Wednesday, January 19, 2011

And a newly revised essay:

It's not quite right. What does it need? Comment please.
Don't forget your towel...
Don't forget your towel...
Many are unsatisfied with their current life situation. They wish they could go back and fix mistakes in the past or repair broken relationships. They wish they could go forward and reach their destinations, whether it is a coveted job, mansion or the family they dream of. But they don’t understand how easy it really could be.
In short, it can be said that many wish they could interrupt the fabric of time. It is well-known that the only way to do that is with a time machine.
Where can this device be found? Scientists (“rocket” and otherwise) have been searching for the mechanisms to make such a machine for centuries. From lightning bolts to other forms of electricity, they’ve tried everything imaginable.
But how they couldn’t have tried what I’m about to reveal is what astounds me. For it is so simple, so obvious, it’s amazing that no one, even the most brilliant scientists and scholars still know nothing about it.
It needs to be understood that I'm about to share my most treasured and significant secret.

The shower is a time machine.

Think about it! You enter, and when you get exit again, about ten, fifteen or twenty minutes have gone by. I figure that the special dials that you would expect to see in a time machine are labeled "H" and "C", which are most definitely abbreviations in a foreign extra-terrestrial scientific language. The common man is not meant to know its meaning. The farther you turn the "H" dial, the farther in the future you'll go. With the average person, this dial would be turned some, but not all the way. This is why when the bathroom is again vacant, only ten-or-so minutes have gone by, and not months or years. It can be assumed that the "C" dial takes you into the past, but I wouldn't know... I've never tried it.

Once the machine is on and warmed up, hot or cold water can be expected to shoot out (or trickle, depending on the positioning of the dials) and blast your body into smitherings. Although the showerer may be in small particles temporarily, when they emerge from the machine, their body is back in one piece (about 86.5% of the time) and nothing is noticeably altered except for the fabric of time. This change is so subtle, that the showerer notices nothing different except perhaps a slight adjustment in the positioning of the sun, or some higher numbers garnishing the clocks around the house. But this can not be proven to be time travel. Most don’t even consider that an amazing journey through time has occurred. They notice very little difference in time or circumstance but little do they know. An entire ten minutes has leapt out of their daily life. Imagine the experience of a germaphobe, whom showers perhaps twenty to thirty times a day to escape dangerous bacteria. They may experience hours of time travel and not even know it.

If skeptical, think of how long the last shower you took seemed to you. Mine usually seem to be over as soon as the water is at the right temperature. As I get out and check the clock, I’m often late to work. Especially if I keep the bathroom door shut tight, I may be in another time dimension until an hour has passed. Can’t society see how dangerous this could be? Our entire lives seeping through shower heads, and all we see and feel is warm, clean (depending on what country you live in) H2O. But while we cleanse our bodies, we’re getting older and losing our lives.

You may be skeptical, but it can’t be denied, as more research shows. In our culture, the richer you are, the more bathrooms you have in your house . The time machines typically get fancier, with all kinds of extra features, and even seats for comfort if the journey is long. And with more time machines, more people can hypothetically experience this phenomenon at the same time. And yet, not a single soul on our planet has realized the power of this miraculous device. Think of the potential! We gripe about how things were in the good ol' days, or how we wish we could be graduated, married, and happy with a family and a boat already, but we never think that it could be as simple as taking a shower. Something we do each and every day.

Despite his brilliance, there is one thing that the inventor of this extraordinary machine didn't quite think through. If I ever succeeded in getting into another time dimension, I'd be naked and too embarrassed to get out.


Anonymous said...

Cute. The end is my favorite.

Jason Francis said...

Very well done, Diane. You have a natural talent for writing that I can only envy.

If you're asking for feedback, I would probably lose the ellipses in the title and check your spelling on "smithereens." The "(“rocket” and otherwise)" quip was probably a little gratuitous, too.

I agree that in general it still needs something which I can't quite put my finger on, but you might think about it in terms of payoff. Your readers have invested themselves in this journey you have taken them on, and the best writers have figured out how to give them a little gift at the end. Your gift is a little bit of cleverness---maybe helping us think about our assumptions differently, but it could be so much more potent if you could leave us with the gift of understanding. It sounds hackneyed, but what does this journey tell us about the human condition or love or loss or anything we might connect to?

One of the worst things a writer can be accused of is self-indulgence, and you certainly couldn't be accused of that. The difference between the self-indulgent writer and the great one, though, is an understanding of the possibility of the gift.

All my love and respect, J

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