Time. I joked once with her that it was simply
the thing that stopped everything from happening at once. When she asked me for
space I laughed, and said "Of course you can have space, if you didn't,
everything would be happening right here."
That's not what she meant. She wasn't amused.
There's that long awkward period of mourning you go through when you stop being part of someone's life, when they stop being part of yours. You do things to help you cope, maybe workout too much, run too far, move to a different city and start drinking all the time. Coping mechanisms. I tried them all, and in the end, I dried up, slowed down and poured myself back into my work. It's ironic that the thing that killed us wound up being the thing I turned to in order to save myself.
My liver has always been shit.
She never believed me when I told her what I wanted to build, and when I tried to explain it she'd wave her hands and talk over me "Too much science, tell your nerd friends, I don't care", and then she'd go watch the gardening channel or the food network or something.
It also seems a little ironic that on the night, in fact in the moment I actually made it work, she pulled out to pass and kissed a semi in the dark. She was my first call, she never picked up. Peterbilt would be her last kiss. I'm still kind of jealous.
So what does this have to do with anything, you ask? Everything actually.
That thing I made work, notice I didn't say 'perfected', we'll come back to that. The thing I made work with all my nerd-science was a means to take a specific moment in time and space, focus it and revert it to an earlier instance of that point. Kind of reverting to a space-time save-point in real life, like you would in a video game, but without having to have thought to save first.
The equipment is setup in my van just a few weeks from now, parked on the shoulder where the flowers are still piled up for a particular southern belle who's going to have a mishap with a tractor trailer just a few moments further along this timeline.
That's where it's going to stay. Up the road she's in her car, not quite fed up yet with how slow the car ahead of her is driving, and in the distance there's a tractor trailer coming, its driver oblivious to how the night will never end for us.
I'm in the middle, stuck in a moment I can't get out of. I expect I'll stay forever, in this bubble of time just big enough for my mind to race.
Eventually I'm going to go completely insane.
In the end, the thing that killed us, and that saved me from self-destructing has now ultimately enacted a fate much worse than death upon me.
Irony has always been shit too.