Sitting in front of a blank piece of paper, the ashtray filled passed its capacity, a heavy truck that passes knocks the empty bottles on my desk together as it shakes the building at its core, I try my hardest to remember my train of thought. These walls are made of nothing but paper, cheap construction, I hear my neighbors shout their fight’en words. I feel the bubble I am in wane under the pressure by the day. The hammer hits, the paper stained this idea forever more. The story of how I began my journey into time travel.
I didn’t have much back then, or well, little to nothing to call my own. I lived in my cheap studio apartment. God, I hate this, but some stories don’t always start off well. I lived in a shit hole on top of a pissville. I had a job shoveling coal, back splitting work. I used what little money I made to pay for the books. I didn’t have a family to tell me I was wasting my life away, but I could feel it inside me, a deep dark abyss. That stuck with me for a long time. The hard part was finding the books I actually wanted. There were easily five hundred thousand Catchers in the Rye to every one copy of The Theory of Relativity in the thrift stores. The pickings were slim. But needles I found what was needed. Each night to return to my home to read as much as I could before I had to sleep for the next day of work.
I stand there reading over and over again what I just wrote trying to poke any hole I could through this ludicrous proof. The sweat pouring from everywhere, I couldn’t believe that I did it. Fucking time travel, I wanted to call everyone I knew and let them know, but I figured that would need both people and a phone to do so. I returned to work, though I cannot recall a single thing about it. I sprinted home to read over my paper again. Everything was there; as I had thought. I began to make plans for a device to test these theories.
A year passes by, I call this my blur period. As all, I can recall are the long sleepless nights and the empty stomachs.
I stand in the middle of my apartment, my device strapped to my wrist. It is heavy and cold. I set my watch on the nightstand in front of me. Three seconds I decided would be enough time. I was scared as hell; I tick the dials to the right time. Take a deep breath and flip the switch. Violently I am thrown through paper thin walls. I come to seconds later, my ears ring and my eyes are filled with drywall dust. I clear my eyes to finds myself in an abandoned apartment. I pick myself up in a hurry and panic that I went too far ahead. I rush to the filthy window, clean a spot with the bottom of my dirty shirt and look out. It all looked the same dull and gray. I turn and rush to the front door. Take the stairs and burst outside. It was all the same, every miserable bit was just how I left it. I discovered then that I was standing in front of my apartment building. This is when the thought hits my brain like a sledgehammer. I could work out time and space, but yet I neglected position of the earth and its movement. I fix the problem one dislocated shoulder later.
I lie in my bed fully clothed, the lights are gone for several hours. I stand and put on my coat, I could feel the sleeve strain from the width of the device. I walked down the stairs slowly, not able to see the steps in front of me. The glow from dim lights isolates the walk down the empty streets, well almost. I hear and see the police car before it saw me. I duck in a bush and wait for it to pass. I didn’t want another dislocated shoulder. The coast was clear so I restarted my walk to an empty field I knew, the place where other orphans like me used to play “kick whatever rubbish we could find”. There aren’t very many street lights near here so I felt safe. I remove my jacket and watch and placed them on the ground with my watch on top. I draw an X on the ground; flick my lighter to confirm the quality. Dial my device and flick the switch. A small rushing sound and I find myself in the same spot. I clamber to pick up my watch, flick my lighter; sure enough, I was ten minutes into the future. I danced in the middle of the field, good thing it was as dark as it was. I stood in the x once more and flicked the switch. The sound of the ocean comes once more and vanishes. I check the time another success. Excited I try once more, nothing happens, the battery dead. I quickly put my watch and jacket on, I hear my sleeve rip but I could care less. I rush home to charge my device for more trials.
A month passes; I secure myself a house for the increasing size of my workshop, a place that was abandoned to be ruined. I step up shop and begin my journey into time travel.
I never really said that the discovery of time travel was a grand or magnificent moment, on the contrary, it was much like any other moment. It’s been six or so years now since that day with me in front of my typewriter. I think with time and change, it’s turning into something amazing.