Keystrokes

“Shit, shit, shit!”

“What now Steph?”

“They are trying to close down the power to grid 4 section 15, our section!”

“Crap, what can you…”

“-Already on it. I’m re-routing all the subroutines to the dummy server, they’ll think they’ve – fuck they found it!”

“Shit, do you have time to send a message to France?”

“That’s really far away, I’ll try my best, but there’s no way to know if our contact would receive the message in time.”

“Lets hope he comes through.”

The lights went out and the entire room, which was filled with displays and computers, went quiet. A solitary blue light on a battery remained, and a blinking asterisk on an old CRT monitor that was plugged into a generator. They had approximately 1 hour.

***

Michael sat in his little cave (Dorm Room) at the University of Paris looking through his twitter feed.

The most interesting thing today was his friend in Japan trying a brand new kind of burger made from synthesized dinosaur meat.

“Gross.” he said out loud but then thought about it, “Maybe I’d try that.”

Michael had a habit of talking out loud. Suddenly something very interesting happened. On his computer screen a little message window popped up over all his other apps.

“Red-59* dfc – nhn”

“Crap, they’re under attack!”

Michael immediately began to work; he went into a box in the closet and found the old Atari 830 modem he’d been saving for this occasion.

“Phone line, phone line, phone line…” he found it behind his bed and began connecting all the parts together.

Suddenly he realized there was no phone!

“Fuck.”

Michael bolted out of the dorm room; he knew he only had about 50 minutes or so before it was too late to help. “Why does she do this to me!” he exclaimed.

His French was piss poor, but he thought he’d try anyway, there was a cute RA at the end of the hall that he was hoping to find an excuse to speak to anyhow.

Pierre was reading a book, Oscar Wilde, good sign…

“Excusez-moi, s’il vous plaît, pouvez-vous me montrer où se trouve la poignée de gros vieux téléphone qui ressemble à une vieille salope?”

The boy looked startled, “qu’est-ce que vous dites!”

Michael bit his lower lip and looked slightly panicked.

Pierre spoke, “I speak English.” He looked somewhat annoyed.

Michael nervously smiled, “Thank you so much, I’m doing an experiment for one of my classes, and I need an old fashioned phone, like a land phone, do you know where I can get one?”

Pierre started to think; it felt like a whole minute went before he spoke, “Do you have a hurry?”

Michael tried to be polite, “Yes, a little, I mean yes, a lot, I’m kind of behind.”

“Okay, I thinks that there is a possible one in the basement, but I will have to take you. Lets go.”

They were off, “I prefer to take stairs, okay?”

Michael nodded, looked at his watch, 40 minutes left, he had no idea if he could do this or not, the fate of so many rested on the speed of this very cute French boy.

“So I notice you a lot in the library.”

Michael laughed, slightly nervously, as he was prone to do. He was kind of pleased and surprised to know Pierre noticed him at all. “Yeah, always studying, you know.”

“But you are out running also, I think you are sportif yes?”

“Sport-if, oh yes, I like to run, gets my mind off things.”

“What are your minds getting off on?”

Michael’s eyes widened, “Oh no, no, no not getting off, it helps me to shut my mind down.”

“Okay, I see, well here it is.”

Pierre held an old, Northern Electric, white ‘dawn’ phone made sometime in the 80’s in Canada. Why Michael knew this fact was beyond him, his brain never functioned in a way that made sense to him but he let that go years ago. Michael could scarcely hide his wonder. The phone resembled one he was given to take apart when he was a child.

“Parfait!” he said confidently.

Pierre smiled as he handed it to him with a somewhat suspicious and slightly flirty expression and then said, “You are so, how do you say this, cute.”

Michael didn’t have to look at his watch at all, he knew he was probably past any confortable timeframe, there would already be no room for error; what to do, what to do? Something inside him said, ‘this could be a moment, a kiss perhaps, and perhaps even more…’ but so much more was at stake.

Michael took the phone with a pained look at his face, trying really hard not to make eye contact with Pierre.

“Thank you… I’d better be off then.”

“De Rien…”

Michael and Pierre parted ways at the elevator and for the entire 20 some odd seconds that it took to get to his floor Michael willed his mind to begin thinking of everything he had to do.

