Let’s Talk About Time Travel
I time travel all the time and have been for the last 20 years; it’s real simple. But there are rules: You can’t travel to the future, and you can’t change history—but that’s a good thing because you wouldn’t want to wake up in a different future or past, as the case may be.
The only way to time travel is in your dreams, subconsciously. To do this you must know how to control your dreams. For example, I constantly ask myself, “Am I dreaming? Am I dreaming? Am I dreaming?” If you condition your mind to ask that question every half hour while you’re awake then, after a while, you will ask it even in your dreams. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be time traveling in no time at all.
I first learned the art of time traveling during my first divorce. My heart was broken, I was depressed all the time, and I just couldn’t take the pain. Somehow I realized that the pain subsided once I entered a dream state.
Now I’ll do things like say, “I want to see my mom,” and boom, my mom pops up and I’m in the past. I can talk to her. I can hug her. It's very emotional. My dad just passed away about two years ago, and now I see him this way too. Or I could say, “I want to go back to high school.” Boom! All of a sudden my dream shifts to when I was in school and I had this huge crush on a cheerleader named Dawn Alba. I always wanted to go up to her and say hi and tell her how much of a crush I had on her, but I was so shy that I just couldn’t. When I time travel I’ll see her there and literally walk up to her and kiss her; you can pretty much do whatever you want. You can even fly to different spots, zooming through the air.
You have to be careful when you first develop the ability to control your dreams, which largely relies on controlling your emotions. It can become kind of wishy-washy if your confidence outweighs your talent. For instance, let’s say you want to summon your favorite pet from childhood, or from another point in your life. If you can’t control your dreams properly, your cuddly kitten or loyal dog could turn into a wolf—or if you’re really unlucky a werewolf—and start attacking you.
The only way I will ever be able to play in the major leagues again is through time travel, but for some strange reason it’s the one thing I haven’t been able to do. Either the bus leaves without me, they won’t let me into the stadium, I’m late to the game and miss it, or something else happens that prevents me from playing. It’s starting to really weird me out.
The other night I had a dream in which Dan Duquette, the GM who signed me to the Red Sox, wouldn’t let me play because of a “technical issue.” I looked at him and said, “Listen, I want to play tonight.” He responded with something crazy like, “If you want to play, go get me vanilla Dippin’ Dots with chocolate syrup on them.” I searched everywhere for the stand, and when I finally found it and bought a cup of Dots I immediately fumbled it and dropped it to the ground. I was like, “Oh my God!” but at this point I was really determined, so I kept trying until I finally got one back to Duquette without dropping it. Then he started making all of these other crazy excuses for why I couldn’t play, saying, “Now I want this, and then I want that…” It was insane.
I’ve had a similar dream about Tony La Russa and others—no one will let me play inside the goddamn ballpark. It’s the one time-travel dream I can’t control, and I have it at least five times a week. It must be a subconscious block.
I’ve even seen myself as a child during some of my time-traveling experiences. Every once in a while I’ll try to make myself leave a mark on certain structure. Every so often I’ll visit the location the next day, when I’m awake, but nothing’s ever there.
Sometimes I’ll even tell myself, as a child, “Listen, when you get to the majors, never do steroids.” Of course, that never works, because I still am where I am.
New Fiction by PEN/Faulkner Award-Winner Akhil Sharma
Photos by Donald Weber
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