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2oo2o924 - untitled: (time machine story)
December 23, 2o12:
The holiday season ended much more quickly than it had begun, Samuel got his rice pudding and Maria got her Amaretto Brevé that she'd been wishing for about the same time Samuel was thinking about rice pudding, but they didn't get what they both really wanted, not for the holidays, but from life. There was much stipulation in the popular press about the pandemic of infertility plaguing the world's denizens, sometimes countless trips to fertility clinics and doctors by the dozen paid off, sometimes, as was the case for Samuel and Maria, it didn't. The postulates ran rampant from environmental developmental toxins to divine dictums, but like all things great and small that affect one's life, the fact simply remained, children were not in their future. This slow but certain facet of their relationship had been over 10 years in the making, bringing displaced feelings of: disappointment, resentment, betrayal, unworthiness, unfaithfulness, and deep-seated sorrow. But in the end the plight was theirs, together, and tsunamis of emotion eventually leveled to a ripple of that perpetual gnaw of loneliness, and together it was that they found support and comfort, for alas, it was all they had.
It was just a year after they were married that Maria had inherited, as the sole surviving heir of her divorced father, a quasi-cabin clinging to the steep hills overlooking Lake Superior just north of Duluth, MN. Samuel and Maria retreated to this remote refuge often for holidays and when seeking time away from the relentlessness of their East Coast lives. They had spent countless days hiking the rugged summer hills and camping along the shores of the world's largest freshwater lake, and countless hot summer nights making love enveloped in the cool sea-breeze rushing though the strategically placed southeasternly-facing cabin windows. Although not significantly different in latitude from their Massachusetts home, in the dead of winter the Duluth area was always astoundingly cold, mercilessly cold, with the Christmas temperatures commonly falling to more than 5o degrees below the freezing point, and often much colder than that. Alas when factoring in the cooling effects of wind on the human body there seemed no bottom to the northern Minnesota temperatures, in excess of 1oo degrees below freezing were not uncommon. The most brutal temperatures generally took place in the months of January and February so Samuel and Maria had made a habit of spending the Christmas season securing their property to assure that the cold would not burst water pipes or destroy anything else, as it was not uncommon for it to do so.
Like Maria, Samuel's fragmented family was not ever visited on holidays either. In fact he wasn't even quite sure where they were, his father had left his mother when he was very young and allegedly moved to Europe somewhere, while his mother was killed in an automobile accident with an intoxicated classmate of Samuel's as he was just finishing High School south of Atlanta, Georgia as she was making her way home one night from her evening waitressing job. He had an older brother somewhere in California, and an older sister who, last he'd heard, was residing somewhere in the sprawling city of Juno, Alaska. His brother was apparently homosexual, according to his sister who, in any event, had herself been divorced three times prior to the last time he'd heard from her, which was over five years ago. He himself had inherited from a father he'd never known some genes his more-or-less uneducated siblings had not, after being bumped ahead by a cumulative 3 years throughout his public schooling, he scored well above the masses on his standardized tests and accepted free tertiary education in northern California. He received his bachelor's degree in mathematics and theoretical physics in just under three years of college. Shortly thereafter he had published his first (as principle author) peer-reviewed paper: "Principles of Quantum Mechanics Incongruent with Special Relativity." This paper alone was cited 53 times in the next 4 years by which time Samuel had been awarded a Ph.D by a different Californian institute and had accrued another 3 papers (as sole author) under his belt. From California Samuel turned down job offers from Numerous Private interests, NASA, and Universities across the US and Europe and moved across the country to Massachusetts to pursue research on Quantum Foam (as its often called) in, what he felt, was the physics capital of the world. It was here that he had met Maria while she was conducting sociological research while based out of another East Coast institute of higher education. They were married shortly after Samuel had turned 26 and Maria, 28.
Shy of two decades later, both past their 4oth birthdays, most of their time was spent conducting research, often traveling to various scientific conferences throughout the US and Europe, and commonly, their time off in the hills just north of Duluth, this Christmas being just one more year and one more visit to the frigid December air of Minnesota.
With the holidays over they both flew back from their septentrional respite to their Massachusetts home and their Massachusetts lives. It was the start of just one more year, but unbeknownst to either of them the next year would be far from normal.
It was just before Samuel had adjourned for the holiday break that he had almost reached the conclusion to a multi-year theory he'd been investigating involving the stabilization and manipulation of closed timelike curves from quantum foam, he had almost considered staying in Mass. in order to continue the project instead of venturing to Minnesota, but decided against it based upon his obligation to Maria and the fact that he'd thought he was close to answering fundamental questions about the nature of his research many times before only to find a plethora of new problems arising from his short-lived solutions, or as was oft the case-found he'd led himself drastically astray with potential solutions. But for Samuel the events of January would change his life forever, literally.
It wasn't but a scant few days after they'd arrived back in their home, away from the northern reaches of Minnesota, that Maria was required to present some of her sociology research at a University campus in Texas, and Samuel found himself alone for several days***********rmparagraph************** build wormhole before next paragraph???
The bar was rather dark and dingy inside, although empty except for Samuel it still wreaked of cigarette smoke which had seeped into the oak trim and upholstered booths, and now permeated the room with a slightly lazy yet cozy aroma. "Samuel Hale?-this way sir," Samuel was still baffled by the words, how did the host know who I am? And why did he seat me in the bar area? He turned and looked about the empty room from his vantage point on the rail, it was perhaps a little past 7PM, apparently on this night the greater Boston public had decided to stay clear of this particular establishment, "northies, southies, hippies, junkies, juppies, and all" he thought. Empty save for a lone bartender polishing wine glasses and hanging them above his head. The lights above reflected and refracted dully off and through the glass painting eerie halos that danced like angelic smoke rings across the bottles of vintage whiskeys and liquors adorning the mirror-backed shelving. "What can I get for ya'?" the bartender asked as he glanced over at Samuel when he had hung his last glass onto the rack above him. "He'll have the usual" a young voice chirped up beside him. To his amazement Samuel looked to discover a young boy who appreared to be about the age of 7 or 8 climbing up, and sitting down on the stool next to his own. "Right away sir" the bartender responded as he industriously turned around to tender with whatever liquor paraphernalia he was ordered to concoct. Samuel couldn't tell if the bartender had said "right away sir" to him or the childish-looking person sitting next to him. Samuel hadn't been at this establishment in several years, and was frankly, quite confused. He turned to face his new-found companion who, seemingly, had taken no notice of Samuel other than ordering him "the usual"-whatever that meant, and was now intently writing in a tattered notebook apparently emersed in his own 7 or 8 year old thoughts. Samuel opened his mouth to formulate a question, but was having some trouble honing his approach, when he was interrupted by the bartender: "here you are sir" he said as he put a stout glass down in front of Samuel. "What is this?" Samuel asked looking at the glass. "Single malt, just how you like it - this one's on the house" he replied, turning and walking away before Samuel could quite make out what the hell was going on. "Say 'thank you'" said the boy next to him, "that's a 200 dollar glass of liquor in front of you" he continued.