The Facebook Time Travellers Support Group

NOTEBOOK: THE FACEBOOK TIME TRAVELLERS SUPPORT GROUP

I was at the pool today, slogging out my laps, but I was also thinking about my GOOD INTENTIONS book, and the more I thought about it, the more I thought I need to rewrite what I have of Chapter 25 from the ground up. It’s not that what I already have there is bad, but I can see how it can be much better.

So I was thinking about this. And one of the things I was turning over in my head is that this chapter is meant to be a glimpse into “Future Bastard” Rob’s “World of the Future” (ie, July-August 2017), and feature some of his extremely mundane dreary reality. I gestured at a few things in the first draft, but today at the pool it occurred to me that I missed one big thing, especially for a guy who spends a lot of time staring at his phone.

He’d be checking Facebook. I write that he hasn’t slept for three days, so what’s he been doing? One thing any regular person these days would be doing would be reading social media stuff on their phones, and most likely Facebook.

Then it occurred to me that there would be Facebook groups for time travellers.

And that those groups would be locked and moderated because trolls would use time machines to be even worse bastards than they would be otherwise.

Rob belongs to the Time Travellers Support Group on Facebook, which is closed and locked, and you have to apply for admission, and use a pseudonym. A group for people who have extremely complex feelings about “TT” and its presence in their lives. Rob has a lot to talk about, for and against. I am still trying to decide if Fiona would also be in this group, but thinking maybe not. Rob’s Fiona might have been, but the Fiona in the story is from a different timeline, so perhaps not.

Rob’s dominant theme in this chapter is (a) how he feels like a total failure who ruins everything he touches, yet has to rescue Young Robbie, no matter what. He’s desperately scared of Robbie getting killed.

He’s also desperately scared of Fiona, and is worried about her mysterious offer. He’s inclined to accept it, whatever it is if it means the boy goes free. He has no memory of his captivity, or his release. The entire period is a blank.

Also: there would be a lot of “micro-time travel” where your “ten seconds in the future” self, who would also have access to your Facebook and Twitter accounts, would scroll back and stop you posting that embarrassing photo or comment or remark that otherwise would cost you your job or girlfriend.

Thought, too, that some employers in an age of universal time travel would make workers work insanely long hours through the use of time machines, and you’d have to use them as well to get your rest. You’d always be in time-debt. Some employers would find a way to bill you or dock your pay for the time you spent sleeping on company-issued time machines.

I’ll write up the new version of this chapter later tonight or tomorrow, but I wanted to have something to show for myself today, even though am still feeling very Low Ebb, melancholy. It’s nothing serious, just glum. A head cold, but in my mind. The main symptom is a dampening effect in my writing circuits, which is bugging me. But there is also Family Trouble going on in the background of sufficient size and seriousness that my essential equilibrium is disturbed. Once that settles down again, I’ll be fine again, too.

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