A Future Story (The Confessions and Rantings of a Struggling Writer/Playwright in the Throes of a Space/Time Continuum Conundrum)
This is the first chapter of the novel that I wrote a couple of years ago. I wanted to share it again because there is some renewed excitement about it!
Enjoy your Read!
2012/01/21 – (Saturday, January 21, 2012) – 2:32 p.m. – A Hotel Lobby
Question: How to Begin?
I don’t even know where to start. I know I need to start because…
Start at “The Beginning.”
A pre-introduction introduction.
Get to the point.
I am a writer and I have recently been faced with a dilemma. A quantum dilemma. An: I-can’t-believe-this-is-happening kind of; science-fiction kind of; space/time continuum conundrum kind of dilemma.
I am a real person. I am a real writer – I mean I write for a living. I did theatre but now I write… but that’s a tangent. I began this by asking, ‘How to Begin?’ and I’m doing a fantastic job of actualizing my lack of clarity by not beginning.
Okay, this is about Time. Notice the capital Time and not, ‘Oh, it’s about time…’ lower case time. This is about an Event that happened… is happening to me right now; that is challenging my sense of time and space and dimension. And multiple dimensions and the essence of Time and how it functions…
Slow down, don’t get ahead of yourself.
This Event is stressing me out. My mind is stressed. My mind is being pulled into directions that I was not prepared for. I mean, I have an imagination. I know this. I fantasize. I love to write because I love to create worlds from nothing. I love to create rules and laws that govern these imaginary worlds. I love understanding the minutiae of each specific world that, for me, makes the world real and complete. I love worlds that other writers, filmmakers, playwrights etc. have created that take me out of my own world and yet are so real that I feel that I am there living in them. And no matter how unreal or how unlike my own world they are, they still feel like they must exist somewhere, sometime, out there in the infinite worldly Universal Space of Everything. So yes, I am a believer that everything is possible and that the Universe is much More than we can imagine. But this doesn’t mean that I ever expected to face it; to Experience it. And yet, here I am.
Okay. I’m glad I got that off my chest. I feel a bit more grounded. I am breathing calmly. My head isn’t zipping around the clouds. I am here. I am clear.
I am not insane. I am not imagining things. This is real. And I know it is real because it has been physically confirmed by real people: friends, family, acquaintances, strangers. I am writing this while I am in the middle of my quantum pickle because I must. Because I need to record my thoughts before I delve any deeper into the unknown world of space/time. My heart is racing. My eyes are twitching. But I’m ready. I have to begin.
My Story: The Continuum Conundrum
The other day (Thursday, January 19, 2012 to be exact)… I was in a bookstore — a used bookstore. I go into bookstores because I like to imagine my books on the shelves. I said I’m a writer but I’ve mainly been involved in theatre so although I have written, it has lived on stage and not on the page. I am working on my first novel that I’m three years into writing and only a quarter of the way through. I’ve mapped it out – but that’s a tangent. Anyway, I like to imagine seeing my name up on the shelves and thinking that people are reading the stories that I’m creating. It feels good to imagine that, which is why I know I want to be a writer – sorry, same tangent.
I’m looking through the shelves and I am going through the last names and there, on the shelves, I see a book with my name on it: Hersh. This has never happened before. I don’t know why I hadn’t seen any other Hershes on the shelves before because it’s not an uncommon last name but I guess I was kind of surprised to see a Hersh there.
I pull the book off the shelf. It has a solid red cover. Hard bound. And the author’s name written in a gold print: David Hersh. I’m David Hersh.
I remember feeling extremely strange, like I was having an out of body experience. I was also feeling jealous that another David Hersh would write and publish something before I’d get a chance. But then looking at the cover and seeing that name, my name, on the cover printed in regular type, I then saw beneath that name, my name, was… a signature? Unusual for the author’s signature to be printed as well but there it was; a signature. My name. And I realize that as I’m looking at the signature that… it’s my signature. My name. My signature.
I stare at the book and the title haunts my eyes: “A Future Story”…
“A Future Story?”
“A Future Story?”
What does that mean?
Do you see?