As soon as the doors opened it was fifth gear, he darted out before the doors could settle and ran down the hall; time?

30 minutes. ‘Merde’ and then, ‘Why am I thinking in French? – Don’t get distracted.’

Everything was connected, he opened the envelope that had “In case of the event” written on it, there was a phone number, he punched it in, it was the strangest handshake he’d ever heard, he analyzed the whole thing, there were at least 27 bounces, 15 different nodes and 14 sub connections before the connection was complete.

Michael typed code furiously, and then waited.

Right at that moment there was a text message from a friend back home, he glanced at his phone trying to resist. ‘This is just like when you are at the library’

Still nothing on the computer screen, he couldn’t help himself, he unlocked the phone.

Frederick: hi.

Michael: hey, what’s up?

Frederick: nothing, I’m bored. You?

Michael: Studying. Maybe.

Frederick: ok. Lol maybe?

Finally a beep and then a response.

…transmission in progress…

Michael knew the code would scroll very quickly across the screen so he prepared himself to read and process everything. He took a breath. Time seemed to slow down. He thought of Pierre’s reveal. He began to smile and suddenly the screen burst alive as over a thousand lines of information scrolled by at a ridiculous rate.

22 minutes.

He didn’t understand. Michael scrolled through it one more time. He understood everything that was being requested by the server, but there was no location to send the commands to, there was nothing.

Michael paced around his room, he sat down again, he rubbed his eyes, and then he ran his fingers through his hair.

The phone buzzed again.

“Not now Freddy!”

He was screwed, unless he knew the address to send all the commands to there was nothing he could do, he read the code again, slower.

Still nothing and 18 minutes to go.

I need to think, I need to think, I need to be distracted, Freddy.

Michael: Hi again.

Frederick: hullo.

Michael: I just got hit on I think, by the RA in my building, but I think I botched it.

Frederick: What! What happened?

Michael: I don’t know, its too confusing.

He suddenly had an idea. He knew this was programmed in N3wC0de2.o

_ Request$#: request d-dress

_œ Location unavailable

_ Query#: source s/pserve

Frederick: Mikes, don’t be ridiculous! Go find him and make out with him. Text me later let me know what happens.

Michael: Maybe hahah.

Michael smiled. It was an eternity before the computer responded.

_∆Location origin set to All.

“Set to all? 10 minutes. Shit!”

It was worth a shot. He punched in the command and then furiously typed in all the code he had to send. After quickly verifying it, if he made a mistake he would have to type the whole thing over again, he finally clicked enter and it was off.

Michael collapsed to the ground. He’d never been more drained and relieved all at once.

Suddenly the power went off completely. Michael stood and gazed outside the window, the entire city was black.

He looked back at his computer which was now running on battery power, He knew what he was doing was important to save a large group of computer hackers virtually headquartered at MIT from being caught, but He couldn’t help wonder if… “Nah.” he thought and allowed himself to fall unto his bed.

***

The power cut off at the elegant command center. Within milliseconds red light flooded the whole room.

“What happened? Status Report.”

“I don’t now sir, but initial telemetry shows a world-wide power failure.”

“What? That’s impossible.”

Commander Rattler walked over to one of the computer displays that were running on emergency power.

Sure enough there were no energy readings from anywhere. The only things working on the planet right now were battery operated.

“This is crazy, any explanations?”

Lieutenant Argridge seemed completely stumped.

“What were we doing before this happened? It can’t be a coincidence.”

“Nothing sir, just a routine shutdown of a few rogue networks, mainly sector 15.”

“Fucking sector 15!!! They are responsible, I’m sure of it. Get the power back on, get me a trace on the kill command.”

The lieutenant had no idea what to do but he was saved, the power suddenly came back on.

The gigantic screen that took up a whole wall of the room came back on and the Commander suddenly looked at his Lieutenant for news.

“Sir, according to this, all the computer networks, everywhere have been liberated. A complete re-write of the security systems, we no longer have control of information.”

“What?”

“Yes sir, and well the confusing part is, the code that caused this is encrypted on a quantum level, which normally wouldn’t be too difficult to crack, but sir, the stranger thing is, it doesn’t originate from our planet.”

