In My Own Time: Messages from a misplaced time traveller


I’m not from your time. I’m neither ahead of it from your future, nor trying to catch up from your past, but I’m stuck in your time line – and poised for escape. From when I come from, time is not a line. We have no past, present and future as you do. We have a volume where time is fluid and where it interacts more keenly with space than it does here. We call our time volume “tome”. There is more freedom in tome than in the rigidity of a one dimensional time line.

My name is Plasanton. I don’t know how I came here, and cannot measure ‘when’, though in your reckoning some assign the month of September and the year of 1971 (subscript AD) to my moment of arrival. The interaction of space and time left me first in the a body of a baby, and then, as time progressed along its one dimensional course (or so as I first thought), that body transformed into one of a child, and then into an adult. The moments during those transitions were terrifying. Sometimes it appeared to be a smooth change; other moments of change occurred overnight. And I see now, that as hair falls from my head and regrows from my aural and nasal orifices, wrinkles develop in my skin, and my senses become less acute, I am again being subjected to a further transition. So it seems that confined to one-dimensional time I am forced to spend a portion of my existence following its strange totrtuous course.

Or am I? I see now that I was wrong in considering the notion that time progresses. I have come to realise that the time line itself is static, but physical things occupying space within that time change around it – much like my own body. Time is not a flowing river, encountering static islands of space and moving around; it is more of a still canaal, or a network of still canaals, and vessels of space are left to navigate a course along those fluid highways. Or…do the canaals indeed flow as would a stream or a river, but drag along those vessels caught upon its surface?

Time is complex, especially one dimensional, and it has many peculiarities. And here is the first of them: how can things exist ‘in’ a time when time is one dimensional? There is no ‘in’ with time as there is with tome, and yet…existence is clearly real!

One of your scientists purported that time exists so that everything doesn’t happen at once. I must admit that I can see the advantage, though it slows things down. Series calculations are always less efficient than when performed in parallel, and so too in time. Multiple time lines, or forks and branches sometimes help as it does in “tame”, planar time where time exists in two dimensions. Objects sit on a location upon the time area which defines its existence. But another oddity: in your time line you refer to objects being ‘on time’ – notably, those objects used for spatial translation. “A bus is on time” means, so I’ve learnt, that its existence matches what you call the present.

I find your time interesting with these quirks and anomalies. A line is always straight, so with no time loops there should be no inconsistencies. But they are present, and they lead to strange behaviour in trying to accommodate them, and this is fascinating. They manifest themselves in ways we couldn’t even imagine in our own time volume. We are accustomed to the whorls of space-time and have adapted accordingly.

I mentioned…earlier….of branches of time. In tome we have what might be described then as a tree – a fully three dimensional structure with branches of time extending in all directions. Perhaps there are further time dimensions, a forest of time perhaps, offering countless possibilities. Maybe someone from that time forest would look upon tome as I do upon time.

I find you time liners interesting, and so do those of tome. They know about you from my messages. A selection of them are here.