I find a book in a bookstore; “A Future Story”. It has my name on it, my signature, and I have not written it.
Holy clucking cluck.
I’m freaked out. The world has stopped. I can’t hear anything. I can’t see anything. I don’t know where I am. The Universe suddenly doesn’t make any sense.
This is someone else with my name who is already an author.
But it’s my signature.
Who puts their signature on the outside of a book?
No, it’s really my signature.
I look around as if I can ask someone what’s going on. As if anyone around me has any clue what’s going on in my head right now. As if I’m on one of those hidden camera t.v. shows and I’m looking for the prankster.
There is someone else in the store looking through another book.
Does he look suspicious?
No, blithely ignorant.
Perhaps he can be a comrade. I look over at him mentally begging him to look up at me. I use my jedi powers. I want him to tell me that I’m dreaming or it’s a joke or something. He doesn’t look up. He’s into his own universe which I can confidently bet is a lot more normal than mine is right this second.
The book is still in my hand. My neighbour won’t look at me no matter how longingly I stare for some support. Stupid hat. It’s the hat covering his ears with those stupid, furry earflaps that’s preventing him from realizing I’m slowly — no rapidly falling into a psychic cavern.
So what do I do with this? What do I do with this book? I should open it, right? I have a book in my hand, with my name… with my signature on it and I should see what this is all about. But something is preventing me. I’m worried.
I am pre-dispositioned to think outside the box. When unexplainable things appear in my life I don’t go in willy-nilly and try to disprove everything. Everything is possibly possible. And it’s not that I have inexplicable things happening all the time — or ever before — I just…
Back to the story.
I’m in the bookstore. I have a book with my name on it. I am assuming, I guess irrationally, that the book is mine. That I have written it. That I haven’t personally, presently or past-ly, written it and yet somehow I must have because it is in my hand right now.
Would someone steal my name? My signature? And then publish a book. Why would anyone do that? Does that even make sense? But does it make more or less sense than what I’m assuming – that I’ve written a book in a future and somehow this book has appeared to me in a past. And if this is what I’m assuming; what the hell’s wrong with me?
I’m standing in the bookstore. Still with the book in my hand. And I still don’t know what to do. Do I open it and confirm it’s me? Or disconfirm it.
If I open it, will there be any information that will lead me to any conclusions.
“Girl swallowed by crocodile in Indonesia while father looks on helplessly.”
This is a news flash banner scrolling along the bottom of the t.v.that’s on in the lobby of the hotel I’m presently writing in. How does this relate to what I’m writing? Is this a sign from the Universe?
I am writing to help myself come to terms with what is happening to me right now. This is the first moment I’ve had to write. It’s begun with this long spurt and I guess I’ll see when it stops. I’m actually meeting a friend whose staying in this hotel because I’m going to ask him some hypothetical questions about the space/time continuum. He’ll enjoy that.
[back to the story]
I am in the bookstore and I’ve decided that I’m not going to open the book. If it is something from the future I don’t want to have a total breakdown in the bookstore. Buy the book and open it somewhere safe. Perhaps where someone can witness and care for me and when I don’t feel like I’m going to have a psychic explosion.
I go to the cash register and put the book down on the counter. I am going to have to try and have a regular conversation. A conversation I have everyday with somebody. “How much?” “How are you?” “Thank you very much.” etc.
The book is on the counter. The owner is not. On the counter or behind it. I don’t like the waiting. I want to scream. Is that normal? Not normally normal. But this is abnormal so maybe screaming is abnormally normal.
I look up the book aisle. Just the guy in his hat reading his book. ‘I’m on a sinking ship here buddy, throw me a line!’ He looks up.
Holy flucking fluck! Thank fluck!
He apologizes. He flucking works here. This is his job. I’m standing in quicksand – which is fantastic because otherwise I’d have rocket fuel in my boots and I’d be shooting off to the un-planet of Pluto.
Scheisse. My friend is here. Gotta stop writing – but there’s so much, so much. I will continue as soon as I get the chance.
I need help.
Before I go… I’m in a bookstore with a book I may have written in the future. How screwed up is that? Going to talk to my hypothetical friend about this hypothetical situation. Continue soon.