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Spadina Literary Review  —  edition 20 page 15


When the guys arrived back home they clambered noisily inside without speaking. They shucked their boots and pegged their jackets on the hallway rack.

“Enjoy the show?” Jorry’s mother called out.

“It was creepy and mega awesome,” Jorry said.

“Very good,” said Sylvan, almost inaudibly.

Then Jorry’s mother sent them straight upstairs to bed. “My day has been a long and tedious one. Time for snoozing.”

“G’night, Uncle Syl,” Jorry said.

Before he closed the door of the spare bedroom next to Jorry’s, Sylvan turned half around and grinned. “Pleasant dreams,” he said.

Jorry crawled into his pyjamas and slipped into bed. Oops, forgot to brush his teeth. Oh well. No problemo. He shut his eyes and began trying to find his easy dreams. First, rehashing the movie. Not the gore so much, but the idea that there could be such a thing as time travel. He began by scheming about ways and means to alter time — that is, if he could do that, if he had the power to rewrite the science of time and the laws of physics, if he had the opportunity to invent things not yet known or understood, some futuristic computations, remarkable technologies, unique algorithms. Then he could change his own earthly destiny. Yeah, he could do that.

His imagination expanded.

In his quest to solve the parameters that define the rules of time, Jorry didn’t necessarily want to indulge in time travel or experience it personally. He decided he’d rather be the controller, the guy in charge, the inventor and maker of the rules. Although time travel would certainly be fascinating in itself, Jorry wanted to find a way to bend time, or to fold it. No! No, not really that, but to make a crease or a dent in time. No, not that either. What he actually wanted was to find a way to alter the speed of time.

He began inventing. In the ethers of his wild imagination, he etched out a sort of ‘time crank’ — a winch or spiked power-surging device, a wheel that he could electronically spin, or maybe it looked more like an ultra-fast impeller, or a black-box router housing that would coordinate a new computer capability, a device to speed up or slow down the passage of time — that is, if he could grab onto time like a linear piece of string.

He got to thinking of more chimeras and more possibilities. But he was supposed to be drifting off to sleep. His eyes flew wide open.

“Stop this time machine. Problemo,” he told himself.

His frontal cortex fired anew, flared like high-grade explosions. If Jorry had the power to speed up or to slow down time, everybody, and he thought of everybody he knew, would want to slow it down. Not much reason to speed it up. Well maybe some reason, but no, slow it down. Fix the past. Everyone would want more and more time, like pacing things that might occur in an eye-blink and making them stretch a decade or so. Yeah, that way a human life span could exist for uncounted centuries rather than just one accumulation of maybe 80-100 years. But no, that wouldn’t work.

Jorry rolled over on the coolness of his sheets. If he could slow down time for one person, then everyone’s congruent time would also slow down to the same pace. And the relationship of how one fit into a linear experience of time would be identical as to how it had always been. Nothing would alter. No one would feel more fortunate to live for centuries or millennia if everyone enjoyed the same.

“Stop this time machine. Problemo.”

Okay, then. Jorry shut his eyes tight, and he really began to push-think, to forge ahead into the ‘new’, firing more synapses. His cranial neurons ricocheted around like embers on the move. He began to sweat underneath the blankets. He kicked away the covers. What a real pioneering sort of time master such as himself would ultimately need to accomplish was to remove one single individual from the plane of time. Or was it the fabric of time? Yeah. Like he’d have to cut them out. Like, dissect them from it, and then he could make special things happen fast or slow for that particular individual. Like, if he were to cut an individual out of time, like excising a paper doll from its background page, there would be a hole left in the fabric of time and space. That might be freaky dangerous. Maybe the whole notion of reality would collapse upon itself, sucked into the void, and everything would disappear right then and there. Implosion into a black hole?