Time Traveller discusses his responsibility towards humanity in light of 2032 and tells of how the threefold plan ended up
Greetings, Time Traveller, welcome back to The Sewers. We congratulate you.
Hey, it’s good to be back. It really, truly is.
When are you coming from?
I come back from the future. I didn’t think I would be back. I can’t believe I am back. Sorry, I’m a bit shaken still. I was 2032.
Oh what happens then?
I don’t think I can talk about it. I don’t want to talk about it.
Did something happen to Mrs. Chaired?
No, you see –
No, I don’t care about any of them, none of them matter, don’t you see? None of us matter.
Right. 2032 is the end of the world.
It’s close, believe me. It’s almost there. I didn’t think this could happen, I mean for it to actually happen. I think that on a rational level we all knew it would come. But we didn’t really know, you know? We couldn’t really get our heads around it. But it’s too late. Even now, 15 years before, it’s already too late.
It has to do with the environment then.
No, I really can’t – seriously, I just can’t.
Alright, but what are you going to do? Have you got a plan?
So what’s going to happen?
Nothing. I will try to forget it. I will forget it and cherish my present time.
What? But you can prevent it. You have time, you can go back to whenever and find ways to prevent it. You can devise a plan –
A plan to save the world?
Are you at all hearing yourself? A plan to save the world, as if we were in a film or in a Doctor Who episode? I’m a Time Travelling realist, I know what I can do and I know what can’t be changed.
But you’re not even trying. Do you not think that as a Time Traveller you ought to at least try to save the world?
This is obviously something I have thought about, I mean my responsibility as a Time Traveller –
And of course this is a very critical and complex moment in my time travelling journey. So I have thought about it and come to the resolution that nothing can be done. It can’t be changed. 2032 should and would happen in the future just as it had happened in my recent past. Now all that’s left is watching the years go by, one by one, onto their final conclusion.
Perhaps there’s a part of you wishing the world would end in 2032. Perhaps you’re motivated yet again by the consuming rage and vengeance within you.
No, I’m not – I already told you several times that I don’t avenge –
Perhaps you’re frustrated since your threefold plan about Clair has failed –
How do you know it’s failed?
Have you a made move on Lisa, and then had a relationship with Amy, until she found out she’s a lesbian, and then ended up with Clair?
What’s the point, really, all things will come to their gruesome end, so what’s the point –
Our readers must be so anxious to hear, we’ve been waiting for it –
Alright, alright. You know how I prevented Lisa’s dress from being ruined on graduation, and then I spilled red wine on it, I mean I dis-prevented it from happening –
That was your female aspect –
Right, but it was still I who did that. Right. so I did what I obviously should have done always, in all times, I prevented it from happening as my sixteen-year-old self, I went back every day to scatter hints and clues around my past, so that I’d be prepared, at age 16, to meet my future self.
That’s really big.
Yes, I did it. I went back and met myself and told myself that all these daydreams and fantasies about Lisa have got to turn into reality, that it’s meant to be and that I shouldn’t be so scared of it. It seems so far away right now, when I talk about it, I mean I almost don’t feel a thing when I talk about it. On the one hand, 2032 is still far away, isn’t it? And yet – I don’t know.
Well, since you’ve already decided to be selfish and not to save the world, you might as well be as selfish as can be, and just live in a different era, where you never live to see 2032.
Alright, first of all, this is ludicrous. Living outside your given-at-birth present for the rest of your life is something that no Time Traveller wishes for himself. Or herself. It’s exile. Every Time Traveller needs a present time, and must cherish his present time. And second, I’m not being selfish. The complexity of the matter is so vast that you really can’t understand it, and I don’t mean to be condescending when I say this to you. It’s just something you cannot understand.
I didn’t say you should save the world, I said you should at least try. And your reluctance to even try is, I believe, selfish.
It’s not. For reasons that are so intricate and complex, I realised that attempting to implement any conceivable plan to save the world could only lead to its earlier annihilation. I really don’t want to talk about it any further.
Perhaps you need associates.
Yes, a selected group of people you trust, who could help you in your quest for saving the world.
I’m a lone traveller. And besides, it’s not that simple. I mean who could I trust?
What about Clair?
