I’ve done it. I’m the first person to figure it all out.
For centuries, one concept has captured the hearts and minds of creatives, scientists, and philosophers alike across the globe. One concept, finally made real thanks to nobody but me; time travel.
If I told you exactly how I did it, I would have to chop you up into little bits and dump you in the Atlantic Ocean. But, I will share, the most integral part of the operation was not my mastery of magnetic fields, quantum physics, or gastrology, but instead, the mastery of belief. I had to believe it was possible. Every day, I had to wake up, push myself off my mattress on the floor, and confront the reality that I could have turned back ten thousand times and joined my father’s landscaping business or probably gone to Harvard or something. But I didn’t. I had to persevere. The thing that separates me from those before me is that when I hit a wall, I push through it. When the establishment says “no,” I say “perhaps.” They told me I couldn’t stare at the sun, that I couldn’t eat the freshness packages in pepperoni bags, that I couldn’t vote twice. They were wrong. The invention of time travel doesn’t come about unless some rules are broken, and all of these tests have proved invaluable to this momentous project. Thus, I am pleased to announce that my labor has blossomed into a succulent, voluptuous, pulpy fruit.
So after all of that work, here I stand, in front of a machine that was, for nearly all of humanity’s existence, a glimmer in the eyes of the brightest thinkers. As I admire my handiwork and wipe my brow, I can emerge from this journey with only one thought: this shit sucks ass sorta.
Now, the Soros-controlled media will likely have you believe that time travel is this mystical, luxurious process that whisks users away to a fantastical dreamland where none of their problems exist. Well, it’s time to wake up and smell the roses because my experience differs wildly from your favorite piece of comforting propaganda. The fabric of the universe isn’t powered by imagination and gumdrops, and the sooner you realize that, the better off you’ll be. As the first person on earth to hold the sands of time in my cupped hands, I believe it to be my responsibility to share my new reality with you. Do not try to follow my lead. Any efforts to recreate my steps would be not only futile, but dangerous. Your energy would be better spent folding laundry, providing Yik Yak with updates whenever you poop, or joining your father’s landscaping business.
If the prior information will still not dissuade your aspirations, very well. If you truly must know the details of my travels to be convinced, if you sincerely cannot live without hearing the essential information (compiled conveniently into one list), I will relay it to you. But heed my warning: it’s mid.
- You cannot bring any potentially reactive metals with you into the machine. Repack your bags because iron, copper, and good lord, especially nickel are strictly prohibited due to safety concerns. I learned this the hard way when I tried to bring my favorite tuning fork (for good luck) on my first expedition and an electromagnetic energy burst blew my left nipple clean off. This additionally means that you’re out of luck if you have a pacemaker or an implant. Sorry, but nobody promised that time travel would be accessible.
- You can only travel to the past, and you can only travel to scenes you remember. That’s right – no dinosaurs, no killing baby Hitler, no fucking your grandmother. Anything before your birth, and frankly most things after it, are completely scientifically impossible to reach. Hope you enjoyed those moments while they lasted because they’re gone forever. I mean, how did you really think time travel worked? Maybe if you clicked your red shoes together hard enough you would be able to strut across the space-time continuum? Yeah, right, moron, and by that logic I’m a rocket scientist. Time travel is all about manifesting memories. No smoke and mirrors here.
- The machine is prone to malfunctions. Since time travel requires intense mental energy to work, the slightest distraction could result in an unexpected detour. One moment you’re imagining yourself standing in front of your third-grade crush, ready to redo your confession of love, when you realize you have to take a leak. Before you know it, you’re transported 2 months off track to the time you pissed your pants during the class presentation.
- The machine has trouble differentiating between past memories, dreams, and nightmares. Whatever you do, don’t think about spiders.
- Your sense of smell is disabled in the past. Planning on visiting Meemaw’s house for some chicken pot pie in the few years of childhood bliss before the 2008 housing crisis? Imagining the glorious scents wafting down the hall? Think again, because that sniffer of yours might as well be blown off along with the left nipple.
- It’s a Homeowners Association headache. Good lord, you would have thought I was trying to build a swimming pool in my basement with the amount of letters I’ve received. Expect endless complaining from the neighbors about flashing lights, screams, and “temporal disturbances.” Eat my ass, Johanne. First I couldn’t have chickens, now this shit. Next time your snot-nosed little toddler comes waddling into my yard I’m banishing him to my spider nightmare forever.
