The words over at Three Word Wednesday are evident, illusion and tragic. Something fun.
Dad’s Wrinkling Time
My father is a “tinkerer.”
Mother’s convinced he’s some sort of mad scientist, mad being the evident word she’s concerned about, but so far he’s been pretty harmless. Sure, there’s been a few spot electrical fires and some odd smells now and again.
The stuff he invents? Processes and applications mostly, a few upgrades to small appliances. Nothing I would consider really all that useful to increasing our material wealth. I mean, we’re still living in the three-bedroom ranch house he and my mother built in 1963, hello.
His workshop takes up a 10-foot by 12-foot room he partitioned off in the basement near the washing machine. For some reason when he’s working and my mother needs to run a load of laundry, we tend to trip a lot of breakers and go black for a few minutes. I don’t get to see the electric bill, but I’m sure it’s pretty outrageous.
I go to get a clean shirt from the dryer and he slides open the big metal pocket door and motions to me with two excited fingers into his “laboratory.”
“I think you’ll find this quite interesting,” he says.
There’s this metal halo sitting on the particleboard workbench, like one of those things you see on guys who broke their necks in motorcycle wrecks, or jumping drunk into the shallow end of a pool. You know, the thing that gets screwed onto the guy’s skull with medical screws.
“It’s a time machine.”
“No, I mean it. It works and everything.”
“Well, that’s the thing, isn’t it? You can go back in time, but not forward. And for all of 22 minutes, exactly.
“Just for fun, I went back to last Tuesday.”
“For 22 minutes? Wow. (I stifle a yawn.) What did you do?”
“Well, you know how all you read about time travel is ‘Don’t mess up the time/space continuum crap?’ Don’t change things, don’t leave things, don’t step on anything - and Hell’s Bells don’t meet yourself?”
“It’s all bullshit, an illusion. I changed everything. It was breakfast – you weren’t up yet – and I had Grape Nuts instead of oatmeal, tea instead of coffee, even told your mother I liked that hideous chicken dish we had on Monday, asked if she would make it again.”
“Wild,” I say while pulling on my eyebrow hairs with a pair of needle-nose pliers.
“Wanna try it?”
Now I’m stuck. Tragically stuck, 'cause he's sitting there, smiling and all, with his glasses pushed on top of his forehead.
“Can I take a shower first? I mean, I wouldn’t want to show up anywhere in the past with this serious case of bed-head.”
“Well, hurry up, I was planning to go back and watch the end of last Sunday’s ‘Cold Case’ you forgot to TiVo for me. Before I mow the lawn.”
Normally, I steer well clear of the things in my father’s lab, but there is something I’d like to correct.
And just so you know, just in case he sends me to the late Cretaceous Period or something and forgets how to reel me back, it’s about our last conversation: