(Originally Published in Oh Get a Grip 2010 under the theme "My Dream Job", republished in the anthology "Coming Together Presents C. Sanchez-Garcia")
We move into the future. We look into the past. We move into the future at different speeds relative to each other in space-time. The women walking briskly in the hallway are aging a fraction of a nano-second more slowly than I am in my hospital cot here in the burn ward. Relative to the speed of light, time slows down slightly for them as they are in a forward motion of some small speed. At night, when one or another steals into my room against the rules, nervously closing the door, finding me awake or coaxing me awake, we are aging at the same pace relative to the speed of light. Never mind our increasingly vigorous motion in the little railed bed, because we are occupying more or less the same space when lying on top of one another, and space decides the speed of time.
No matter who the woman is, at some point on the arrow of time she will sob into my chest, and violently tremble and in that incandescent instant it seems as though time has frozen its headlong plunge with the beating of our hearts. Almost all of the women in this world, it seems, burst into inconsolable tears when they come. I find this charming. Relieved and released by orgasm she will dry herself, dress, give me a grateful kiss (dreaming of babies) and skip wickedly into the hallway back to work, back into the forward motion into the future while I sink behind, drifting downstream into her past.
Outside my hospital window it’s been raining and thundering tonight. In the glass, I'd say about three feet away from me; I am seeing myself as I appeared in the past, measured in nano-seconds. The light left my white gown and bandages and traveled to the glass in about five nano-seconds. The glass reflected it back, and it returned to me another five nano seconds later. This isn’t even counting the latency of optical perception, neural transmission and brain processing, all of which take infinitely longer than light. I am eternally lagging behind myself like the tortoise in the past relative to my hare reflection racing ahead of me ten nano-seconds into the future.
Compare this to something that happened last night when Head Nurse Paliamaiaknachuk rather took advantage of her status I think and woke me up for "some practical tests" and the complete and necessary harvesting of my semen with three condoms. After disrobing and slipping under the covers she performed some vigorous tests of my stamina and rigidity and over the space of two hours got all of her condoms filled, leaving me a little worn out and sweaty.
"I love to look at your face when you're ejaculating." she said. "You look transported."
Oh, transported. I could tell her about transported. She has no idea. I suggested to her that if I must have my equipment so exercised I should have a bigger and more spacious bed. She almost tipped it over in her abandon a couple of times. She said she would find something.
While we lay in the afterglow with her cooing her big plans into my ear, I saw the constellation Orion the Hunter outside my window. The Orion Nebula, that lonely star that forms the scabbard of Orion's sword, suddenly glowed until it was the brightest object in the sky. That would be a nova event I think. Those photons fled their dying star one million years in the distant past. Possibly at the very moment I was mounting the rough faced young girl, most likely genus Homo erectus, and pressing her hard into the flowers of an ancient African savannah while her clan looked on jabbering and chanting until we had consummated our act. Though it was a million years ago for refugee rays of light, that event happened two days ago relative to my space-time. How time flies when you’re having fun.
At the moment last night as these photons were arriving at their journey’s end against my retina, Head Nurse Paliamaiaknachuk rolled on top of me, unwrapped condom number three and the sight was lost behind her bobbing shoulder. About an hour later when she gave an ecstatic shriek and slowly climbed off of me, shattered and weeping with happiness, the sky was covered with clouds and has been since.
Outside my little window tonight the rain licks the glass. Larry King in my old world, now long lost, asked me if the future could be changed. I said to his audience that the future is changeable relative to the present, but fixed relative to the absolute. I had hoped he would ask me what that meant. He really should have. I wonder where all those people are now. Do they still exist somewhere in some parallel universe?
Outside the rain travels down the steamed glass in tiny streams. A moving drop reaches a spot, hesitates, then jinks to the left. Why does it go to the left and not to the right? Why doesn't it go straight ahead? Why doesn’t it stop? I would have told Larry King the river of time has what Teilhard De Chardin called "omega points". These are critical moments of change, for an individual or the destiny of a world, where the arrow of time meets a bend in the river or bumps up against a bit of karmic debris and history goes to the left instead of the right. Why didn’t Larry King ask me about this instead of the lurid rumors about me and Angelina Jolie?
In Tunguska Siberia in 1903, something believed to be an ice fragment, most likely debris from the trail of Comet Encke, exploded six miles in the high atmosphere. A thousand square miles of uninhabited, mosquito infested tundra was leveled and burned in an instant. That's not what is interesting to me. What is interesting is that if the comet ice had waited maybe three more hours to descend at cosmic speed, it would have ignited directly over a city on the same latitude as
fragment would have exploded with the energy of a fifteen megaton thermonuclear
weapon directly over the city of , where Vladimir Lenin would have been
sitting over his morning tea at the very epicenter looking up. Communism would never have existed. No
Bolshevik Revolution. No St
Petersburg Soviet Union. No Joseph Stalin. No communist . No Mao Tse Tung. No China . No Cold War. No North Korea war. When a butterfly
falls, mountains slide into the sea. Viet Nam
That’s all gone now, I guess. That’s the part I don’t know, and don’t really want to know, because I’m happy now. I like this world better. I like its people better, I would estimate about ninety eight percent female. Here’s what happened. Once upon a time, a very long time ago—there was this girl.
