Okay, let me make this easy by explaining how I did what I did. In Layman’s terms, of course. I like to experiment. Metals, wires, chemicals, those kind of things. I’m not super, super serious about it. I go to college for linguistics, I’m pretty normal.
My favorite things to work with are things that the public aren’t really supposed to get ahold of. I did a comparison via microscope of a Cuban cigar to one from Nicaragua, and was actually able to spot some key differences.
What I’m about to explain started with doing a search on Google Shopping. You search for something, it brings up all of the online locations where you can buy whatever it is, do price comparisons, etc. Me and my friend Dave were having fun looking up crazy things one night, like fighter jets and private islands. Things actually do come up, the prices are laughable. Anyway, I searched for “uranium.” To our surprise, a few sites popped up selling straight up fucking uranium. We laughed it off, but it made me think. I’ve heard that some of the more off-the-wall elements on the periodic table can do strange things. A few days later, I got paid for my silly phone-bitch job, and went and did the uranium search again. I chose a random vendor and started looking around their site. The only other wild one I found was Ununpentium, element 114, if I remember right. I bought them both. Don’t ask where the site is, and don’t ask how much it cost. I’ll explain everything, but to tell you the truth, no matter how much you probably think you want to see what I saw, it’s an extremely hard reality to live with.
I got these elements in vials. Working with them is not safe, I’m not going to tell you how I did it, but I found it on the internet, so you can, too. I tried a few different things with small amounts of each. Combining them in water, etc. There isn’t a lot of information on ununpentium, as it’s a manmade element and nobody is supposed to have access to it outside of really extravagant laboratory settings. Anyway, surprisingly, nothing interesting happened. I had one more interesting idea. I put both in a food dehydrator. This sounds retarded, I know, believe me, the thought was hilarious to me, too, since I bought the food dehydrator to extract mescaline from cactus I found at a Mexican grocery store. You wouldn’t believe what college kids will pay…never mind.
Anyway, I put these two in the dehydrator and turned it on. This is when things got a little strange. I ran it for around ten seconds, and the two elements drew closer together, similar to how a magnet attracts metal. I ran it a little longer, and they moved yet closer. Hmm…what happens when they touch in here? I ran it and watched. The two little stones I used drew closer, and they touched, the spot that each of them touched the other with began to shimmer a little bit. I kept going. They drew…well, into each other, until they became one black, shimmering mass. As I continued, the mass took on a perfect spherical shape. It grew from the size of a marble to about that of a baseball before I stopped. I took the thing out with a thick, gloved hand, and held it. It didn’t seem to have any mass whatsoever. I decided to take a big risk. I set this thing down, and it literally hovered about two inches over my kitchen counter. Wow! I took off my right glove, and touched the thing. It felt like sticking my fingers into jello, yet it was extremely warm, um, inside? It was just a black ball of…I don’t know what. Once I stuck my right pointer finger in, I couldn’t see it inside the thing. You can hold this with a hand, yet fingers go through it. I picked it up, no glove this time, and held it up to my eye. This is when everything happened.
This is basically a recap. I can’t tell you what happened during…whatever happened. I can, however, tell you what I learned. Essentially, this thing took me to the future. I understood it to be the year 2060. Not all too crazy, but it was different. I had some time to look around. I’m going to number my experiences for you.
1. I saw how technology had advanced since 2013. I was “placed” into a public park. I’m not sure where, but everyone spoke English, so it was somewhere in the USA. I saw people taking pictures. Everyone still acts like they do today. There are some new slang terms, like what I guess was “pash,” which is some form of agreeing. The cameras that people had were amazing. They essentially take pictures that you can move all around. Essentially, they capture the entire world in each moment in time. You take a picture of something, bring the image up on the camera’s touch screen display, and you can start moving the picture around. People took pictures in the park, sat around the camera and one person made motions on the screen with their fingers. The image began moving forward. They moved to an adjacent street. One of them moved the image to their house, where they saw their parents sitting in the living room. Every single thing happening in the moment that the picture is taken is captured in each picture. Also, as a side note, I didn’t recognize any of the logos on these things, so I’d say a big competitor is coming in the tech market.
2. Things began to get depressing at this realization. I listened to a news broadcast someone was watching on what reminded me of a tablet. It was a cool little thing that produces a 3D hologram when you sit it flat, facing up. The 3D news person, a pretty woman who reminded me of Diane Neal during her strawberry blonde era, explained a list of new sanitization locations throughout New York City, how innovative they were, and how a petition had been started to open these elsewhere. The pretty news lady explained that they were walk-in decontamination booths, they looked like a phone booth, but were white with a green sign, like a medical cross with “heat” lines coming off of it. The booth fills with an antibiotic gas that decontaminates the skin, lungs, and respiratory tract. From what I understood, things like this had been around for awhile, and this was simply the newest antibiotic agent. See, what happened was, viruses continued to morph, and pharma technology actually hit a five year standstill around 2045. Pharma was still trying to catch up, but viruses had a five year permanent head start now, and these booths were the only way to ensure safety against these viruses that were as-of-yet untreatable. It was a sort of social more to enter one of these before visiting others’ homes, offices, etc. Real “upstanding” citizens wore these jelly bracelets with a little digital counter in them that showed how long it had been since they “decon’ed.”
