The Only Thing We Argue About Is Time Travel

John Longo

These are debates into both the philosophy and the physics. They can be heated, the way other couples might argue over politics, money, or infidelity. But those have never been our problems. Our problems are theories of compossibility, paradox, and spacetime geometries. It has never led to blows but there have been regrettable words, nights on the couch, and the construction of a lead sphere with a diameter of five meters, designed to propel the passenger into the future at four times normal speed. I can admit now that it was not well thought out. Ultimately, it would need mass equivalent to Jupiter, which I knew was ambitious.
       “What are you doing?” she asked, walking in from the market as if nothing happened the night before. She was light and almost twirling as she closed the door behind her, bags and hair pinwheeling around her.
       “What does it look like?” I retorted, dreamily.
       “It looks like you’re building a big gray egg,” she said with a little laugh and walked through the living room and into the kitchen. She just skirted around the edge of the sphere, which dominated the space like an unresolved need or a desperate wanting. I followed her through the living room and stood in the doorway, more than a little incredulous.
       “Are you going to pretend last night didn’t happen?” I asked. She ignored the question and began to unpack the groceries. She placed a container of fresh raspberries on the wooden countertop. I picked up the flimsy plastic, opened it, and ate one, a little pop of sweet, tangy red. She knew I loved raspberries, which meant she had forgiven me. But they would not travel well.
       Although it was my anger that built the sphere, my intense need to prove her wrong that manifested its impossibly heavy shape, I could not help but admire her as she reached to place a parcel on one of the high shelves above the counter. The line from her ankle, rising past her thigh, curving around her breast past her shoulder to the tips of her reaching fingers was something infinite. To her, that line would simply be one of many possible lines. Some very similar, others too ghastly to describe. She was breathtaking, but wrong about our future, I was certain. And the sphere would take us into that immutable uncertainty. “It’s a gravity well,” I said. “It will take us into the future.” This caused her to pause.
       “Both of us?” she asked without turning around.
       “I think so.”
       “How will we get back?”
       “We can’t come back.”
       She turned around and leaned back on the counter. “How can we be sure it’s our future?” Her shape again distracted me for a moment.
       “It was always our future,” I said with a smile.
       “Don’t start that again,” she replied.