’s not like I can answer for my actions in this case and it’s not like we are really together.”

“No, it’s not that. That woman had been emailing me repeatedly asking me to work at a party, I never mailed her back and I don’t know why.

“I seem to remember her having something to do with work, like I trained her on some software, or something. Look, I hate to say it, but it sounds like you might be at my house feeding my turtle, maybe we should look for you there,” Tom suggested.

I grabbed a hundred dollars out of my old cookie jar stash and we took a cab back to Tom’s place. We were relived to find his key worked. We entered and found the turtle tank in the kitchen. He had two small bowls that were already full of food and water.

“Goddamit,” Tom said. “You’ve already been here.

“Wait there’s a note,” I said.

“Hon, I went to 2040 to sell some antiques at Luther’s. Be back tomorrow.”

“Is that your handwriting,” Tom asked.

“Yes.” I said.

“Maybe you’re lost in the future.”

“In 2040?”

“Maybe,: he said.

“It makes sense, I mean I didn’t have a lot of close friends except for apparently, you it only stands to reason that you wouldn’t report me missing considering the time machine and everything.”

“Right.”

“Tom, I’m gonna go to 2040 and look for myself. I ‘m gonna go to the ATM first. I think about $500 should do for a couple of days. Do you want to come with?”

“No, I’m good.” Tom said.

“Are you going back to 2014,” I asked suspicious that he might try to go back a few months and “fix” things.

“Yes, but you go first.”

After a sojourn to the ATM and a trip to the 7- 11 for sundries I packed a small bag with the few clothes I had at Tom’s and got in the machine.

“It’s already set to June 10th, 2040,” I told Tom as I entered the machine.

“Have fun.: He shut the door and I pushed the button.

Time (Part 7)

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“So what happens now?” Younger me asked.

“What do you mean,” Tom said. “You’ll just have to go back to 2012.”

“Maybe she’s here for a reason,” I interjected.

“Maybe we’ve completely screwed up the entire world,” Tom said beginning to get angry. I wondered if his anger didn’t have something to do with me. I mean, he was out of my league.

“Did you notice the entire world being screwed up when you went out just now,” I asked.

“Not any more than usual.”

“Did you go to my old apartment, was I there?,: I asked.

“I went there, I knocked on the door, but you didn’t answer. I asked a neighbor if they knew you and she said she thought you had moved a while ago.”

“This is awful I could be lost somewhere in the last five years,” said younger me.

“Look, I really do think the only way we can ever solve this is to go back to the day I disappeared,” I said.

“What if you were murdered,” Tom suggested.

“I wasn’t murdered because, I’m alive in 2015,” younger me said.

“That’s not necessarily true,” Tom said. “There could be hundreds of you running around all with a different scenario.”

“My head is swimming,” I said sitting down and beginning to cry.

Younger me came to my side and patted me on the back.

“Okay, let’s go to the date you disappeared” Tom said with a shrug.

There was no way the three of us could fit into the time machine together. Younger me went first, Tom made sure the dials were set to October 7th 2013. There was an awkward silence between the two of us as we waited for the time machine to stop. Tom refused to look at me at all, staring directly at the door. I wondered what would happen in the future to make us a couple. He didn’t even seem to like me very much.

After fifteen minutes Tom got in the machine and I followed fifteen minutes later. I arrived to find Tom crouched silently in the closet. Tom put his finger to his lips and motioned for me to get down. We could all hear someone milling about in the bedroom, but the door was closed so we couldn’t see them. After a while the tenant left and we all took a guess that we were alone in the apartment. We ran for the door and out into the street.

“Where is she,” I asked.

“I have no idea,” Tom said.

We got on the train and headed for downtown to catch the bus to Beverly Hills.

“Tom, were you living in that apartment in 2012,” I asked.

“Yes.”

“Do you think that was you in the bedroom?”

“It could have been. It might have been you as well I mean maybe she, um, you got curious and was walking around the apartment looking for stuff.”

“Here’s what I don’t get, when I traveled to 2009 I went to my apartment and lived my old life for, basically forty eight hours and I was the only one there. So when younger me traveled from 2012 how come she encountered me. It doesn’t make any sense.”

“Whenever I traveled to the past I was always very careful to never change anything, “ Tom said coldly. “I was always afraid if I did that I would mess everything up.”

We passed the rest of the trip in silence. We arrived at out stop and walked a few blocks to my old building. We walked up the stairs and knocked on my door, but I did not answer. I opened the door and we walked inside. I was embarrassed at how messy it was.

We turned on my computer and went into my e mail. The very last message I had written was not there.