“Impossible! Explain!”

“Sir the transmission that interrupted power on the planet was received from a system that’s 5,000 plus light-years away.”

The room became a buzz of military personal scrambling to take control. Nothing could be monitored anymore, communications, transmissions. It took 100 years to establish the controls they had before. Everything would change now. The world was new.

Jacob.

With whispers, he reached into the darkness, “…mother, is that you?”

“Shhhhh.” came a whisper, back through the unknowable space, “I am your mother, my son… but speak not and move not, for in darkness one knows not what lies ahead, especially in darkness brought on as suddenly as this.”

“What do you suppose happened, mama?” he asked hushed and uncertain.

He heard her footfalls, and more importantly sensed her presence and he was at ease once more. He could hear a tiny hiss as his mother turned the release for the lantern’s fuel and the steady hissing was then followed by a dulled pop and then suddenly as though the sun had risen he was somehow focused right where the lantern would come on and his eyes widened from the shock before they could react, rendering him blind for just a second before they adjusted.

“What do you suppose it was?” he asked again still staring at the brilliant light now the room began to form from the blinding whiteness.

“My darling…” she walked over and held him and with the lantern held up high she took a survey of the living room making sure there was nothing there.

“…You must listen to me, my boy. They are coming for you, they are coming and they will not allow me to stop them, no matter how hard I try. They can stop the clock and I will be rendered powerless to do anything.”

He was extremely frightened, “Mother no. Please…”

“You must promise me, you will always remember you are from the Earth, remember everything i have taught you, remember all my little sayings, they are so important now, more than you can imagine my son. Remember in their language the name for Earth, they call it Arraeluah. Just remember whatever happens, you are from Arraeluah.”

“Mother?” he cried out in fear as he realized the light in the house was much brighter than could possibly be cast by the lantern.

“Say it, Jacob, say the name of the Earth as i just taught you!”

She looked fierce and so strong to him at that moment, there began to be a piercing metallic sound filling the room getting louder and louder.

“Please Jacob, I need to know you understood me.” her voice was louder because of the noise.

He gazed into her big brown eyes and saw tears welling in them, the sound was almost deafening now so he shouted at her, “Arraeluah!”

And then there was darkness once again and he could no longer feel his mother’s presence. There was just cold, and the smell of metal, a vibration corresponding with a distant humming and a new world ahead of him.

seven lanexander

A blue light. That was the first thing he saw in over 800 billion years. slowly his eyes became accustomed to the dim light cast by the awakening beacon. So many ages in hibernation could be quite traumatic if it weren’t for the simple solution thought of by the genius designers of this chamber. they knew that if it were successful; if they were able to suspend life for that long, that there would have to be an environment to awaken too that would not cause trauma and allow the sleeper to know that they were safe.

a blue light was their solution and now as seven lanexander woke from his nearly eternal sleep he noticed the blue light brightening and more of his surroundings being revealed to him.

now he remembered everything. he was engineered to remember everything.

seven was completely naked. he was suspended in a tube of what could only be described as amniotic fluid.

“seven, the scan showed you are completely healthy. hibernation was successful, for both of us, i’m activating all the systems now.” he heard the computer’s voice inside his mind. they were psychically connected when he was born. In fact there was nothing the computer didn’t know about what seven was feeling or desired or commanded. The computer taught him everything he needed to know and it followed him wherever he went.

slowly the fluid drained away and the blue light which had now brightened into a white light began to fill more than just the inside of the capsule tube. seven was starting to feel the warmth surging through his body as his blood now flowed freely once more. he felt a rush of excitement and pain as he realized his heart was beating inside his chest. he thought it was amazing to experience body death when they shut everything down to suspend him for the journey but he never thought that being revived would be even more exhilarating.

“They would have loved to hear your thoughts on this process seven, i am sure of it.”

He smiled. His family was a group of scientists that had created him, brought him into existence to be this one thing, to serve out one purpose for all of his kind. his was a journey of love and now that he was most likely the last life form of his kind in existence he would carry out his purpose with complete devotion.

a mechanism, a small whizzing sound could be heard above his head and below his feet and he realized he was able to hear the tiny and precise servos unlocking within the capsule. the glass that contained him slipped away into some part of the room he could not see and he was left standing in a white room that had been completely adjusted to be the perfect temperature for his comfort.

