On Saturday, I woke up a bit late, around about 8:00 a.m., which was late for me. My wife and sons were out of town to visit her parents for the weekend. I planned on doing some work at home, maybe watching a movie or two, and just hanging out a bit.
So, I went to the dinning room to have my breakfast cereal, and as I was just coming around the corner, I saw someone sitting at the table. I was quite freaked out, that is for sure. I edged backwards, but then, I heard a voice saying "Hello, it's just you and you out here. Come on out and I'll explain."
I peeked into the dining room, and you won't believe what I saw... It was me, sitting at the table, and then, it was me again. There were two me's sitting at the table.
"Yes, I know this is confusing," said one me, "but we are just you. Think of it as time travel, I guess."
I stood still, not really knowing what to thing, there were two people who looked just like me sitting in my living room. But, one of them was silent, not doing much of anything, and the other seemed to be quite animated.
"Okay. Suppose I believe that you are me, and this is some sort of time travel thing," I said.
"Oh, yes, I know. But here we are. And there you are. And this is the three of us, all in the same place at the same time. I didn't believe it either at first. You are wondering why he isn't saying anything, and I suppose I can tell you about him first," said the vocal one.
"Well, that would help a bit, because, even though I don't believe in time travel, at least I understand the idea. But, I'm not sure why there is two of me, and he... well... he doesn't seem quite right," I said.
The quiet one just sat there, his eyes looking right at me, following me perfectly with his eyes, but saying nothing.
"We are all the same person. You are the one who gets bounced back in time, he is the one that is bouncing back, and I'm the one that is going back forward again.", the vocal one said.
"What?" I asked, as I sat down at the table with them.
"Okay, I'll explain it, and that will make it easier for you... At least it did for me. Funny, it's like I've memorized what I said to you... Anyway, let me explain," he said.
"You see, in a little while, while we are all sitting here, you will move over and sit in this chair, where he is sitting. When you do, you will bounce back. Which is to say, that you will move backward in time. You will still be here, of course, in the room, and in the chair, but you will see everything go in reverse, just like if you were rewinding a video. The odd thing about it is that, well, you will hear him say some things, but they will all be in reverse. You can record them with your phone, and use that play in reverse app to hear what he said, but you will be hearing them before he said them... from his perspective anyway."
I looked at the two of them. The silent one smiled, and I smiled back. Well, at least that was what I thought had happened.
"You see what happened there," said the vocal one, "we saw him smile, and then you smiled back... but from his perspective, he saw YOU smile first, and then he smiled in return... Or you could say that WE smiled in return... It's all us, you know."
I stared at the both of them, looking from one, to the other. The vocal one seemed quite relaxed. The quiet one, not so much.
"Can I touch him?" I asked.
"Yes, you did... I mean, you will... and nothing bad happenzed," replied the vocal one.
I reached out my arm to touch the quiet one. As I touched his shoulder, I felt something very strange. It was like touching air, or touching rock, or something in between. I had touched the skin on his hand, but it didn't give way, or relax, or anything. I tried pressing hard, but it was as if his hand was made of steel, but had no feel to it. It was as if my finger just stopped moving, blocked by an invisible force.
"What the...???" I asked as I drew back my hand.
"I don't know for sure, but I didn't feel you touching me either... I mean, when I was him, that is," the vocal me said.
"Can I touch you without a problem?" I asked.
"Do you think that we'll explode in some matter-antimatter... you know, explosion?" he asked.
"Well... I guess I don't understand. If we are all the same matter, and the same energy, then how can we be three... I mean, how can I be three places at the same time?" I asked.
"I don't know," he replied, "I only know what's happened to me, and since I've been you, and I've been him, and I've already seen what happens when you become him, and everything in between, I guess none of it surprises me, and it certainly shouldn't because I already told you that, when I was you."
I just looked at them both again for a minute. Here I was, sitting at the table with two more of me. It was the three mes.
"How long until I become him?" I asked, nodding toward the quiet one.
"A while yet," the vocal me replied.
"But, how would you really know. What if I never went to sit down where he was? I could decide not to."
"Well, no, that's not exactly right. I think I might have mis-spoke earlier. It is he, this one, who sits down where you are sitting...", he said.
"What?!? How can he sit down on me?! He's solid as a rock?!", I said.
"Yes, well, what I mean to say is that it looks to you, well, to both of us, as if he sits down on you... but it is actually you getting up from the table when it happens," he replied.
"You mean when I get up from the table, that is when I become him?" I asked.