The poor girl had been caught in quicksand. I had been parked in the high atmosphere, out of the way of things, filming and observing, following the directives that had been given to me as a pioneer time traveler, dealing with technologies whose consequences could only be guessed. I saw her fall in. I saw her flailing. She wanted so badly to live. It was heart rending. Anyone who observes nature in the wild becomes familiar and hardened to the sight of violent death. But what man with a soul could see this young woman, and not want to save her? To interfere with the way of things just this once? After all I was working alone this time and who would ever know if I didn’t tell? As her tribe watched helplessly for her to sink from sight, I descended from the clouds like a righteous god in a chariot, and jumped to the ground. In an instant I tore off my shirt and pants and tied them together into a life line. Naked, I threw her the end and pulled her out.
Those were simple times. A sexually mature girl had only one reward to offer her champion. By gestures and sounds the older ones made it clear that they desired me to take my reward. I was ashamed and excited to discover that this was what I wanted too. I lusted for her as terribly as ever David lusted for Bathsheba. If the fall of a butterfly can knock down mountains, a grateful maid and a man with a raging hard on --Homo erectus indeed!—together can knock down worlds and steer them into strange trajectories.
A little while ago, Head Nurse Paliamaiaknachuk came by with a couple of her friends, wheeling in a larger and more accommodating hospital bed. There is no jealousy in this world. No possessiveness. The human genus we inadvertently spawned between those slippery mud slicked thighs is more like that of social insects with a few male drones and not all of them potent, to several thousand fertile females each. Nurse Paliamaiaknachuk’s companions had never seen a naked man or a phallus. They would probably never have a chance to see another in their lifetimes. She invited me to give them a lecture on the facts of life and then perform an impromptu lab study for each, which I did eagerly. I'm beginning to get a little sore down there. Not that I’m complaining.
My last stop in time, before heading homeward, was to the end of the Cretaceous, about sixty five million years ago. This followed immediately after my Paleolithic tryst, as I was assigned to do an atmospheric field study of the mass extinction event that had killed the dinosaurs. I had basically been sent to measure nitric acid in the atmosphere and then get the hell out of there fast. What I found was not the asteroid I had come prepared for. I arrived in the midst of the vast coma of a gigantic comet, one of those rogue ice giants that drift in from the Oort belt which managed to get past the giant catcher's mitt of Jupiter’s gravity. As the comet melted and disintegrated, it out-gassed mountain sized pieces of rock and ice which rained into the atmosphere, striking in a shot gun line from
to Mexico to
northern Iowa . A giant ice fragment clipped the time machine
with its passing shock wave and cracked the hull, sending me into a spin. I punched the emergency return system and
rode the biggest piece back, the cabin filling with flames and poisonous smoke. Russia
I came down somewhere in the neighborhood of what would have been
, in a large
field. The kinetic brakes took the
impact, instantly converting the lethal forward energy into a blast of pure
light. The wreckage was almost perfectly
intact except for the system damage from the fire and I crawled out bleeding
from second degree burns on feet and legs.
Then the women arrived. The flash
had been visible for a hundred miles. Kansas
The world population here is very small. Due to the scarcity of precious testosterone, nation-states, war and violence are almost unknown. Hell,
is unknown. The ecosystem is as pure and pristine in this
matriarchal society as in that ancient savannah where two horny people suddenly
diverted the raindrops of space-time from one track to another, taking all
human evolution and its sordidness with it. Well done too, I say. Kansas
When Head Nurse Paliamaiaknachuk and her friends had taken their pleasure with me on my new bed, they told me about my tests. My sperm count is extraordinary. Nothing like it has ever been recorded. The wigglies passed the hamster egg penetration test with the vigor of rapacious barbarian hordes. The women doctors here like me.
They have a job for me.
In my old world, I had wanted to be a writer, but I lost hope along the way. When the chance came to pioneer quantum displacement engines, I jumped on it. Then I fucked it all up, literally. In this world males are assigned fertility farms, to harvest and process their sperm for maximum reproductive efficiency. It’s what males here are good for. I have been assigned to several clinics and will travel to what I still call
as soon as my wounds heal.
And then a kind of world tour to show me off.
In effect I have been put out to stud. I like this place.
I think I’m going to like my new job. I think I'm going to like it very much.