A machine came down and sprayed a kind of paste on his skin which began to turn into a suit that would make him even more comfortable. the suit was completely white and covered his entire body like a glove giving a different perspective to the perfection of his figure. the suit was luminous and different parts of it were blinking to indicate that it was recording telemetry on his body’s functions.

800 billion years ago they gave him the gift of life and they offered him the memory of any one he chose, he could be the exact recreation from anyone in history and he chose seven lanexander. a lonely boy from the northern continent of the first home-world. they were surprised, the scientists who created him, that he would go so far back to the past to chose his personage.

the person he chose, seven, never grew up, he was struck ill by a terrible plague of the time, even with the formidable medical technology of that era they could not fight off this plague. it was one of the many times their race had almost gone completely extinct.

and now a young boy who was killed in a devastating plague, would have the chance to grow up and complete the work of the greatest civilization and possibly save it from the ultimate ending.

seven wondered what he could have been dreaming of the entire time he was suspended. “Its best not to know the images of a so many years of dreams seven.” but the computer knew them, it had every dream, nightmare, abstract journey he went through stored in its memory banks. it had to, it was so important to monitor everything. in a way the computer knew seven in a way ways he could not fathom himself.

finally another light appeared letting him know it was time for the next step. the walls of the room faded away and became transparent, but even more than fade away, they were actually no longer there for they had completely dematerialized and now seven was able to see the length of his space craft unhindered. He thought the design was so elegant and beautiful, yet another testament to his people.

there were no rooms, no quarters, no engine rooms, no halls, no command rooms, it was just one giant room. the walls, ceiling and floor were transparent so that if you were outside the ship all you would see is the thin outline of contour where light hit and refracted against the otherwise clear and invisible rectangular ship. and appearing to be floating was a little figure amidst this grand graceful shape hurtling through the cosmos at matter obliterating speeds, his suit had now turned completely black and all around him was the great darkness. He remembered that there were still stars lit and scattered about when his journey began, even then there were no more theories, for they had become facts, about the fate of Drasyl.

complete death had come to the universe. the old ones named the universe iggdrasyl after the ancient tree myths and it was later referred to simply as drasyl. now drasyl was cold and all the fire gone out of it, there was nothing living anyplace except for seven lanexander.

it was the final darkness, all the stars in the entire universe were predicted to be gone now and it certainly appeared that way;  if the calculations proved correct there was supposed to be at least one star left. but where was it? he could see no source of light anyplace perhaps the calculations were wrong. He waited as the computer searched the nearby cosmos.

“Its not far now, seven, the sensors have found it you will see it in 15 seconds”

and just like that right in front of him was the last star. it looked misty and blue, at first he wasn’t sure if it wasn’t just another light aboard the ship, but as the ship grew nearer and it encompassed the majority of his view, seven knew that it what he was seeing was magnificent and was real.

a star, still burning. the probability that there was another one close by was so astronomical at this stage of the universes life. but one was all he needed to carry out his life’s purpose. inspired, seven finally spoke. his voice so tender and gentle.

“prepare the reaction. set the plan into motion.”

with that command, behind him a small light ignited at the dead center of the space craft and began to grow in intensity.

“your stats are elevated seven. be careful.”

he was excited beyond belief, but he calmed himself down, the next phase could not begin until his mind and body were completely ready.

“good, your training has proven intact. initiating phase two.”

suddenly all around him the walls began to show images in tiny little overlapping rectangles, they were vidoegraphic images in 3 dimensions showing the lives of unbelievably countless individuals. and slowly at first the images floated through the air toward seven and seemed to enter his mind with some kind of luminescent interaction between light and skin. seven was taken aback by the sensation of this interaction; he knew the mechanics of it but wasn’t prepared for the actual sensations both physical and mental.