"Yes, that it exactly right," he replied.
I looked at them both again. This just didn't make any sense.
"You are thinking that this just doesn't make any sense," said the vocal me. "That is perfectly fine, and it seems like some unbelievable science fiction, but trust me, it has happened to me already, it is happening to him, and it will happen to you."
"So, I guess that I am the one who makes the choice, right?" I said.
"Yes, you do... just like I did," he said.
"So you know everything that I'm going to say?" I asked.
"Yes, I certainly do, because I already said everything that you are going to say, and already heard everything you are going to hear," he said. "You will be very interested to know that you also choose when to go forward in time."
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"I mean, that this fellow right here, this backwards in time fellow, you see, he is you... and what you do, and what I did, was that we sat there for a good long time, just like he is doing right now, and watching everything in reverse, which was quite fascinating really, and after you go back into the bedroom and fall back asleep, he will still be sitting here.... But when he gets up, that's when time starts going forward for him again."
I looked at him, puzzling something out...
"You are wondering how long you chose to sit there, and why not get up right now, but in fact, you didn't, because you were afraid what would happen if you tried to do anything different then what you had already seen happen," he said.
"But aren't you in the same boat," I asked. "I mean, you did hear everything that I'm saying right now... I mean, *sigh*, you heard everything that you are saying now... right? You already heard everything that you are saying to me right now."
"Yes, that is true. I heard myself saying this, and now, here I sit saying it all again... It is very much like a deja-vu, really," he replied.
"But that doesn't make any sense," I said. "Why are you saying the same things now that you hear yourself saying earlier? Doesn't that make you feel like you are just a pawn or something? Do you have any choice?"
"Well, this is pretty exciting as it is, just talking to you, and the fact that I'm saying exactly what I heard earlier is really quite a bit more interesting to me than saying something that I don't expect, or that you don't expect, and in fact, I do say something that you don't expect in a moment, and then I guess I'll be saying it too," he said.
The silent me suddenly wiped his eyes, and started making a choking sound, which turned in to a laughing sound, which sounded very, very weird in reverse.
Then the vocal me started to chuckle and then laughing and then belly laughing, and then laughing hysterically, like out of control laughing.
I didn't know exactly what was going on, so I just sat and watched until the backward me stopped laughing, and then the forward me stopped laughing as well. They both were just looking at me again.
"Why are you just looking at me now?" I asked, "...and what were you just laughing at?"
"I was laughing at the fact that I was so confused when I had started laughing, I mean... When I was you, looking over here, and he started to laugh, and then I started to laugh, and I didn't know what was going on, and then I asked 'Why are you just looking at me now?', and when I was going backward in time, I heard the me laughing, and I remembered how funny it was, and then I started laughing, but I was the one going in reverse... and from my perspective it is all very funny," he smiled.
"I don't know that I understand," I said.
"And that is part of what makes it all funny, because I was thinking of when I said that, too, and that made it all the funnier, and that's why I started to laughing the second time, now that I'm the 'talkative one'," he said.
"This is really confusing," I said.
"Don't worry, you will get through it, trust me," he said.
"You've seen the whole thing, haven't you?" I asked.
"Well, not the WHOLE thing," he said. "I mean, I haven't seen what happens after you get up from the table."
"When do I get up from the table?" I asked.
"I don't know exactly. I don't seem to remember a whole lot of conversation between us after this, but I also wasn't in view of a clock when I was sitting there, and I know that you don't see a clock because there is none within view, and that you lose all interest in the question once you get up, and start going in reverse," he said.
"I can't even take a picture, can I?", I asked?
"Well, you can't, or at least, you didn't, but I did... Or, I should say that, I know that I will; because I already saw myself doing that," he said.
"Why didn't you tell me the time then?" I asked. "You must have know by then."
"I don't know why I don't tell you the time," he said, "but what really impressed you is what happens next..."
At this moment, he reached in his pocket and brought out a phone. It looked exactly like my phone. He passed it over to me and said, "Take a look at the camera roll."
I took the phone, opened the camera roll, and was a bit dumbfounded. First, there was a picture of me peeking around the corner and looking at the backwards me. It was just a bit of my head in the picture, but since I recognized my ear and my cheek. The picture before that was of me hugging me, a selfie of sorts, and this must have been before I woke up. Then, the one before that was me sleeping in my bed. The time on the phone for that one was 7:57a.m., which must have been just before I woke up. Scrolling back one more, it was me in the car... although, I don't recall having taken any pictures in the car since our vacation over the summer.