“Tom I have something to tell you, “ I began.

He shrugged and listened to me,

“I never was psychic of course and I never believed that I was. I started my business out of economic desperation. I t grew and grew and I got pretty good at it. I moved into this apartment from an absolutely horrific dump that I had been living in. I felt like a phony, I needed an outlet and there was no one I could trust, I only had fair weather friends. I started a secret blog where I wrote what I really thought about my clients and I never showed it to anyone. I said I lived in New York and not LA and I never shared it on any kind of social media, it had very few hits and I used no tags, but really, I should have made it private.” I felt like I was going to cry.

“I had been driving around in an old beater and it died. I went out and bought a used Honda that looked nice on the outside. It broke down a lot and I finally had to have the transmission replaced. I should have bought a new car… I did not.  The mechanic asked me out his name was Steve. We dated for a year. One drunken night I told him about my confessional blog.”

The thing is, Steve was not a nice guy. He was emotionally abusive. He called me an idiot a few times, sometimes he wouldn’t talk to me for days. Eventually he cheated on me. I went on Ripoff Report and gave Transmission Co, his garage, a bad review. He retaliated by going on Rip Off Report with a link to my secret blog. I started getting less and less business. I had to take a customer service job. I was eventually fired and went on unemployment and needed a cheap place to live and that was how I found you.”

“When did this happen,” Tom asked unfazed.

“We met in November of 2010 and broke up towards the end of 2011. I posted my post on January the 5th of 2012 and he posted his a couple of weeks later.”

We went to my old blog and found that it was still  up and active. As I read the posts from 2009 on, Tom looked around my apartment. He looked through my desk drawer and pulled out a large red greeting card envelope and began to read the card inside.

I think you better look at this,” he said.

Time (part 4)

 

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I got up at six and took another shower with the lilac soap. I started to cry not wanting to leave and go back to the tiny room in the shared apartment. I considered staying, but I remembered what Tom had said.

I ran to the train station and jumped on the red line. I made a run for the new apartment. I raced up the stairs and knocked on the door and hid in the stairwell, but no one came to the door.

I tried my key, but it wouldn’t work. I went back to the stairwell and sat there until I heard someone coming. I hid around a corner and saw the woman I’d seen coming out of the shower  yesterday. She was coming upstairs with a small dog. She went into the apartment for a second and came out carrying a bag of garbage and made her way down the stairs again. I ran for the door and was thrilled to find it was unlocked.

I ran into the closet as the dog barked. I pushed aside the large box blocking the door to the room. I pulled on the nob but it was locked, I panicked as I heard the door to the apartment open and footsteps coming to the door. I tried my apartment key in the door and it worked. I closed the door and locked it. I set the dials and pushed the start button. The room shook for a moment and then stopped.

I opened the door and stepped out into Tom’s closet.

“Tom ,” I said. I opened the closet door to find him stark naked and dancing around his bedroom.

He saw me and stopped dead in his tracks.

“I…”I began.

“What the fuck,”  He screamed.

“Tom, I’m sorry what time is it?”

“How did you know my name,” he asked throwing on a pair of jeans.

“Oh my got what day it. Or should I say what year is it?”

“You came in the machine,” he said trepidatiously.

“Yes,” I said relieved that he understood something. “what day is it?”

“It’s October 21, 2014.”

“And you don’t know me?”

“Should I?”

“I’m your roommate, I moved in a couple of days ago.”

“My new roommate is a guy and he isn’t supposed to move in until next week.”

For a moment we just stared at each other. I felt a bit happy, maybe what I had done made everything okay after all, maybe I could just go home to Beverly Hills.

“Can I use your computer?” I asked.

We went into the living room and turned on Tom’s laptop.

We went to Google and before I typed anything in I told him some of my story; that I had been a semi successful psychic to the somewhat well-known going by the name of Bethany Gayle which was a combination of my middle name and my mother’s maiden name. I told him that I had bought a used car and that it was a lemon that was a lemon that was always breaking down. I told him I’d taken the car in to have the transmission worked on. I told him that was where I met Steve, the man who was to eventually ruin my life.

We went to my old company web page and found that it was still there. I breathed a sigh of relief. something must have changed, because before my trip back in time for non-payment. I went to the old company Facebook page and found it still intact. The Twitter page was still there as well.

“Hey, look at something,” Tom said. “Your last Twitter post was October, 4, 2013.”

He went back to Facebook.

“And your last Facebook post was October 5th.”

“Can I look in something in private for one sec…just for one sec?”

“I guess so he said. He went into the kitchen to get something to drink. I attempted to go to my old secret blog, but it had been taken down.