“You are doing fine seven, i will increase the flow after the first one has fully integrated.”

he was filled with a sense of emotion and with memories of the complete life of an individual, a woman, Jjana, who lived on the first home world. it was the first archived life, using technology and numerous other processes that the first archivers liked to refer to as “meajik”.

seven felt a joyful tear drip down his cheek, it fell to the clear surface just at his feet and he could see that the ship had now moved to a position just above the star and it was rippling a violent and magnificent fiery blue light. He knew that he was viewing the star through a filter that his eyes created in order to see detail in such intense photonic environments and he knew that his eyes would appear like silver plated almonds if he could see himself in a mirror. more and more of the floating rectangles of light began to interact with seven and each one created a strong physical sensation, each memory or lifetime of memories produced another tear until he was overflowing with emotion; laughter, anger, fear, all of the things he had learned to control were now unleashed to him, and no one could comfort him or experience it with him except for that calm voice in his mind, that of his computer when he remembered the computer was watching over him he knew he could let go and accept what was coming.

seven was now within a whirlwind of light and motion and colour as he was in full interaction with the information being given to him. if one could have seen this happen from not to far away, it alone would look like a cosmic event and when the process was complete his suit dimmed slowly to complete black and seven’s eyes adjusted to the ambient light once more. he found he was kneeling on the floor, his knees must’ve buckled during the intensity of full download speeds.

“All your functions are within acceptable ranges seven. Congratulations you have done it.”

he felt alive with all these memories carefully compartmentalized and accessible within him and he could react to what was happening around him from any one of their perspectives and it seemed that all were in agreement as to the beauty of what he was experiencing and of what was about to happen.

“Everything is ready for the final phase seven.”

he felt a blast of warmth from behind him and when he turned he saw the little light at the center of the ship intensify. it had matched the rotation of the star below and was starting to flicker, each time it grew slightly. If this were to work, he had to interact with it and allow the ship to align his energy output frequencies to those of the reaction taking place but it would be painful in the form he chose to take.

Seven walked closer and closer to the bright orb in the center of his craft and he could already feel his skin pulling underneath his suit. The suit was designed to protect him from the most intense parts of the reaction but only for a short time, it was up to seven to stay alert and conscious through out the entire process. the suit now covered his face and his hands and it had turned a reflective red as it began to heat up to unimaginable temperatures.

all he could feel was his mind stretching as far back as it could go, he was struggling to hold together his existence as he was bombarded by so much force from the reaction taking place but he knew he had to get to the center of it. of all the forms he could have chose he chose this one; he wanted to be as true to seven as possible and this was the only way. naturally some enhancements and augmentations could be made to improve the physical form chosen but there were limitations that could not be avoided. skin would still burn and the brain could still shut down if the heart stopped functioning.

as he moved closer still, he felt his brain was at the limit of operation, it must’ve been burning up with activity trying to react to every input of pain it was receiving in the best way possible. seven did everything he could to disconnect the mind from the body but he needed to maintain as much control as he could to reach the center of the reaction.

he had been trained to experience pain and manage it but this was beyond anything he could have imagined and as if it couldn’t get worse he knew that for the first time in his life he would be disconnected from the link to his computer. he would be truly alone and if he survived it was unknown if the link could be re-established. but this was not a time for his personal well-being. the whole of all the people that he carried within him depended on his success. He looked down for a moment and saw the last star blazing as it spread apart and exploded from the reaction his ship was creating, soon the reaction would create forces that were only seen in the universe at its inception and he knew the meaning of his people depended on his strength at this moment.

“Good luck Seven.”

…of Balloons.

“Chester wait! Wait my man!” said Francis, panting heavily, almost as if in pain.

Chester’s boots could be heard scraping to a halt in the gravelled road. “Francis, keep up! We haven’t much time before it goes!”

“You’re running faster than I’ve ever seen!” Shouted Francis as he went at a spring toward and past Chester, laughing aloud as the bewildered young man had begun figuring out he’d been had.

“Francis! I’ll have you!” he cried out and began running after his friend. And not soon after, Chester proved his better fitness intact by catching up to and easily running Francis into a stretch. Chester slapped Francis’ shoulders teasingly.

“You cad! you absolute, cad!” said Francis indignantly and they slowed down to allow for a recovery of breath. Francis was clearly put off by the victory and was breathing with great labour.

“Come Frannie, you’ll forgive me when I show you what it is, just come along, not far now.” Francis could never be angry at Chester long.

The boys came out into a clearing and were in the center of a huge commotion set around a strange looking sight!

