I spent twenty minutes today looking for the keys in my pocket, and now I can’t remember where I was going to go.
CALL NOW FOR THE CHANCE OF A LIFETIME!
ARE YOU OR A LOVED ONE ABOUT TO BE PUT IN A BORING, STERILE RETIREMENT HOME UNTIL THEY DIE?
DON’T DELAY, CALL CHRONOCRUISE NOW AND RETIRE TO ANYWHERE IN THE PAST, OR GO ON A TOUR OF THE MOST FAMOUS MOMENTS IN HUMAN HISTORY FOR THE REST OF YOUR DAYS!
THE WONDERS OF TIME TRAVEL CAN BE YOURS, BUT ONLY FOR A LIMITED TIME!
Today my parents told me and my brother that our grandmother had forgotten who our grandfather was while they were in a movie theater, and began panicking, and did not recognize him until after he’d managed to drive her home.
WELCOME ABOARD THE CHRONOCRUISE FLAGSHIP, PLEASE FOLLOW THE SIGNS TO THE AUDITORIUM FOR YOUR ORIENTATION!
One of my coworkers brought his dog to work every day. It was the middle of summer and the inside of the warehouse was over a hundred degrees. The smoke from the melting wire in the solar panel I was modifying made me cough and I wiped the sweat from my forehead.
“Dogs must experience time very differently.”
“Well yeah, because they don’t notice it at all.”
“Obviously I don’t mean consciously.”
“How do you mean then?”
“Well, their primary sense is their crazy sense of smell, right? That means they’re primarily experiencing where things used to be, or what they are giving off, nothing’s immediate with scent.”
Jack looked up at us with his guilty brown eyes from where he was curled up on the floor.
“Uh-oh, Jack knows we’re talking about him.”
NOW ARRIVING AT OUR NEXT DESTINATION! IF YOU LOOK OUT THE WINDOW OR ON YOUR SCREENS, YOU’LL WITNESS THE FINAL STONE BEING PLACED ON TOP OF THE FIRST OF THE PYRAMIDS OF GIZA!
I gaze out the window and see dozens of frail men collapse as their work is finally completed, only to be whipped for their weakness. They scramble to their feet, no time to reflect on what they have accomplished. They have more pyramids to build, after all.
My grandfather finally admitted he needed help taking care of my grandmother and had bought a house near ours, and so I had to drive with them across a state and a half to their new home. My grandmother gazed lazily out the window, watching the trees zoom by faster than she could comprehend them.
“Do you remember when…?”
I could see her struggling to grasp the memory as it fled from her, like smoke between her mind’s fingers.
“No, Grandmommy, I don’t.”
“Neither do I!”
She laughed heartily and continued smiling out the window at the trees.
I’m not quite sure how long I’ve been on this ship. I’m also not sure it matters. I don’t remember much anymore.
When am I?
She hasn’t recognized me the last few times, but at least she’s always been friendly before. She won’t even look at me.
FOR THE NEXT PART OF OUR ORIENTATION, WE’LL BE COVERING PERMANENT RETIREMENT IN THE PAST! IF YOU HAVE A DESTINATION IN MIND TO RETIRE PERMANENTLY TO, YOU CAN REGISTER AT ANY TIME DURING THE CRUISE. YOU’LL BE OUTFITTED WITH NEURAL IMPLANTS THAT WILL PREVENT YOU FROM DISCUSSING THE FUTURE OR FROM MAKING DECISIONS THAT WILL AFFECT THE COURSE OF HISTORY. YOU’LL BE ABLE TO LIVE BUT WON’T BE ABLE TO CHANGE ANYTHING.
The library of Alexandria is burning right before my eyes. History and memory and experience of countless faceless authors turned to smoke and spewed into the night sky. Things we’ll never know we knew, forgotten.
She spent the whole of Christmas Day yelling at us. She couldn’t form sentences anymore, but that didn’t stop her from loudly trying. My dad and grandfather were putting her to bed when I talked to my mother.
“This may seem like a selfish question, but is her disease hereditary?”
“Scientists don’t know yet. Her uncle had it, but there isn’t any history otherwise.”
I went into her bedroom to tell my grandmother goodnight.
“Merry Christmas, Grandmommy.”
How many stops have I been on? How long have I been on this ship? Does time affect me at all anymore? Nothing makes sense anymore. I just want to stop. When do I stop?
“I met an old man in the park today who claimed to be on a cruise of the timestream, and told me of all his travels, and how he was headed to Egypt again. He talked to me for a while. Well, more at me than to me. He seemed like he was just talking to anything that would listen. I think I might write a story about it. What do you think, Grandmommy?”
She was looking up through the branches of the trees in the backyard, and motioned absently to the sky.
“Isn’t it beautiful?”
“Yes, it is.”
DON’T MISS YOUR ONCE IN A LIFETIME CHANCE TO SEE THE PAST! CALL NOW!