"Did you go somewhere?" I asked, looking a bit confused.
"Yes, you will, and I did, and that's why we took that picture," he said.
"Where did you go?" I asked.
"Well, I was going to go get a lottery ticket, but then after thinking about it, I remembered that the lotto numbers weren't revealed until later, after you get up from the chair," he said.
"Why don't I just wait to get up?" I asked. "I mean, if I wait long enough, and if you get on the computer, or I get on the computer, and we see the results, then... why didn't that work?"
"Check the lotto times on your phone," he said.
I checked, and it said the drawing was at 7:30 p.m. on Monday.
"You are reading that it ended at 7 p.m.," he said, "and thinking that there is no way you are going to sit there until Monday evening."
"So why did you even say that you were thinking about getting a lottery ticket?" I asked.
"Well, I went to the store to see if there was anything that I could buy, that I would find the number later, but I didn't find anything. I didn't buy the scratch tickets or anything like that," he said.
"But didn't you already know that?" I asked.
"Trust, but verify," he said.
"Wait, but why would you need to verify anything if you already heard it, said it, and watched it in reverse?" I asked.
"I don't know, but you know as well as I do that we always verify things, and apparently, that habit isn't something that absolute believe seems to change."
"Well, what else did you do?"
"Oh, well, a few other things," he said. "You will know soon enough."
"But why don't you just tell me now?" I asked.
"I didn't tell you know, and you will understand why after you do those 'few other things'." he said.
"This is crazy," I said. "I don't believe it."
"You don't have to believe something for it to be true," he said.
"Wait, won't I see him getting up from this seat?" I asked.
"Well, not exactly," he said. "You see, 'getting up' wasn't entirely accurate. I actually push you out of the chair, and you fall on to the floor, which is where you will see him laying."
"Why?" I asked.
"That is what I do when I see him laying on the floor next to you. I push you down on him, and you become him... and then later become me," he said.
At that very moment, a lot of noise started coming from the silent one, who was shaking his fist at the vocal one, and making louder and louder noises. He was clearly quite upset, which is how I was starting to feel. Then, he got down on the floor and crawled backward, next to my chair, and laid down in a weird position. From the other side, I felt a hard shove, and I fell to the floor.
That was quite upsetting for me, and I crawled to a seat and started yelling at the other me, the vocal me, who had slipped back in his seat before I even got off the ground. Boy, I must be pretty speedy, and I stopped yelling and raising my fist when I started to see that everything was moving in reverse. Opposite me, out the window, behind the older me, was a window, and I could see the raindrops falling up... up... I could see the raindrops on the deck railing shooting out of the railing, and up into the air. It was very strange. The other two of me were having a conversation, in reverse, which was quite strange to watch. It was fascinating, really. At one point, the future me was laughing, and then I started to laugh as well, because his laughing in reverse just sounded hilarious.
A while later, the past me touched me on the hand, but I didn't feel it. It was quite weird. In fact, I couldn't feel anything at all on my skin. And, I was thinking to myself, again, that no one would believe this, because it just didn't make any sense at all.
The past me got up, and had a number of very odd expressions on his face, as he said some things in reverse, and walked backward into the bedroom. A moment earlier... or later I guess... the future me took a picture of the two of us together, and then walked backwards into the bedroom to take a picture, and then walked backwards down the stairs, and out to the garage. I heard the car start, and then driving away, although it didn't sound quite right.
So, there I was, the raindrops shooting out of the deck, and up into the sky, as the sky got darker and darker, and time past backwards. That was the oddest feeling I'd ever had, and it made no sense to be at all, not in the least bit. I could hear a clock ticking in a very strange way, probably one of those that I insisted not be in the bedroom, because I hear them when I'm trying to go to sleep, and insist that they are not in the bedroom.
I knew that I'd be getting up from the table before morning... I mean before sunset... I mean, I had went to the bedroom around 11 p.m., and had been in the dining room, and there was no on there. I wasn't sure if getting up would make me go in forward or not. Eventually, I saw the car come back into the drive way, and the future me came back in the house (very quietly), and walked backwards and sat down on my lap, just as I was getting up to go to the car.
What happened during the time when I was away from the house is a tale for another time. Needless to say, that it is none of anyone's business, and I'm not going to write it down here, or anywhere else for that matter, and now I understand why my phone rang three times in the middle of the night that Saturday morning, before I woke up, and found had the experience of the three of me at the dining room table.