On the grassy field there were many of the townspeople and they were gathered around a very beautiful thing, “Chester, Chester, it, it’s ah…ha ha – its, my goodness! Its a Hot air Balloon!”

“I know, marvelous isn’t it?” Chester seemed bright with happiness.

They went up to where it was docked and there was a man poised just like a groom waiting for someone to climb into a carriage. Francis wondered who had arrived in it, what person of Royal Lineage was visiting today and how wonderful it would be if somehow he could be allowed to just step inside and imagine that he were soaring through the clouds. He stopped a respectable distance from the balloon and smiled at its driver/groom/attendant. The man simply nodded kindly.

It was exquisite he thought, how gilded the cabin was, and the workmanship on the great balloon itself. How, he thought, could the pilot of such a complicated craft dress so serenely in a servants clothing. One ought to be given a uniform like a soldier, a place of high regard among princes and men.

He had so many questions racing in his mind; how does it all really work? The books were never good at explaining how it felt to manage such a thing. What is it made of? He’d seen only illustrations and now here he was standing beneath the grandiose reality and he had lost all ability to speak.

Suddenly Chester walked past and up to the attendant. Francis was so worried that he rushed up to stop his friend from exerting an unintentional disregard for societies rules upon someone who probably knew more of atmospheric currents than the social graces.

Chester interrupted Francis’ attempts with a stern acknowledgment of what was going on, this always annoyed Francis far more than anything else but Chester knew it and only risked the tactic when he knew he could fulfill the stakes, “Hullo Francis, were you coming to stop me saying something to this fine pilot here?”

“I wouldn’t dream of stopping you Chester if you had full knowledge of the situation.”

Chester turned confidently and gazed into his friends’ bright green eyes, stopping him. “I have full knowledge of the situation, i assure you.” Chester knew that when he gave that look it meant to trust him no matter what. And Francis always did.

Chester smiled and backed up a little, continuing to gaze into Francis’ eyes. He stepped up next to the Pilot and he gestured for Francis to step inside.

Chester’s smile was so immense when he noticed how surprised Francis was (once he’d worked it all out) and Francis, still unable to understand how this wonder came to pass only knew that his friend had and was the only person who could arrange such a thing.

Before stepping inside the balloon, Francis looked at Chester and gave him a tender punch on the breast. He had no other friend in the world, and didn’t care because he had the best friend he’d ever needed right in front of him. “Thank you, Chester. You must know how much this means to me.”

“Then you must know how much it means to me my dear friend.” They stepped inside along with the Groom, who was also the Pilot. And after being fitted with goggles, then given to some minor preparation and participation, the balloon would be in the air and allowing the boys to discover a view of their home they’d only imagined could be seen. They felt like pioneer princes.

Barnes & Donna Noble

Sometimes the Doctor Who references in my life are so frequent and odd that I can’t help wondering if life imitates art.

After work sometimes I head over to Barnes and Noble to write. On this particular day I was trying to come up with a good idea for a ceremony that would be the opposite of a wedding. My plans changed completely.

I should start this story off with a little fact about me and clothing and Doctor Who. I wear bowties. I don’t wear them every day, but often enough that people associate me with them. I’ve been doing this for about ten years now, before they came back.

The newest Doctor on the series (Doctor Who) wears bowties! I was thrilled; for years I’d been rocking these wonderful clothing accessories and even in the nerd community I was kind of looked at funny. I remember one time a few years ago, someone wearing high-water pants and a short sleeved graph paper patterned shirt approached me and said, “Really man, that’s going too far.” I wish I’d thought of the catch phrase the Doctor always says, “Bowties are cool” back then. It would have been a much better response to my uncomfortable giggle and trip to the restroom to see if I really looked too nerdy.

Ten years later I’ve seen the bowtie come back, first in the annals of fashion magazines, then in the last two years an explosion! The bowtie has become a respectable fashion statement again and is seen donned on many a celebrity, television character, and everyday men and women (yes women wear them too).

So back to Barnes and Noble. I first noticed him when I was looking at magazines. He looked terribly young and was smiling at me, I was in the cinema magazines and he was over by the sports section. I kind of smiled back but then made my way over to the café, bought a coffee and began to write on my iPad. I use a Bluetooth keyboard for those of you who know how frustrating it can be to type out a story or essay on the iPad by hand.

