Thursday, March 12, 2015
Benjamin and Time Travel
I wrote this story about my son Benjamin in March, 2013.
Hey, here’s a time travel program, Benjamin thinks as he scrolls around the internet. I wonder if it works.
Oops, I didn’t mean to hit enter there.
Benjamin feels himself being pulled backward, off his chair, out of the dining room, fast, fast, down some strange hallway.
Now he’s outside and whoa! He’s riding a horse, and the horse is galloping. “Whoa, horsie, sloooooow down!”
But the horse doesn’t slowdown—it gets faster.
Benjamin has only ridden horses at camp, and always pretty slowly. He grabs onto the mane and prays he won’t slip off.
Oh, no, he is falling off—no, he’s being pulled backward down the hallway again.
He stops in a busy sounding room. People are laughing and calling out to him, “Yay, Benjie! Yay!” And he’s laughing like a little kid. What’s going on here?
Oh, he’s at the St. Baldrick’s Day place downtown when he’s just six, getting his head shaved. This time travel thing keeps switching him. Where next?
Now he finds himself in a dentist chair. He’s four or five, and he’s getting one of his many cavities filled. Well, he wouldn’t mind being taken out of this one.
And out he goes, fast, fast, down another hallway.
Next, Benjamin finds himself sitting on the ground with a young Einstein, who is working on the “E equals MC squared” problem. Benjamin has to explain this very slowly and patiently before Einstein finally gets it.
Benjamin finds himself lying in a trench in France during World War I. Many shots are going on around him, and for whatever reason, Benjamin has his head raised out of the trench. He quickly lowers it snugly into the dirt and prays he’ll be able to get out of this one fast too.
But he’s not sure this next place is what he would have hoped for.
He’s on a horse again, on a very bumpy road. Other riders are coming up quickly behind him.
“He’s got it! Hurry up, catch him!”
They sound like rough English accents from maybe the 1700’s. If he had to guess, he would think they are robbers, and they seem to think he has whatever they want.
“No! No! I don’t have it,” Benjamin yells.
“He’s Lyin’. Hurry up. Get him!”
This time, Benjamin wants the horse to go fast. He leans forward, grips the mane in terror, and yells, “Faster, horsie! Faster!”
Ooooohhhhh. He’s being pulled backwards again…
Bang. He ends up on the floor in his own dining room. Ping-Hwei sits in the chair beside him.
“Ping-Hwei, Hurry, unplug my computer,” he gasps.
Benjamin lies on the floor, trying to get his breath back under control. I hope I’ll have the chance to work on that time travel program before using it again.