3. As a quick side note, I’ve never cared too much about the environment. I have no problem with smokers, never really worried about “doing my part” to cut down on emissions and things like that. This isn’t a political statement or anything like that, but something I learned while on my, err, trip. I learned that Beijing, China was now abandoned. The air quality had devolved to the point where around 75 people began dying daily of respiratory infections. These were people whose health had been excellent. It only took around three hours of exposure to Beijing’s air to put someone in the hospital. Eventually, the UN took over and evacuated Beijing, giving it the same safety classification as Pripyat, the city of the Chernobyl disaster. It was estimated that, with Beijing abandoned and technically at zero emissions now, it will be safe by the new clean air standards to be settled again in around 9,000 years. It is also said that Los Angeles, and Pittsburgh will suffer the same fate in around 20 years (so, 2080) if drastic measures were not taken to eliminate pollution. You know, it struck me as odd that these places hadn’t cut down on emissions to a reasonable level yet, because even today, in 2013, tons of clean air initiatives are in places, aimed at factories and the like. Like I said, not meant to be a political statement, or any Greenpeace bullshit, this is just what I saw.
4. Another interesting side note, most of this information came from watching the news in 2060. I talked to some people, told them I was foreign to explain my accent and what was now “old timey” choice of words. They explained that the USA government had passed an initiative holding news outlets to standards similar to advertisers. Any sort of embellishment, bias, or straight up lie was punishable with fines in the millions. The public trusted the news media completely, and there wasn’t really anything to suggest that the media couldn’t be trusted, though I will say that the news was now quite boring and dry compared to 2013, haha.
I guess it’s time to explain why this isn’t a happy story about an amazing future, at least not for me.
5. There’s no easy way to say this, but in 2060, I had been dead for eight years. I’ll explain how this is possible in a minute. I was almost 50 years into the future, of course I wanted to see what I was up to! I don’t know for sure how much time I spent there (we switched to a 24 hour clock, by the way,) but I eventually figured out that I was in Central Park, in New York City. Real quick explanation, the thing that I created in my kitchen puts you in the area closest to you with the most energy, and nothing produces more energy than a bunch of active, living humans. Path of least resistance, I guess. Anyway, believe it or not, I still had everything. My iPhone, now a fossil compared to the phones these people had, still worked. I still had a wallet with my credit and debit cards, now embarrassingly expired. I still had the money from my paycheck that I cashed. It took some time, but I made it to rural upstate New York, where my family lived.
This part is very difficult to write. Please bear with me.
I saw our house. My parents were still alive, still married, in their 90s. I looked in the windows. Our living room was adorned with pictures. Of me. All stages of life. Above our fireplace hung the biggest one, a picture of a much older looking me, with flowers and an urn sitting on the mantle underneath the picture. I couldn’t handle this. I started crying. Inside, my parents sat on an amber-colored couch, holding hands, looking at the picture above the mantle. I don’t know if they were talking. This was the hardest thing I’d ever done in life. I made the decision to leave. My parents had accepted my death. I was here, I was given the opportunity of a lifetime, to walk in as my 22 year old self. I couldn’t do it. There was too much that I felt could go wrong. Could a human handle such a thing? Seeing the 22 year old version of their deceased son waltz in. It’s physically impossible. I had that opportunity, but for the sake of everything I’ve ever known, I didn’t do it. I learned that I’d died from a rare form of Parkinson’s disease, which I suspected I had at age 21, and I was right, I’d inherited it from my maternal grandfather, who also died of it, though he was in his seventies.
I got back home to 2013. Once again, I won’t tell you how, because I don’t want anyone to have to experience what I did. I was in my kitchen. Strangely, no time at all had passed. I need to explain some things, of course.
1. In this instance, my physical body went to the future. Time in 2013 did not move. Therefore, I have no idea how long I was gone. This wasn’t a spiritual thing, my physical being went. I was still the exact same person, in the same clothes, same change in my back pocket, as I had that night in 2013.
2. Nothing you do in the future can change the present. This should go without saying, but the future hasn’t happened yet, and 99.9% of people have no idea what is going to happen in 2060.
3. This is the big one. Nothing you do in the present can change the future, even if you know what is going to happen. Why? Because, in my case, I knew what was going to happen. I realized that I’m not going to change my lifestyle, or do anything different. People can talk all they want about making changes now for a better future, but this is the ultimate example of “what is going to happen will happen.” Literally, all we have is now, today. If I went to a doctor, got all the fancy treatment for Parkinson’s, I would still die at age 61. There isn’t a damn thing I can do about it.
Above all, this is the worst thing anyone can ever dream of going through. You know why? I have to “doublethink” now. I have to try and pretend that life can be spontaneous. When I have a wife, I have to try and surprise her with a nice dinner, take my kids to the fair, all while knowing exactly how much time I have left. The spontaneity of life is gone, and for the rest of my life, all 39 years of it, there won’t be a surprise, something I didn’t expect, ever again. I could kill myself, but I can’t, because I already know that that isn’t how it happens. It’s not that it won’t work, it’s just that I already know that I won’t do it. I know how it happens. I never have to worry about getting robbed, getting in a fatal car accident, because that isn’t how it happens. I miss those fears. You don’t realize how much 100% safety sucks until you live it. At this point, it literally might be nice to wake up and worry about if I’ll be in a car wreck today, just because it’d be something I wouldn’t expect, but I expect everything now.
It’s clear to me now, more than anyone else on this planet can say, why time travel isn’t a “thing.” People have been working on time travel for decades, but it’s never come to fruition, or so we’re told. I think time travel has been around for years, maybe centuries. Someone will always get curious and give it a shot, but they’ll never say a word about it, because they know. Imagine a world full of people who feel like I do, whose lives have lost all of the adventure, excitement, and challenges. There would not only be no point for each of us to continue living, but there would be no point to life of any type continuing.
Original Author: S. Lane