That’s when I look up and see the young man standing in front of my little table.

“Hi” he said, smiling… it was a very perky greeting.

“Hullo.”

“Mind if I sit here, I like your bowtie.”

This time I got to do it, “Bowties are cool.”

He raised his eyebrows and chuckled, “Yes they are, and I saw Justin Bieber wearing one.”

I tried not to cringe and invited him to sit with a gesture of my hand, “Justin Bieber? Really?” I actually knew this fact already but I didn’t want to admit it. I’m one of those people that visit, http://lesbianswholooklikejustinbieber.tumblr.com to have a laugh.

He looked around and said, “Thanks for letting me sit with you, everyone else here looks kind of creepy.” Then he opened up his magazine and started reading.

I was flattered that I didn’t look creepy but a quick glance didn’t reveal any creepy looking people around us. Although to his credit, there also weren’t any other tables with a solitary person so I chalked it up to that.

“It isn’t a problem, I think people need to be friendlier in Miami, when I was in San Francisco strangers always sat together at Starbucks.”

“Shut up!”

“Why?”

He laughed at my reaction. “I used to live in California too, in the bay area, always went to the city to party.”

“How old are you?”

“20.”

“Really?”

“Yes, you want to see my drivers license?”

“Maybe, I guess I would never have gone into the city to party when I was your age.”

“How old are you, 25?”

I smiled again. “Thank you! I’m actually 33.”

“You’re almost there.” he said with a bit of awe.

“Where?” I asked in wonderment as to the direction of our conversation.

“Jesus death, you’re going to surpass Jesus death…” then quickly he added, “But I don’t believe in Jesus.”

I thought about it for a second, “I hate conversations about religion.”

“Good, we don’t have to have one.” He was so confident and just smiled, then with a look of uncertainty he uttered, “…are you?”

“Religious? No, not at all.”

“Oh Good.” He said and began reading his magazine. I watched him smile before I joined him and settled into our respective activities.

I’m not sure a whole minute passed by, “I’m Tyler by the way.”

“Like Rose.”

He didn’t catch the reference, “What?”

I was embarrassed and didn’t explain, “I’m Sohail, I’m so sorry I didn’t introduce myself to you.”

“It’s okay, I just realized it now too. Nice to meet you, So-?”

“So-hail… like Inhale/Sohail” Everyone smiles after that.

“That’s great!” he said chuckling to himself then he added, “Soooo-hail, what brings you here?”

“I’m a writer.”

“Oooh, what do you write about? Can I see?”

I have to admit he was pretty adorable. All-American, feathered blond hair, bright blue eyes, some scruff under his chin, he was athletic, corn-fed and Midwestern looking, aka German/Swedish. I hadn’t yet figured out if he were gay but it was headed in that direction. Some straight people are this nice too.

“Well Tyler, I write about a lot of stuff, but mostly stories. Who knows, I might write about this…” The Irony isn’t lost on me even now. “I have a blog, I can give you the address if you like.”

“Sure, that’d be great, we can exchange phone numbers.”

A little sudden, I thought, but what the heck, “Sure.”

We exchanged phone numbers. He pulled out an iPod Touch to enter mine in, separate from his phone which he also pulled out, I didn’t ask, but later I found out he somehow forwarded all his calls to my phone… that was interesting to say the least.

We talked a little longer about him; he said he wanted to be a lawyer but he was at UM for his undergrad and that he wanted to get into Harvard. I was impressed, he was pretty smart and thought he probably stood a chance at Harvard law but warned him how competitive it was because I knew a few people who I thought were geniuses and didn’t get accepted. He didn’t seem discouraged and I was glad, I wasn’t saying it to discourage him even though now that I think about it, the remark could have been.

Then suddenly out of nowhere, “We should keep hanging out tonight.”

I looked at the time on my iPad, and it was about 9.00 p.m.. “What do you want to do?”

“I don’t know. We could go back to your place.”

I was a little surprised, I hadn’t been picked up in a long time, and I thought that might be what was happening here. “I don’t have a place.”

“What do you mean? Are you homeless?”