I went to my old e mail and found that the last one I’d sent was on October, 7 2013.

Tom came back into the living room and I told him about the email.

We decided the best thing to do would be to go through each email looking for clues. There were a hundred and fifty of them and it only went back a month.

Most of them were just work orders, people asking for party bookings. From what I would tell I was still doing about three parties a week. We noticed there were about three E mails from a Katrina Faller that I had never responded to they were all just party requests.

“It would have been very unlike me not to respond.” I said.

He laughed and started a Google search under my stage name.

Time (part 3)

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I arrived at the posh apartment building at 8:30 PM. I was greeted by Mr. Peterman who led upstairs to the penthouse. I began setting up my table. My hands shook a little as I pulled out my old purple velvet table cloth. My eyes welled up a bit, I didn’t realized how much I’d missed this. It seemed so silly, I mean it was all a bunch of lies anyway, but as I set out my candles and my tip jar I realized what I missed the most was the respect I got when I did a reading.

I’d never gotten much respect back in the Midwest, they’d taken one look at my pale skin and noticed the tremors in my hands and thought that I was someone to kick. It was the same way in Los Angeles at first, in fact it was worse for the first year, and then I’d started doing readings. After I started getting well know, a rumor had started that my skin was so pale because of the light inside me and my hands shook when the spirits were speaking to me.

Although I always sniggered at the delusional minds of Angelinos, I secretly understood. I had always found reality to be horribly depressing. I wished that I could believe in magic, but I just couldn’t. The people who came up to my table always went away happy, knowing that something good was coming their way, that whatever happened, happened for a reason and that the universe was fundamentally a just place.

I knew what a bunch of hogwash I was selling. I knew that everything happened for a reason and that reason was that people were greedy shits. I knew how dangerous it was to think that everything that happened, just couldn’t be helped. I knew how lazy and complacent that way of thinking could make people. At the same time I wanted the money and I liked the power. Every time I thought of quitting I remembered what it was like to be poor. Every time I felt guilty about lying, I remembered how people treated me when I was honest.

I sat down at the table and the party began. As people came up to me I started to remember details of this particular evening.

There was the guest of honor, a short man who reminded me a little of Dustin Hoffman. He wanted to know if he should start his own business. I had Googled him and I knew that he was a manger of music for a big company. I had remembered that five years ago I told him he should wait another five years before starting his own company and if he did wonderful things would happen. I wanted to give him something to look forward to. This time I told him that he should start the company in one year.

A lady with auburn hair came up to the table and sat down. I greeted her as if we were old friends. I remembered that she had started off by asking if she should buy a beach house and then confessed that she thought her husband was having an affair. I told her that no matter what the universe would provide for her. I also told her to get the beach house and put it in her name.  A year later she’d found a receipt for the Beverly Hilton in her husband’s wallet for December 2nd when he said he had to work late. She confronted him and he left her and she was living in that beach house. This time I was more specific.

Before she could even ask about the beach house I said, “I see a woman with blond hair and green eyes, she and your husband are at a play. I’m getting 12’s and twos after that.”

She turned white when I said it. She grabbed a drink off a passing tray and began to cry. I told her that amazing things were going to happen to her as a result of this tragedy.

The next man I talked to was a producer of reality television shows. I told him that I was picking up on a vibe that his next big star was a soon to be divorced trophy wife who was somewhere in the room with us.

I headed home in the cab with $600 in my purse. The next day I sat in my old apartment all day. As far as I knew all I had to do was simply not buy the car.

While I waited I watched TV and surfed the net remember all the various celebrity scandals that had happened five years ago. I checked e mail and was glad to see that I didn’t have anything that need attention that day. I hesitantly went to my old blog. There it was, Confessions of a Fake Psychic. The only picture was that of a pink hat that I found at the bus stop the first night I did readings. I kept my identity and the identity of my clients well hidden, it was the only place I could really say what I thought and it was my way of reminding myself who I really was. I read a couple of the entries. I hadn’t even written THAT entry yet. I looked at the blog hits, it was pretty ironic how I hadn’t even gotten twenty hits a day. I thought about erasing everything, but I thought better of it. If I didn’t buy the car it wouldn’t break down. If the car didn’t break down there would have no reason to go to a mechanic, if I hadn’t gone to the mechanics, I wouldn’t have met Steve.

I lay in bed that night waiting for the 6:00 AM alarm to go off. I wondered how I checked to make sure I had the key to my future apartment at least 30 times. I hoped the key would work, I tried to make a plan if it didn’t.

