Whew, quite a long sleep! It's dawning ... I'm drowsy. What day is it? Monday. Monday already! John will come today and the boat is not ready!
"Yes George, dear?" Ah, she's in the kitchen. Bacon smells good! Am hungry.
"What time is it?"
"A quarter past six."
"John will be here at seven. Did you remember that?"
"Yes, of course, George. I'm preparing the mix for the scrambled eggs he likes so much ..."
"Thank you, Meg! I had really forgotten. I'll be ready in a minute!"
Just a quick shower. Breakfast with John and Meg. Should have fixed the boat motor yesterday. But the sputtering will not disturb John. Okay, I'll fix it later, the motor will work, that counts. Damn a little more noise.
Phew! Shower's too hot! ... Where have I put my brown trousers? "Meg, where are the brown trousers?"
"They are in the laundry."
"OK." Never asks me before taking my favorite trousers! She hates them and puts them into the laundry too often. She hopes probably that they will dissolve soon. Funny. Well, I'll wear the black ones instead. John will be here soon. Get the fishing gear ready. There's a car coming. Must be John. Doorbell rings.
"Hello George, old pal!" Hugs. John smells strange today, like ozone or some chemical I can't identify ...
"Meg has breakfast ready."
"Wow, great! Hello Meg - marvellous breakfast!"
Sometimes I wish Meg would not look at John with these eyes. Why does she always make John's favourite dishes when he comes? Yes, it's just good hospitality and I should say nothing about it, but ... I'm jealous anyway ... Should turn the radio on for the weather report ...
"Do you mind some radio music? I'd like to hear the weather forecast."
I switch the radio on.
"... denied. That was the news - brought to you by community service Halifax. And now to Morris Phillips for the weather forecast. Morris?'
'Thank you, Jane. We will have fog in the coastal areas which will dissolve in the morning hours into a light haze. The day will be overcast with temperatures of 292 K maximimum and winds up to 5 from the southwest. Probability of this forecast is 90 percent. That's the weather, and back to'" I switch it off.
John has gobbled up all the scrambled eggs ... He really likes them. Eat some more before we go ... John talks about the traffic on the new route ... Meg seems sleepy. Think she'll go to bed again, after we're out. Good for her. I like her relaxed ...
"Shall we go?"
"Okay, lets catch some big ones!"
Grab the fishing gear. Shut the door. We go down to the water. Fifteen minutes walk. John tells for the n-th time the old school story where he exchanged the chemicals before the chemistry class and old Mr.Miller didn't notice and all the class was filled with black smoke ... Laughs. It's still funny the way John tells it. Hey, the smell!
"John, I thought you smelled strange today, like this smell in chemistry class. Did you do some experiments today?"
Grin. He's a record collector and has nothing to do with chemistry any more.
"Not quite, my dear Watson, but you are on the right track. Would you like to smell again?"
He always liked to act like Sherlock Holmes. What is he driving at?
"What do you mean?"
"Come and sniff!"
We stop. He holds his arm close to my nose and I sniff the funny odour of his sweater.
"You definitely smell like something chemical or ozone."
"Aha! Ozone! That is correct. Why do you think do I smell of ozone?"
He always played with me. I hated it. Or did I? There's kind of fascination - can't explain...
"I have no idea."
We arrive a the boat shed. Pull out the boat, get it into the water.
John says, "It will be a brilliant day."
"Sorry, the weather report said otherwise. I don't believe you."
"Wait and see."
True, the morning mist is nearly gone and no fog at all. But still overcast and a bit chilly.
"Indeed." I act out my Watson as best as I can.
"Holmes, could you expand on the ozone topic?"
"THE OZONE TOPIC - might be a good title eh? But to lead you to a
solution of this little problem, I say the following:
I have not worked with chemicals recently.
I have not been in high altitudes.
I have not sprayed ozone from a can."
I start the motor. Sputtering, we drive out of the harbour. The sea is much calmer than expected.
"If all the probable is ruled out, the improbable must be true - as your saying goes, Holmes ... "
"Close, but not quite correct, Watson. Actually I always say ..."
"Yes, I know. Have you been near electrical discharges recently?" I have not forgotten my basic physics.
"Very near the mark, Watson! Can you think of anything else?"
Just for fun, being a science fiction fan, I say "Interdimensional vortices?"
He looks startled. He really means it!
"Come on John, that's against the rules. Watson can be as daft as he wants, but Holmes has to offer a natural cause. Interdimensional vortices are just science fiction."
"Nonetheless you are correct."
He is dead serious. Is he mad? No, but he seems also happy in a way ... Okay, I'll play his game. Let's see what it leads up to ... Hey, here's the sun! I don't believe it!
"Okay, let's catch some!"
He smiles and gets ready. I stop the motor. The sea is very calm. It will be warmer than expected. The forecast was wrong. Ten percent probability for something else ...
"Hey John, you were right. It's a beautiful day."
"What can I say? wake up, man!"
Here he goes again. Okay, I'll pick up the ozone topic again.
"You say, the ozone I smelled on you came from an interdimensional vortex?"
"Correct. They are called IVs for short."
"I suppose you came through such an IV?"
He really means it. John what has happened to you? I cannot believe that my best friend has gone mad. He knows something ...
"From the future?"
"We always come from the future, George."
"You mean, I come from the future, too? that is ridiculous! I remember, where I come from. We went to school together. Had sometimes the same girlfriend. Don't you remember Lucy? and Sidney?"
"Yes I remember them, but they are not relevant in this context."
"You cannot deny the past!"
"If I cannot explain it to you fast, you will win. I have about three hours left."
I am feeling dizzy. Nausea. Never been seasick before, and the sea is very calm ...
John says, "Do you feel it." This is no question.
"Damn, John, I think I'm seasick." Heat rushes to my head.
"No, you try to remember. Lie down and close your eyes."
I oblige. I see whirling colours, strange city towers, crystal flowers, I have a fear I cannot explain. I open my eyes.
"You look frightened, George. There's no need to fear. All will be well as soon as you remember your true self."
More fear rushes over me. I black out.
The sun is setting. A light wind has come up and chased the last clouds from the blue sky. John has caught some fishes. He has started the motor and is driving us into the harbour. I am lying on some blankets and feel refreshed and happy. The dizzyness is gone. I remember my talk with John.
"So, have I won by now?"
"Congratulations! Yes, you have won."
"What game is this?"
"You still don't remember? Obviously. How about this: your name is not George."
Yes, how marvellous!
"I know, I feel, it's true. My true name is ... I can't quite remember..."
"Yes, yes ..."
How beautiful, to forget and remember again. We pull the boat out of the water and into the shed.
John says, "I think this is it. You'll find out the rest in the next minutes. I'll tell Meg that you fix the motor sputtering, okay? Take your time."
I nod. He picks up the fishes and goes up to our house. A seagull sweeps over the harbour, cries and is of sight. Yes, he's right, my memory comes back.
The game is called "Awakening". It is played by two persons. One person has to awake the other before a predetermined time limit runs out. In our case it was two years. I see it now, all the high school and childhood memories were false. Funny! Why have I not seen this? Yes, I worked up a mighty good memory block before we went through the IV into the twentieth century and embodied there. I must have smelled of ozone myself, but of course I was filled with wrong memories before the trip into the past and I didn't notice. I was made to fit neatly into time and place. Now I remember these other instances where John tried to wake me up: that skiing trip last November. My "birthday" last week. She has tried it every day these two years! Yes he's also a she. She even talked strange before, I've suppressed and forgotten even the episode of yesterday. Okay, back to the future.
© Copyright 2001 by A.B. (contact via my agent)