“Well, no, but I live with my parents, so you’d have to come hang out with all of us.”

He looked upwards, contemplating it for a moment. “Well, that might be fun.” He looked a little disappointed.

“Maybe another night? Or if its not too late we could catch a movie.”

He smiled, “Movies are nice, but I kind of want to get to know you better.”

“Well, we’ve exchanged phone numbers, that number can reach me anywhere in time and space.”

“Wow!” he laughed, “How do you do that?”

“I’ll tell you some day.” I said smiling.

He smiled back, we were gazing into one another’s eyes, “I think you’re really cute, I hope you don’t mind.”

“I don’t mind at all. So, I might be house-sitting, if that’s more your meaning.”

“Housesitting! Why didn’t you mention it before?”

“I wasn’t housesitting before.” I said, smiling while he looked utterly confused, so I thought I’d take my love of doctor who to a new level, “I’m a Timelord.”

He went with it, and we walked away together.

In Another Universe

I woke up in a panic, my heart was beating so hard it felt as though it would burst out of my chest. I was breathing hard; hyperventilating and there was no reason for my anxiety.

Suddenly I felt a hand on my chest and another one passing its fingers through my hair, through my hair? Somehow this gesture calmed me and as my vision became clearer, I saw the comforting hands were attached to a young man looking at me with worried and widened eyes.

“Sohail, are you alright, are you okay brother?”

Brother? “Where’s Rina?”

“Rina? You haven’t called me that since we were little, what’s going on, where you having bad dreams?”

Suddenly a slew of memories I didn’t have before flooded into my head and made me realize that this was my little brother Francis. Additionally a terrible dread came over me as I realized that the memories of growing up with Francis did not include an additional sibling, they did not include my younger sister Rina.

I got up and ran around like a mad man, the house was familiar but all wrong, the rooms were not small, the house was enormous, none of our furniture, “Where’s Indiana?”

Francis chased me around with the greatest concern and care, he must’ve thought I was going mad, I was going mad, “Who’s Indiana?”

“Our… never mind.” I calmed down for a minute, i stopped and took it all in. Is this a dream? The other was so real too, this couldn’t be real, I had to calm down, I had to calm down for my scared little brother, my little brother who didn’t exist until now, but always did.

“It’s okay Frannie, it’s okay. I was just really confused, I thought I was somewhere else, still dreaming I guess.” I smiled at him and comforted his worry by putting a hand on his shoulder and hugging him.

“Thanks for coming to my side.”

“Always Bhaiya.”

I went up to my room, the house was so large, I peaked into my mother and father’s room, I knew they were sleeping in there, I also knew they were different, everything happened different from how I remembered it, everything was strange. Would it all go back to normal when I went back to bed?

“Are you gonna be alright Sohail?”

My worried little brother stood there waiting for reassurance, I didn’t know how to answer honestly so I lied. “Everything’s fine, I’m going to bed now.”

“Good.”

I went to my room and took in the differences, and the similarities, what a queer dream, it didn’t act or feel like one. I got in bed, covered myself and shut my eyes…

Were the world mine

Were the world mine, i would sit upon a great chair made of fine metal and set it within a palace or a temple atop the most beautiful place, overlooking a village and a river, hills and the ocean nearby, all the things i wanted would be within sight. Every day i would be grateful that i could gaze out from this chair at the beauty before me.

And were the world mine, there would be no reason to protect the village, for why would anyone want to harm my world? All about the world there would be abundance and joy and love, music, art, and dancing, all would be free to pursue their hearts desires, their true hearts desires, without harming anyone because who would want to harm another soul if the world were mine.

Were the world mine, i would revel in simple joys, like hiking through a forest and gazing at the stars, i would do these things anytime i wished to, and dream of visiting other worlds that were not mine, i would dream of living for a time within these worlds and learn new unthought-of wonders always confident that i could return to my world and not think it any less mine.

i would feel confident that i could tell of the wonders of my world and not fear that someone else would want to take that world away from me, for who would take it away, were the world mine?

This fantasy seems strange and unattainable but i know it can’t be so, for if the world were mine, there would be one clear sign to show me this was true; it would be so my beloved that if the world were mine it would only be if i could share the world with you.