It didn’t work. The threefold plan that is.
I’m sorry to hear.
It’s alright, it was a good experience after all. I mean Lisa turned me down but she did it nicely. I mean quite nicely. Reasonably.
I mean she said something like ‘with you? No way’ but I don’t think she told anyone about it. Which was probably the thing I had been most afraid of.
Must have been disappointing, still.
Well yes, but it’s something you’ve got to go through, isn’t it?
You mean trying is always better, even if the results turn out different than what you were hoping for.
Yes, that’s what I mean I guess –
So why won’t you try to save the wor –
Right listen you, it’s not that simple, alright? How many times do I have to say this? It’s complex.
Oh, you’re infuriated.
I’m not, god. I’m just –
Do you believe in god? As a Time Traveller that is.
Oh, that’s a very complex question. And to be asked that at a time like this – I’m not sure. I mean it goes both ways. I guess I haven’t really thought that through. The thing is that it’s hard as it is simple to trace lines from past to present to future when you time travel. And it only makes it clearer for you that these lines are there even when you don’t time travel at all.
What do you mean by ‘lines’?
Similarities. In conducts, in faces, in places, some sort of continuity of things in time. That’s what I mean when I say you don’t have to time travel in order to see it. But I don’t know if it says anything about god or no god. I think it’s interesting to see the continuity in things that people believe in, things that seems totally different on the surface but basically aren’t different. Does that make sense at all?
No, not really.
The thing is, I’d probably be less upset if I were to believe in some god. Then 2032 would make more sense to me. And it does make sense to me, because it’s factual. It’s going to happen. But it also doesn’t make sense, because it’s so arbitrary. Like all things. It puts you in perspective. And I guess that’s why I see no point in coming up with some great plan to save it all. It’s like you wouldn’t save an ant on the pavement, it’s like in nature shows when no one saves the antelope from being eaten by the lioness. It makes me think, in this sense, that Doctor Who is actually a profoundly religious show. It’s funny when you think about it. Humanity is like a sacred thing for the Doctor, and that’s why he keeps saving earth. But in reality earth is nothing more and nothing less than that antelope. What’s the point in saving it? I mean why is it more moral than saving an ant? So the fact that it’s all arbitrary is both reassuring and discomforting, but in the end, it’s factual. And that’s all there is to it.
I think I can better understand you now, and yet, being the only person in the world who knows what’s going to happen, and keeping silent about it, doesn’t it make you somewhat uncomfortable?
It makes me very uncomfortable, and it makes me lonely, too. But that’s being a Time Traveller, I guess.
Suppose your threefold plan did work, and you’d ended up with Clair, would you tell her about your time travelling?
I don’t know, I’m not sure. I mean I do know she’s into sci-fi literature, that’s mostly what we talk about when I come by the book shop where she works. I think she could understand it, she could understand the complexity of it all. But then again it didn’t work, so what’s the point of even thinking about it.
You didn’t give up trying with Lisa, this must have affected the way things went with Amy when you went to university together.
It did actually, much like I’d anticipated. But things with Amy got complicated as well. I’ve come to realise that this plan was at best useless. I tried to work myself around my present moment, focusing on anything but this very present moment. I was dealing with the traces, not with the thing itself.
Alright, so what’s going on with Clair then?
I just can’t bring myself to do it, and it’s because I cherish her friendship just as much as I cherish my present time. I mean she’s great, she’s so great and smart and fun to talk to, I enjoy just seeing her in her shop or in the cafe, just talking to her about all sorts of things. That’s the present moment and I enjoy it, so why should I think all the time about how it should and could be and try to change it. That’s the conclusion I’ve come to.
Travelling to the future seems to have changed you.
I guess it has. I’m happy with what I’ve got I guess. I still need a few days to think about what I’ve seen. Maybe I’ll take a day off.
Off travelling or off the cafe?
Both, a total day off.
I hope the Shift Manager would allow it.
Oh I don’t care what he says. That’s one ant in the street no one should care to save.
Hah well put. I wish you a very relaxing day off. We’ll be waiting, as always, to hear from you again.
Thanks. So good to be back.
We thank you and congratulate you here and now.
Thanks. Be safe and cherish your present time.