Stories

I Knew a Time Traveler Once, and Sometimes

I knew a time traveler once. Still do sometimes, I guess. He had a pretty peculiar policy, he only ever travelled forward to skip a day or two at a time. He said he tried not to do it too often, because a big skip is hard to recover from. You'd have to make new friends, or lie to your old ones, you'd need a new job, etc. But skipping a day or two here and there was usually pretty easy to cover up. He always skipped Thanksgiving, but when I asked why he'd only smile and mumble about a promise to a turkey. Otherwise, he'd skip anytime he was overwhelmed by life. Jumping forward a day or two doesn't really fix your problems, but he said it usually proved that they weren't an immediate threat. If he maintains a life that is flexible enough to let him skip, it's probably flexible enough for him to not panic over his daily anxieties.

One time, when he was pretty drunk, he told me that the skips were happening more often. That he'd skipped through almost 80 days in the previous year. And that by his math, he was over 2 years younger than he should be. I'm not great at guessing ages, but I doubt he was more than a little into his 30's at the time. And he'd mentioned before that he was glad he didn't have the time machine when he was in college, so.. I think he was skipping a lot more than he was ready to admit.

Then one time, he messed something up with a skip, and it really upset him. It was hard to follow, but I think he skipped a day thinking someone was going to dump him, but they didn't, and instead took his disappearance as him ghosting them. I guess he started skipping a lot after that. I didn't really even notice at first. It was usual for him to disappear, but a few months passed before I realized I hadn't seen him around. One morning, almost 8 months after he and I last chatted, he showed up at my door step. He told me that he was done being a participant in "everyday" life, and had a new plan to only be around for sunrises and fireworks. "It's not much of a plan, but it's better than anything else I've come up with".

Every now and then, he checks in on me. It's pretty rare now, and I told him I'm not going to stick in place just so he has someone to chat with when he wants a break. But sometimes he gets a hair up his butt and tracks me down, usually to joke about how old I look, and tell me some of the things he's learned by disconnecting from our usual timeline. I don't know, I don't really get the sense that he's happy, I think he's still looking for something, but at least he's got a goal and a purpose, and it seems to work for him. I bet I won't see him anytime soon with the pandemic in the headlines, he was always talking about time-travel as a scary vector for contamination. But next time I see him, I'm supposed to tell him how the new Star Wars movies turned out.

I Knew a Time Traveler Once, and Sometimes

I knew a time traveler once. Still do sometimes, I guess. He had a pretty peculiar policy, he only ever travelled forward to skip a day or two at a time. He said he tried not to do it too often, because a big skip is hard to recover from. You'd have to make new friends, or lie to your old ones, you'd need a new job, etc. But skipping a day or two here and there was usually pretty easy to cover up. He always skipped Thanksgiving, but when I asked why he'd only smile and mumble about a promise to a turkey. Otherwise, he'd skip anytime he was overwhelmed by life. Jumping forward a day or two doesn't really fix your problems, but he said it usually proved that they weren't an immediate threat. If he maintains a life that is flexible enough to let him skip, it's probably flexible enough for him to not panic over his daily anxieties.

One time, when he was pretty drunk, he told me that the skips were happening more often. That he'd skipped through almost 80 days in the previous year. And that by his math, he was over 2 years younger than he should be. I'm not great at guessing ages, but I doubt he was more than a little into his 30's at the time. And he'd mentioned before that he was glad he didn't have the time machine when he was in college, so.. I think he was skipping a lot more than he was ready to admit.

Then one time, he messed something up with a skip, and it really upset him. It was hard to follow, but I think he skipped a day thinking someone was going to dump him, but they didn't, and instead took his disappearance as him ghosting them. I guess he started skipping a lot after that. I didn't really even notice at first. It was usual for him to disappear, but a few months passed before I realized I hadn't seen him around. One morning, almost 8 months after he and I last chatted, he showed up at my door step. He told me that he was done being a participant in "everyday" life, and had a new plan to only be around for sunrises and fireworks. "It's not much of a plan, but it's better than anything else I've come up with".

Every now and then, he checks in on me. It's pretty rare now, and I told him I'm not going to stick in place just so he has someone to chat with when he wants a break. But sometimes he gets a hair up his butt and tracks me down, usually to joke about how old I look, and tell me some of the things he's learned by disconnecting from our usual timeline. I don't know, I don't really get the sense that he's happy, I think he's still looking for something, but at least he's got a goal and a purpose, and it seems to work for him. I bet I won't see him anytime soon with the pandemic in the headlines, he was always talking about time-travel as a scary vector for contamination. But next time I see him, I'm supposed to tell him how the new Star Wars movies turned out.

I knew a time traveler once. Still do sometimes, I guess. He had a pretty peculiar policy, he only ever travelled forward to skip a day or two at a time. He said he tried not to do it too often, because a big skip is hard to recover from. You'd have to make new friends, or lie to your old ones, you'd need a new job, etc. But skipping a day or two here and there was usually pretty easy to cover up. He always skipped Thanksgiving, but when I asked why he'd only smile and mumble about a promise to a turkey. Otherwise, he'd skip anytime he was overwhelmed by life. Jumping forward a day or two doesn't really fix your problems, but he said it usually proved that they weren't an immediate threat. If he maintains a life that is flexible enough to let him skip, it's probably flexible enough for him to not panic over his daily anxieties.

One time, when he was pretty drunk, he told me that the skips were happening more often. That he'd skipped through almost 80 days in the previous year. And that by his math, he was over 2 years younger than he should be. I'm not great at guessing ages, but I doubt he was more than a little into his 30's at the time. And he'd mentioned before that he was glad he didn't have the time machine when he was in college, so.. I think he was skipping a lot more than he was ready to admit.

Then one time, he messed something up with a skip, and it really upset him. It was hard to follow, but I think he skipped a day thinking someone was going to dump him, but they didn't, and instead took his disappearance as him ghosting them. I guess he started skipping a lot after that. I didn't really even notice at first. It was usual for him to disappear, but a few months passed before I realized I hadn't seen him around. One morning, almost 8 months after he and I last chatted, he showed up at my door step. He told me that he was done being a participant in "everyday" life, and had a new plan to only be around for sunrises and fireworks. "It's not much of a plan, but it's better than anything else I've come up with".

Every now and then, he checks in on me. It's pretty rare now, and I told him I'm not going to stick in place just so he has someone to chat with when he wants a break. But sometimes he gets a hair up his butt and tracks me down, usually to joke about how old I look, and tell me some of the things he's learned by disconnecting from our usual timeline. I don't know, I don't really get the sense that he's happy, I think he's still looking for something, but at least he's got a goal and a purpose, and it seems to work for him. I bet I won't see him anytime soon with the pandemic in the headlines, he was always talking about time-travel as a scary vector for contamination. But next time I see him, I'm supposed to tell him how the new Star Wars movies turned out.