Saturday, September 08, 2007

My Wrinkle In Time

I am currently resting quietly, but that wasn't necessarily the case a few hours ago. My hours of discomfort made me think of the work of Madeleine L’Engle, specifically "A Wrinkle In Time." It was her character, Mrs. Whatsit, who made the matter-of-fact description of a tesseract appear in my fourth grade world. Suddenly, faster than light travel not only seemed possible, but also quite simple. It made so much more sense than the discussion I have just read about a four-dimensional cube, also referred to as a tesseract. An older and wiser version of myself knows that the thing that Mrs. Whatsit described is more like a wormhole than a tesseract, but it opened my eyes to extra-dimensional travel.
But why today, of all days? The thought of moving freely in space and time is appealing on any given day, but today is special. Would I use this tool to create a meeting with Ms. L'Engle, to discuss the effect her books had on me as a child? Or maybe I could use it as an opportunity to return to a time when I could hear Luciano Pavoratti sing one last aria? Perhaps the chance to influence world events, shape a political landscape that could provide a safer future for us all.
All of that sounds very high-minded and nice, but I have a more pressing need for inter-dimensional travel. I would like to go back to a simpler, quieter time. A time with fewer pains and less distress. A time before everything went so horribly wrong. I would like to return to the time and place just before I accepted the bet to eat twenty-some ounces of jalapeno relish. This was not one of my finest moments - a moment I am now regretting. All of those pickled peppers weren't so pleasant being packed in. The end result is causing me regrets beyond the twelve dollars I collected as a result of my vaunted skills as a stunt eater. What I wouldn't give to be able to travel back in time and just say "no." I suppose it's just a little more than twelve dollars worth. Or maybe I could go back and renegotiate for fifteen.

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