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I guess I’ll visit Benjamin Franklin

I guess I’ll visit Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin

I finally got around to a time travel visit with Benjamin Franklin. I went to June 15th, 1752, and a field in Philadelphia. There was a thunderstorm. Franklin was standing underneath a small portable roof on stilts. He was holding onto a string that was attached to a kite in the sky. Franklin spotted me and motioned me to come over and stand safely under the roof. I did. The first thing I noticed was the tremendous warmth coming off of him. I’ve discovered in my travels that people of great creativity and invention are warmer than others. I’ve deduced that it takes a lot of juice to run these kind of people.

Franklin didn’t mind that I was standing so close. Back then physical closeness wasn’t a problem. Actually if you stood more than six inches from somebody, they would take it as a great offense. I stood closely to him because I wanted to avoid being struck by lightening, otherwise I would have stood a comfortable twenty-foot shouting distance away.

The famous Benjamin asked me a non-stop barrage of questions. It wasn’t assaulting. He was curious. Everything seemed new and interesting to him, like a infant awe struck by anything. He wanted to know about my clothing, my strange way of talking, and why I didn’t reek. I was honest and told him I came from 2018. He accepted it as truth and wanted to know about all the great technological discoveries. I showed him my cell phone. Franklin rumpled his face, saying, “Ah, to be at the tethered end of any jowl bog with an ardor my attention.”

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Lounging in the blur of in-between time

Lounging in the blur of in-between time

blur

Sometimes when I’m feeling overwhelmed by people and events in general, I’ll get in my time travel machine, and rather than go to another time and place, I’ll jigger the machine’s joy stick so that I’ll go to the in-between place. It’s not not in time. It’s on the outskirts of being somewhere. There’s nothing to see, or any of those other senses. Well, actually there’s a slight tactical feeling because I have to keep that minimal hand shake going with the joy stick.

There’s just less than the bare minimum sense of time, kind of like a whiff. Seconds get elongated like long shadows in the late afternoon. I think less. Much less. The thoughts aren’t sentences like in the time zone. They are much reduced. Like earlier today when I was doing this, my thought was, “Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.”

Now and then (it’s impossible to describe this without using a time reference) there’s a subtle movement back in the direction of time, and I’ll see some hazy watercolor blips appear, like a diminished thought of colors. Or I’ll hear the reduced murmur of words, like “wweeaallhh bblllouuhh.” Then I rejigger and back to the tonality of mostly nothing.

When I came back from this mostly timeless occurrence today, everything was enhanced. I was aware of milliseconds going by. It turns out time is noisy. We don’t notice it when we’re always in it, but it’s a loudy. On top of this juicy bit I was dramatically well rested. That’s because time is also exhausting. Time uses our personal currents as its gasoline. Who knew we were fuel!

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We work so we can play

We work so we can play

neptune

My dog Rexy and I got in the rocket ship and took off on our vacation. It had been a busy four months of work and we really needed the time away.

Rexy and I are gold harvesters. Rexy sniffs it out and we both dig. She’s got an amazing nose. We uprooted over 500 pounds. It’s what allowed us to purchase the rocket ship, a lake’s amount of gas, and the snacks.

We shot our way across the solar system until we came to Neptune. We picked the planet because it’s blue. We landed and ventured out for a walk in our space suits. After that long of a trip, you really need to hike it up.

We trekked for a couple of hours, then sat on the edge a crater to take a rest. I pet Rexy’s head. She licked my hand, well tried to. Her tongue brushed the glass of her space helmet.

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The Sneeze Attack

The Sneeze Attack

White House lawn

I decided to walk by the White House because I love that front lawn. It’s rare to have so much of a yard in a big city.

There were three people out mowing that grass. I also saw a squirrel digging in the ground for nuts it buried months ago. A wren was searching the dirt for worms. Some ants crawled up its leg and the wren tried to shake them off.

I started to sneeze because of the cut grass in the air. I’m allergic. I had a rapid bout of sneezing. My sinuses felt like they were on fire. Someone offered me a Claritin. I took it, but the sneezing continued. I felt like my head was going to explode.

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The lengths I go to

The lengths I go to

Herman Melville

I like to time travel visit the illustrious and well known when they were doing things for which they were not well known. Perhaps I do this because it helps me feel okay about my day to day general ordinariness. For instance, I time traveled to 1854, Galena, Illinois, to Braghner’s General Store, midday, so that I could grocery shop at the same time as Ulysses S. Grant. Ah, the peace of mind as I saw that we both has sassafras bark in our shopping baskets.

Today I got in my time travel machine and ventured to 1857, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and the home of the famous author of Moby Dick, Herman Melville. Dressed in my coveralls, and carrying a satchel of tools, I was greeted at the front door by Melville’s wife, Elizabeth. I pretended I was there to plane the doors. Back then, most doors were improperly placed and fastened to doorjams, resulting in their regularly getting stuck when shut. Sometimes a person living by themselves would accidentally be trapped in a room by a door holding fast, only to be discovered months later as a skeleton gripping the door handle with both hands, by a visiting relative.

I had planed a number of doors in the Melville home, when I came upon the door to Herman’s study. He was within, but not writing at his desk. Instead he was sitting on the floor, whittling a piece of birch, his tongue jutting out the right side of his mouth. He nodded at me. I nodded back.

I planed as he whittled. I was so entirely absorbed in watching his whittling, that I lost track of my own progress, and realized I had planed the door all the way down to the doorknob. I stood like a fool amidst three feet of wood shavings.

I interrupted Mr. Melville to note and apologize for my dubious workmanship. He took notice and said, “It was once a tree. Perhaps it was through being a door.”