Time (part one)

 

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I felt hopeful when we saw the ad for a roommate in North Hollywood. My unemployment check did not begin to cover the rent on my Beverly Hills studio and what little I made from audience work and blogging just barely made ends meet.

I’d only met Tom, my new roommate briefly. Tom’s last roommate had run off without paying the rent and he was desperate to find someone new. I noticed that he was kind of nice looking, tall with dark hair and around thirty five. I’d felt a bit inferior being short, a little plump and pimply with hair that refused to do what I told it to. He told me he was in the business of selling travel packages and I told him I was unemployed . I decided not to mention my former career until I got to know him better.

I drove the rental car that was loaded with all my worldly possessions to the small two bedroom on Van Nuys Blvd. A few days after I moved in Tom went to Arizona on business   and I had some time to set up my room, unpack my things and snoop though Tom’s room.

At first, I was a bit disappointed. There was a plain storage bed with a non-descript blue bedspread flanked by two night stands. I snooped through the draws and found tee-shirts and blue jeans, a few Playboy’s, condoms and a copy of On the Road.  There were pictures of family and a movie poster or two on the walls. In the drawer there was a picture of Tom shaking hands with a young Andy Kaufman and a poster from a Dali exhibit in San Francisco.

I entered the closet only to find, a couple of nice suits and many button up shirts and Dockers.  I moved an empty suitcase out of my way and that’s when I saw a door with a golden nob. I opened it and found myself in a small booth. On the wall of the booth were three dials one said day month and year, another said time of day and another still said location.

I quickly shut the door and replaced the suitcase. I went back to my room and thought about what I just saw. It couldn’t be. It had to be some sort of joke. Maybe the apartment had been used in a movie.

The next day I went to a French fry tasting focus group. I got back, with $75.00 in my pocket, feeling very full and wanting a nap. I realized Tom would be home in the morning, so I snuck into the room for one more look.

I opened the closet door and went towards the booth. I heard the apartment door open and shut outside.  I started for the door of Tom’s room, but it was too late. He opened the closet door and saw me.

“Tracy,” he said confused.

“Hi, I just…I um …I … I mean um…I want you.” I said.

“What?”

“I want you…I was just I was going to you know sleep in here be here when you came back.”

“It’s one o’clock in the afternoon and I wasn’t coming home til tomorrow morning; you were going to stay in here the whole time?” He eyed me suspiciously as he came towards me.

“What were you really doing in here, looking for money,”

“No, I swear,” I said.

“You want me? Okay, fine…Let’s go.”

“Well, I . I mean um. Okay um…let me just jump in the shower I guess.”

“Oh relax, he said. You obviously know about it.”

“What is it? I mean it looks like a replica of a movie time machine.”

“It is a time machine…a real one.”

“Oh come on.”

“No, really. I found It here when I moved in.”

“How does it work? I mean if you have to be in the booth to use it, how do you get back?”

“That’s the frustrating part. You see it has limited abilities. I can travel back in time but the place lever is stuck in Los Angeles and not only Los Angeles, but this particular apartment which was built in 1976 .

“You can’t go back further than 76,” I said disappointed that I would never meet my uncle Marty.

I can’t travel anywhere on a plane or rent a car because my driver’s license was issued in 2014. I’m afraid to spend too much money for fear of calling attention to myself.”

“Cant you just go back a couple of days. I mean you could win the lottery. In fact today is Friday, the lottery is on tonight. I said hopefully.

“Look, Tracy I know it probably sounds a little silly, but I don’t want to mess with fate.”

“What makes you believe in fate?”

“The same thing that makes me believe in time machines.”

“oh.”

“You can try it if you’d like. I would just ask that you tell no one and that you don’t do anything that could affect history too much.”

I went into the kitchen and made myself a cup of tea. I could go back to any time in my life after the age of one. The possibilities seemed endless. I decided to go back five years when I had made a terrible decision to buy a used car that was a total lemon and that I had totaled in an accident.

Tom set the dials while I watched. He exited the tiny room and closed the door. I pushed the start button and the room started to vibrate. There was a loud screeching noise and then, nothing.

“Tom, I think it stopped,” I said.

There was no response. I stepped out of the tiny room into the closet. This time it was packed full of women’s clothing. I crept to the door and opened it to find a very pink bedroom decorated with elaborate pillows and a Johnny Depp poster.

I walked out the door and started towards the living room. I was stopped when I felt a pair of eyes on me. I turned to see a red-headed woman wrapped in a towel staring at me in horror.

“ I….I said I’m sorry.”

I ran out the door and into the street toward the train station.

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