The Time of Not Knowing – Time Traveller 12th Alterview

Time Traveller is back to explain why publishing his novel “Twice Even” (written 2018-2019, published January 2016) had caused COVID, and why he refuses to go back in time to unpublish it

Greetings Time Traveller, we welcome and congratulate you here and now!

Hello, hello.

So how are you? how’s Pyotr?

Oh, you must be thinking about my female aspect, I’m personally not engaged in a love affair with Tchaikovsky.

Shame. But how are you none the less? With your being immune to COVID-19 and COVID-22 and everything?  

I see. There’s room for resentment, of course. I do, however, in our present time, wear a face mask properly. I want to share the distress of the people around me.

How thoughtful and condescending of you.

Well, if being thoughtful meant being condescending…

Yes?

Precisely. Also, for my job at the Café. I have to wear a face mask there.

Why do you still work there?

I’m sorry? I might become a shift manager soon.

The atrocious shift manager is leaving?

He might.

Right. So, is Clair back from London?

I guess. Could be.

Ah –

She’s seeing someone, alright?

Oh, shit. No.

Hey, I don’t care, I’m alright with it. Things happen as they should. Even when we don’t expect or foresee it.

I thought the 2018-2022 timeline was fixed. You said it will not be tempered with, so that all events leading to 2032 –

Well it’s changed, alright? it’s changed. And ironically, as you might have guessed, ironically, I caused it.

How?!

It’s complex.

Who is she seeing? Is he better than you?

Oh, please, just –

Is he tall?

She’s seeing a Mark Montgomery Smiths’ fanatic, alright?

Who? What?

Mark M. Smiths? The obscure writer of “Twice even”, written 2018-2019, published January 2016?

Oh, you mean you?

She’s seeing a guy she’s met in north London, where she went trying to trace the great obscure writer. That guy was there doing the same thing.

Shit. That is ironic.

Is it now.

Well, you know, your plan to make 2022-Clair forgive you by writing a novel she would have read in 2016, was far-fetched to begin with.

Oh that’s very helpful, thank you.

It’s clear what you should do now. what you should have done years ago.

No.

You must tell her the truth, once and for all!

Preventing the 2032 catastrophe is the most important –

Bullshit. You can’t manage the 2018-2022 timeline. You said it yourself. In 2018, you didn’t even know COVID-19 is going to happen. Thinking you can manage a 2020-2032 timeline is, I’m sorry, ridiculous!

Well, you’re very wrong. Very wrong. I can see why you’d think you’re right, but you’re wrong.

Do you know what? I don’t even think you love her. You’re just used to thinking about her and making all these plans to get her, but all these plans are really made to postpone being with her. You don’t really love who she is. You love the idea of her. That’s not love.

I’m about one minute away from being entirely fed up with your bullying!

Then prove me wrong!

I don’t have to prove anything to you! no one can understand the burden of time travelling! and the more I try to explain, the more I realise just that. You talk as if you’re seeing the cards I have to play with, but what you don’t understand is that the rules of the game are completely beyond your understanding!

Well, continuing this analogy, I think the rules you’re playing to are the rules you’ve made up all by yourself, and you can’t see where you’ve got it wrong, exactly because of that.

Well no one else can make these rules!

You’re a time travel totalitarian!

You’re an alterviewer tyrant!

You’re just using the 2032 catastrophe to avoid rejection and facing your fears!

You’re just provoking rather than asking the real questions!

What are they then?

If you can’t come up with the question, how will you face the answer?

Oh, you’ve got nothing.

Alright, so I guess realising what changed in 2018 that had caused COVID-19 is nothing.

Right, what was it?

Oh, nothing.

Come on!

You already know. you already know what happened in 2018. I already told you.

Hmm.

That’s when Mark M. Smiths started writing “Twice Even”.

You mean, you.

Exactly.

You and your book caused the virus?

It’s more complex than that. I believe that guy Clair is seeing, who read the book, and the lines that were beginning to form then, even before they’ve met, that’s what caused the virus.

Right. The fact that the girl you fancy is seeing someone, is the reason for COVID.

Well, if you want to put it in simple terms like that, yes.

That’s just ridiculous. There could be so many other reasons, so many things that have happened in 2018.

True, there could have. But this aspect of time, I checked it.

How?

It’s embarrassing, alright? But I went and unpublished my book to prevent Clair from seeing this guy. And when I did that, 2020 was all about the fire in Australia and Greta Thunberg, and a significant advancement in environmental issues worldwide.

That sounds good. That sounds amazing! And you undid that, just to publish your book?! That’s… you really are a totalitarian! You must –

Wait. Yes, 2020 seemed good, but you know what didn’t? 2032. The 2032 catastrophe happens too, if I don’t write “Twice Even”.

Oh.

Yes.

Are you sure it’s not just another way for you to justify not going after Clair, and just accepting the fact she’s seeing someone else? I mean, isn’t it in a way easier to just say, “well, it has to be this way, or else the world comes to an end”?

Alright, why won’t I unpublish the book again then, and you could ask me that question in June 2032? Let’s try that, why won’t we. But you will be held responsible. Alright? I’ll go and do it right now, but that’s on you.

Alright, no –

Oh, you see –

But you’re just avoiding the real issue again. Why won’t you just tell Clair the truth?

It’s as if you’re not listening! It’s not just the book. It’s the chain of events it creates.

Right. So is it going to get serious? For Clair and that guy?

I don’t know.

So check?

No.

Why?

I don’t wanna go to 2024 or something and see them get married or something, alright?

Wait, that moment when 2022-you met 2022-Clair, who was seeing 2019-you at the time, is that still happening in 2022?

It’s complex.

Right.

It can still happen, I believe. Yes.

Can you check with 2019-you to see if that still happened? Does 2019-you change with accordance to what happens in 2020? And if so, how does your memory… work?

Oh, we’ve had a conversation –

Altersation –

About that a while back. It was with my female aspect, I believe.

Oh, the cemetery story, I remember.

Yes. Simpler days, indeed. A Time Traveller dwelling on the past… I must sound ludicrous. Do you know what’s the one thing I want to do every day, and don’t?

Tell Clair the truth?

I want to go back to 2017, and undo my first time-travel to 2032. I want to unknow it. that’s the only past I allow myself to dwell on, sometimes. The time of not knowing.

Oh.

Exactly. Yes. But I don’t do it. I won’t do it. That’s my burden.

So what are your plans for the near future?

Oh, I’m just… at the Café, making coffee. And cherishing my present time. As I believe we all should from time to time.

Right. We thank you and congratulate you here and now, Time Traveller.

Thanks. Be safe.

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