Chapter I: The Revé Mansion
The pain started to grow, coming from deep inside my mind just like the heartbeat of a sick old man reaching its final moment; increasing bit by bit, each time stronger than before, aiming for that very end. In my case, it expanded throughout every single space in my brain like something was trying to get out of my head, while I was laying on the right side of a dark Mercedes, just waiting for that final moment to come.
It felt like I was too close and at the same time too far from it, when the pills Buter put in my hand went to my mouth. Then, the pain started to settle to its normal point or the way I used to call it “The constant”. Although I knew there was not much time left for it to change.
It certainly is cold - I thought to myself while letting out a tired sigh, after being just ten minutes outside my car.
Buter and I had reached the entrance of “The Revé Mansion ″, bought one week ago by the real estate agent Katherine Peterson, whom I never talked to. Based on what Buter told me, this place was recommended by many and known as “The memories house”, with that nostalgic modern architecture design, beautiful landscape, and quiet environment which surrounded the entire structure. People used to say you could “breathe” those memories of the ones that were before. But for me, it was just another shelter.
You may be wondering why I have thrown so many negative thoughts in just three paragraphs, but well, at this point, you’re not able to understand. I don’t know why I’m writing this myself and still, you’re here, reading it. Don’t worry, as I come to remember everything that has happened so far, you will understand that one me, looking at the entrance of a new not so strange house to me, with France winter at the door and tired eyes, not feeling any way different.
Buter started to talk, maybe explaining again the backstory of this place, or pointing out the beauty of some structure. I, on the other hand, stayed still in front of a painting of a man sitting on a chair in front of a mirror. It may sound stupid, but this is actually interesting in one way and that is the reflection of the mirror, making an exact copy of the painting I’m seeing. The broken corner of the mirror and the perspective of the drawing also give another sensation. It makes you feel immersed like it were you who is looking at your own reflection, with one clear message: “You look at you, but you can’t see yourself”.
Was I smiling right then? I’m not sure. But it was somehow funny for me.
- I’m writing a book - I said to Buter when he was showing me the kitchen, cutting his speech about the technique used over the worktop.
- I'd had never imagined you would be interested in writing… What is it about? - He answered, not bothered but interested. We continued to move into the living room.
Buter may be a 61 years old man, but whenever I spoke about something that captured my attention, complained over the pain in my head, or needed something basic like food, tools, or a drive, he would always be there, like a young kid inside a library listening to a random story. It somehow made me feel like he was worried about me.
- I don’t know yet. But I want something about time traveling - the living room was elegant, as expected. It had a piano, although I think it’ll never be used.
Buter had my pills, he would always give me two pills of DRZ-34 whenever “The migraine” exploded. Never up than two. Even though my dose was not regular, as the quantity of the pills added to the potency of the same would create effects of loss in intellectual capacity or even an overdose in a normal person, I needed them. You could say I’m a scheduled addict, but I don’t want to go through something like that again... or so I used to think. One interesting thing about the DRZ-34 is the fact that the normal dose is about a quarter of the pill, and can only be consumed twice in the month, in extreme pain cases.
Up until that moment, I had not presented secondary effects.
- Time traveling is not a simple topic, how will you approach it, sir? - He said while we started our way up to the second floor.
Already going up? Yeah. Even though people used to call it “The Revé Mansion” the size reminds more of an ancient house, modernized with some time up until the point of being luxurious, and like so the name; although, based on what Buter told me, it may be the extensive land what gave “Revé” it's prestigious, even including a path to a lake in the backyards.
- I don’t know for sure. I think it would be better to focus more on the conscious than on classical time travel with a timing machine; but as I said, I´ve written nothing yet - The surroundings were covered with fog, as I saw through the window in the middle of the stairs. Buter nodded and we continued going up.
Speaking with Buter was easy. Not too much information. Not too many details. Just the necessary. For someone who has an eternal headache, this is a good way to finish conversations quickly, while at the same time not losing my mind in loneliness, as I did in the past. Now that I think about it, how exactly did I meet Buter?
It was in a bar in New York, but I cannot recall its name. My first memory of that night is seeing Carl and Bob drinking like crazy. I guess it makes sense: “The medicine that can cure any kind of pain sensation” was just released to the market, and so we, the inventors of the DRZ-34, were celebrating. To think this company used to be that small, with its main laboratory in a university installation. For me? I didn’t care about any of those. Nor the success, the fame, any of those matter to me. I was just anxious.
Six hours were all that was left for the DRZ-34 to reach pharmacies. I just wanted to have it in my hands. A temporal escape. The way out to the pain outbursts. I was just anxious… anxious and bothered. It was really frustrating handling this pain in my head while these idiots were laughing and shouting, with this strong music and people talking, dancing, and shouting. All of it just increased my headache and anybody here had even noticed me. Why did I come there in the first place? I don’t really know nor remember.
Waitress! - Carl shouted to the bar - another round over here - It stank to alcohol all over the table, with all made a mess. A middle-aged man approached from the bar with three Martini and a Vodka bottle.
- I’ve not seen you drink anything in the whole night - Susan, the only female partner of the team, and probably the most valuable member, asked me that. She was also having fun but she was more reserved than the others, so it was easier to talk with her. Also, she wasn’t drunk at all.
- I don’t feel like it now, Sussan - I never feel like it. It brings me back to the old days, and the old days are not always good.
- I see - she said, taking some of her beverage.
- “I don’t feel like it now” Come on, Patrick! We’re celebrating we did the impossible. - He extended his arm, taking down the bottle that was just put on the table - You have to feel it, bro! - He said as nothing had happened. That was awful.
- Damm it! - Carl interrupted, stepping back with some difficulty - Now I have vodka all over my clothes…
- Idiot - Susan said while laughing a bit.
We saw Carl heading to the bathroom.
- Do you need anything else? - The waitress asked, so I noticed he’d been there the entire time. The way he asked sounded strangely parental, which was a little bit ironic in that situation.
- Yes - Bob said - A younger waitress with a better figure. It makes no sense coming here and being attended by an old man!
As expected from Bob. - I thought to myself.
- As expected from someone like Bob - Susan said, enjoying herself with some whisky.
The air was heavy for someone like me, naturally. I think this is a good moment to explain the nature of the particular condition (You may call it a disease) I currently live with, I’m not able to explain it entirely at this point though. Let’s just set the basics.
First, there’s “The constant” which refers to the eternal pain in my head that keeps in my mind. For explanation, let’s just say it is a headache that never stops as long as I’m conscious, and that keeps me in the “same state” or “quantity of pain”, something like that. One could think one could get used to it and live with it, but at the moment this happened to me, I didn’t even have the time to consider it.
This is because of the second one, “The Migraine” which is a little bit more complicated to explain. You surely know what a Migraine is, don’t you? That state of uncontrolled pain growing up inside your head normally puts you to bed. Right. Well, now let’s move it to my context: There’s this line of constant pain in my head which, for no particular reason, starts to grow up really fast and in all directions tearing my mind down to pieces. And exactly one hour later, it comes back to “The constant” state.
And right at that moment in the bar, sitting there seeing everyone have fun, I was feeling dead inside and completely beaten up. Well, it makes sense. The work I had put all my life into didn’t work, pushing me to a state where I was, again, just expecting. Waiting for the pills I had created to come to my hands… In that anxious state, “The migraine” suddenly appeared.