We were both adrift, but I was the one who had cut the cord. We had both grown increasingly bored with human interaction as we had progressed out of our teens, through our twenties, and all the way to the end of our thirties. We didn’t particularly like people and we saw no real reason to have the great majority of them in any contact with any aspects of our lives. That was the very easy part.
Sudden changes of behaviour, of memory, of tone, of power, of relationships, of people who play a part in our lives, of the words we use, of the things we enjoy, of the knowledge we have, of the skills we have developed, of the way we carry ourselves, of the ideas we have at our disposal, of the right we feel to express ourselves and how we choose to express ourselves, will always cause ripples.
We were each causing bigger and bigger ripples in our lives, and it was not going at all unnoticed.
Then again, some of the people around us seemed more relaxed, and this was heartening. They had the looks in their eyes of people who were glad that we had finally blossomed as people, and that we were equals to them in the tough and turbulent times which they knew were upon us all.
“I don’t want to be here and I don’t want to be doing this. This is a sticking point on a longer journey, and I want to get started on that road now. This is a pointless saddle point on a whole new phase of existence. The rules simply and clearly do not apply any more: how else can anyone explain being thrown out of time and tossed in to one’s own past? It is not a natural or normal situation.
“I need to get to the bottom of it, but I am torn by wanting to benefit from it. I want to tear this world apart and start again, but I am bound by the realities of the space, and that frustrates me. If I run for it I am a minor, out of the education system, and a lot of legal complications get thrown at me. That said, I am a grown man and I need a firm grasp on my own destiny. I need to take back me.
“I have lived through all of this once; who is to say that I have not lived through it many times before that, too? If we look at the life cycle of the universe, it could have blown up, contracted, collapsed to a singularity and blown up an infinite number of times, forcing the whole chain to take place time and time and time again. Who is to say that the nature of time does not work in such a manner?”
“You are not going anywhere. You are a child. You are my child. My Son. And you will do precisely what I say while you are under my roof. I couldn’t give a fuck about any of this time traveller fucking shit you keep coming out with. You are a fucking liar. I am going to rip your head off and shit down your neck hole if you do not fucking drop this and get back to school. Do you understand me?”
“You can do what the hell you like; you’re a grown up now. I am not supporting you and I am not giving your bloody mother any more money. This is over; you’re on your own. Good luck to you. Just don’t come crawling back to me with a needle hanging out of your arm, looking for my sympathy; you’ve got none of it. Go and get yourself a job, like I have always said, and forget this nonsense.”
“We wish to inform you that your repeated absence from this school has put your education in a great degree of jeopardy. Attendance of all lessons is not only mandatory, it is crucial for your future and ongoing development. Your previous attainment and behaviour will be taken in to account with regard to your punishment, should you return to school on a permanent basis. Please come back.”
“Well that all seems fairly conclusively inconclusive. We have two angry men, who play very little part in the next few decades of our lives, urging us to stay on their own peculiar versions of the straight and narrow. One school wants to lure you back with threats and another couldn’t much care about me either way, now that they have my funding. At least our mothers seem a lot more relaxed.
“I mean, not sleeping in the same bed seven nights a week relaxed, but they at least seem to get us. From past experience that’s the biggest thing with those two. They have both grasped the right ends of the right sticks, and are behind us, at least as far as understanding that we are us and that that is the most important part of all of this. They seem as confused about what comes next as we are.”
“I’m not sure how well I cope with the word “confusion” in this instance. You have found the source of the disturbance, and we both know how to get there. I think it might take some time to get any or all of this sorted out, so we can make use of our natural temporal advantages while we explore the jaws of our impending devastation. I think we’re ok now, once we get out to the highlands.”
The path of causality never runs smoothly, and the addition of time will only ever make a given situation all the more complicated. I never thought that we would find ourselves, as teenagers, back in the places we had enjoyed so much as adults, but that seemed not only the most likely solution but the most logical reason for this chain of the most extraordinary events. We would have to leave.
Green grass and rushing waters awaited us amongst the towering peaks and the tree lined cliffs. We were headed towards lakes and rushing rivers, but we had no plans for our survival. We were now travellers, not merely from a different land, but from a different time: we were distinct from the law of the land now, and only subject to the laws of time and human need. We would survive this now.
With a bag packed each, and stowed easily on our backs, we set off for the boat. Once the water had been crossed we had only limitless lands ahead of us. As soon as the boat departed the walls of our old lives started crumbling down. Some people were removed, and others sought out. Some things were bought and others sold, as the lessons of the future were given back to the past itself.