I've found a way to bend time. I can reach out and bring the future to me; make it mine... now... whenever I want to. It's like having a remote control on my life except I can only fast forward. No more weekdays, no more 9-5, no more boredom and no more ever doing what I don't want to do.
I wake up. It's a Monday morning, grey skies outside. The thought of work makes me want to bury myself alive in this grave of a bed. I close my eyes, steady my breathing, slow it down, breathe long and hard and hope. I picture it being Monday evening. I'm coming home from the shop and the working day is over. My heart seems to stop. With my eyes closed, I hurtle forwards sickeningly fast through the darkness. I open my eyes and I'm here. Monday evening. Work has been and gone and I'm free for the evening. That’s how time travel works.
What's going on this evening? I call my mate. He's knackered. Says I was like a zombie at work as usual. Why am I now so full of beans? I call Shell; see if she's around tonight. She is. I go round hers and we chuck on a film. I'm bored, restless. Waiting for the movie to finish and see if Shell is in the mood tonight. She loves the flick, nudging me, encouraging me to enjoy another complicated love triangle. I don't care. For a moment I close my eyes and start to wish the film away. I'll just fast forward to the end and then see if I'm in luck or not. For the second time today I go through the ritual, imagine the credits rolling and Shell turning the DVD off. I speed through time. I'm there, at the end of the film. We fuck then fall asleep.
That's how it starts. Once, then twice a day. Then I find myself skipping a day or two at a time. Mondays and Tuesdays are pretty much guaranteed to be worthless. Work sucks and nothing much is on in the evenings. I skip a few days then I start skipping the whole working week.
All I get at work is grief. People say I'm blasé; living my life on auto-pilot. Unmotivated; a zombie. I'm not surprised. I'm completely skipping it. Living for the weekend. My mates and I go out on Friday, pop a couple of pills or see who's got some coke. There's always somebody who's got some. Saturday might be quieter but usually I'm up for raving all over again. We usually hit it hard both nights. I've been saving myself for this all week. I'm probably a bad influence on the others. When they want to go home, I'm just getting started.
We hit the clubs or find a rave and I'm in my element. I'm a time travelling space alien sent to bring peace and love to the people of this planet. I tell people about my adventures in time travel as I chew my face off, the ecstasy coursing through my blood, as I sweat profusely and try to touch them like they're my best friend. The wide eyed believers stare back at me and tell me 'I know exactly what you mean, man... I do it too!'
There must be loads of us, I tell myself. Loads of time hoppers jumping to the weekends where we get to let it all hang out, breaking down the social barriers that make no sense to any of us. Sharing moments that we'll never remember but that we never want to forget. Time flies when you're having fun and I love the weekends. All night I reach out to strangers, communicate, connect and love. Then we sleep through the next day and wake up and do it all again. On Sunday nights, Shell and I chill in and she berates me for my social over-stimulation all weekend.
'It's like I'm not here sometimes' she says. 'You're too busy talking to the rest of the world to even notice me'.
I find myself resisting the urge to close my eyes and wish this encounter away. I try to resist. This is important. It's important that I hear this and respond to it. Stay here. Stay in the goddamn moment. But I'm tired. My eyelids are heavy and I don't need this. They droop and I start to see me and the boys heading out next Friday evening. The pills are sorted and we've got a little bit of coke lined up for the weekend.
As my eyes close, I just hear Shell saying 'Dave... Are you even fucking listening to me...? Dave!' And I'm gone.
It becomes addictive. Like the pills, like the coke, life is too much fun to not skip the boring parts. Weeks go by in a second and the weekends pass by in a blurry haze of drug fuelled bullshitting and partying. I discovered my special gift at 18 when I left school and hit the real world. One sunny day, standing at the counter at work, staring into space, I closed my eyes and dreamed of sitting in a beer garden at the end of the day. Feeling suddenly nauseous, I felt like I was tipping forward uncontrollably. I put my hands out to steady myself and catch my balance, eyes jolting open at the same time and suddenly there I found myself; in the beer garden staring into the sunset and being sick.
The sickness went away in time and I learnt to control my gift. Next thing I know I'm 35. Shell's long gone. My mates are long gone. I don't even know when I lost them. It's fine. I meet new people every weekend. I try to hit the same clubs and wander around in a state till I meet someone I recognize. We get off our faces and have a great night. No one seems that keen to carry on the party anymore. The new kids are lightweights these days. They make their excuses and disappear so I find some new friends.
I spend my 47th birthday with some twenty-somethings raving like there's no tomorrow. One of them is giving me weird looks. We dance under the lasers, the smoke and the heavy bass. This girl keeps pulling her friends away from me. I don't give a shit. I'm having a blast, feeling the effects of the sixth pill of the night. Must have been a weak batch. Off my tits now, though. 47 and loving life.
Suddenly I'm 60. Don't feel it though. In my own world now. People seem even less keen to talk me these days in the clubs. Lightweights. Looked up Shell the other day while I was on a brutal comedown and hadn't yet decided to skip it. Married. Grown children. Divorced. What a waste of a life.
I don't really know a life outside the clubs now. It seems like only months ago since I started this time travelling stuff. I zap forward to stop any thoughts invading my mind; nasty thoughts that creep in and make me shake, threatening to kill my permanent buzz. Where have all my friends gone? What are they doing? Why did they leave me?
I'm a grey haired, wrinkly old cleaner now. How I got the job I couldn't tell you. I look in the mirror and I can't believe the old man who stares back at me. I must have not seen a mirror in twenty years. Old age snuck up so fast. I'm alone. I zap forward again. Those thoughts creeping in making me cringe again. No time for sadness. Skip it.
A dealer in the club shoves me this evening. 'Fuck off, old man' he says. The dealers stand in blatant rows, lining the corridors. I move to another dealer. I shouldn't have come here tonight. They don't know me here. The next dealer says the same. 'What you talking about mate... I ain't got nothing... Now fuck off.'
A bouncer comes over and grabs me. 'This guy bothering you?' he asks the dealer. Must be in on it with him, getting some of the take. He rough handles me through the club. I just want this to be over. I close my eyes. The nausea is back. But now something different. A pain. My arm. I try to get the bouncer's hands off me. He's still dragging me to the doors. My chest. I screw my eyes shut, just take me away from right now. I'm on my knees. My life flashes before me. The lights, the bass, the random faces. It takes less than an instant and I'm gone.