- Time travel is not instantaneous. The New World Order’s poster child, Back To The Future, makes it out to be as simple as driving a badass car really fast until you magically teleport yourself into a timeline where a white boy invented rock and roll. Not the case, dipshit. In reality, the further back you go, the longer you have to wait. That’s just what the laws of space-time dictate. Prepare to float in a black void, listening to technical support hotline hold music for up to four hours without even a package of airplane peanuts to tide you over. Make sure to bring a bottle too because you can bet your sorry ass there’s no bathroom (regardless of whether or not you’re familiar with their extensive history). So, despite what Back To The Future might tell you, speeding doesn’t make you time travel and it isn’t cool; it’s irresponsible and it could result in a fine, serious injury, or even death. Remember, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) instructs us: “Drive fast. Finish last. Speeding catches up with you.”
- The bridge troll is a complete asshole. Oh yeah, sure, getting to the past is a breeze, but getting back is a different story entirely. All of the digital clocks in the past are broken for one reason or another, and I don’t know how to read an analog, so it’s nearly impossible to tell when you’re supposed to make it to the terminal for your connection. And if you do get there on time, you have to cross the bridge guarded by this cranky old troll covered in warts and whatnot. Good luck answering three riddles spoken in Victorian era French.
- It instantly kills your dog. Not going to lie, this one’s a bit of a head scratcher. I wish I had a good answer, but firing up the time machine will instantaneously neutralize any canine within fifty feet.
- Time traveling is very energy inefficient. Might as well scrap the plans for building a time machine and start mining bitcoin at this rate. I had to unplug the fridge, move the toaster to the bathroom, and disable all my carbon monoxide detectors in order to keep this thing running smoothly. At a certain point I realized I’d have to bring the time machine to the garage, power up the car, and jump-start the damn thing for an extra energy boost. Even after all that, I accidentally shut down the local power grid which has only worsened relations between the HOA and myself. For this reason I am taking Johanne’s son for ransom.
- Insurance does not exist for time travel. What did you expect? Fucking magic? I mean what the hell is my time machine classified as under New York law? Do I get liability on that? Does my health care cover an electromagnetic-burst-induced left nipple displacement? You know, at least the astronauts had a support team in the control room backing them up when they pioneered the moon. All I get for pioneering the realm of the past is a court hearing with Johanne. Try explaining to State Farm why your pet insurance should kick in when Sparky is vaporized by your cutting edge technology and see how that goes.
- You must confront an infinite number of horrors beyond human comprehension. Time and time again, man has always regretted his greatest achievements. Was the industrial revolution the worst misstep this species has ever taken? Should we have exchanged our spears and tents for crops and cities? Why did our ancestors all those years ago leave their brothers in the trees in the first place? If this machine wasn’t so mid, I would travel back in time to pay a visit to the first fish that ever mustered the strength to pull itself onto land, and I would stomp the air out of its lungs. I would swim in the earth’s earliest oceans and swallow a cluster of cells before they could divide, and I would rest my body on a hydrothermal vent until both of us were boiled alive. After seeing with eyes I should never have been gifted and thinking with a brain I should have never been afforded, I now understand life was never meant to traverse the final frontier. Everytime I so much as exhale a breath in the past, I create a new, splintering universal thread that continues to be strung alongside us. A thread in which real people must live with the consequences of my actions far after I have returned to the habitat I should have never left. Is this separate thread really so separate? Or are they intertwined? In every instance I’ve retried, re-experienced, or experimented with setting my fate, I’ve simultaneously set the fates of billions more. Are the lives of the universes I leave behind just as valuable as my own? Who am I to play God? Where did I get the fucking audacity to think I was worth anything at all? It keeps me up at night.
- It makes your stomach hurt.
I leave you with these thirteen crucial bits of information; an unsatisfying number for an unsatisfying journey. Next time you get unrealistic expectations pent up that head of yours about jaunting through time with ease, no doubt spoonfed to you by the Deep State, stop. Just stop. Get those thoughts right out of your head, because in truth, this whole thing is beyond mid. Speaking of heads, mine’s been beating badly ever since I turned on the car, so I’m going to go take a nap.
Art by Selkie Racela.