The Optimum Fractured Curve Against the Reality Flow Matrix Theory
By Jeff Baker
I hadn’t seen Roberto Anyas in about thirty years when I turned around that morning to see him lying there in bed. He hadn’t been there a moment before. He stared at me and a broad smile spread over his face.
“Connor?” the man in the bed said. Roberto’s voice all right.
“Roberto?” I managed to sputter out.
“Looks that way!” Roberto said. “My gosh! You look great!”
“Yeah, you too!” I said. “I mean, you really haven’t changed.” I was convinced I was still in bed asleep and that it was the middle of the night, not mid-morning. Usually when I dreamed about Roberto Anyas he was bare armed and bare chested. Like now.
“How long has it been?” Roberto asked. “No, really, how long? I’ve got no way of knowing. Just blame the tattoos.” He pointed to the green lines that striped and crisscrossed his left arm and shoulder.
“Well, the last time I saw you was right after we graduated in 1983,” I said.
“Eighty-three,” Roberto said, leaning back in bed. “That was about five years ago for me.”
“Five years?” I aid. “More like thirty-five.”
“Like I said, you can blame the tattoos,” Roberto said. “Hey, you have a pair of pants I can borrow?”
“Sure,” I said. By this time, I was expecting to walk down a hallway and find myself in my high school class on the day of the big test. Still, a lot of it seemed real. I grabbed the sweatpants from the hall closet (our only closet) and turned back to the bedroom.
“So, you zapped here from, like, 1988 or something?” I asked, tossing Roberto the sweatpants.
“More like the early 75th Century,” he said as he slid further under the covers and started putting on the pants. Going for modesty. “After I graduated, I got involved with this think tank. We were going to try and reach the future.” He grunted, presumably pulling on the pants. “The tattoos are microdots. They’re linked in with the mainframe and with me. I can work it mentally so I went ahead about eight thousand years. Tried to learn something about future technology.” He shook his head. “They didn’t like that. I got out of there in a hurry. You were the first person I thought of so I homed in on you.” He looked around at the bedroom. “I was aiming for the dorm, back about 1982.”
“Why me?” I asked.
“You were a really clear memory in a specific time frame,” Roberto said. “Besides, I really didn’t have any time to think about it. I had to get out of…where I was, fast.”
“Without your pants.” I said, smiling.
“Yeah.” Roberto said. “I was in a hurry. Oh, and thanks for these.” He tossed back the covers and stood up. The sweats just fit him. I stared. He looked just like he did 35 years ago. Back in the dorm.
“They belong to Jason,” I said.
“Thank him for me,” Roberto said. “He’s your boyfriend?”
“Husband,” I said. “We got married about three years ago.”
Roberto grinned. “Husband! Niiiiice! I could get to like this, what is it again, 2017? Almost as much as I liked the dorm.”
I remembered the dorm in 1982. The windows open with the spring breeze. The radio on low. The lights off.
“But I have to go,” Roberto said. “I’m stretching things with the optimum fractured curve against the reality flow matrix to drop me here and get me, well, back where I belong again.”
“Nice seeing you,” I said. It was even if this was an increasingly realistic dream.
“If I’m in the area, I’ll send you guys a postcard or something,” Roberto said.
“Sounds good,” I said. “Hey, if you get there, say ‘hi’ to 1982 for me, okay?”
“Hold up a minute,” I said looking out the window at the driveway. “Jason went out to the store; he should be back in a few minutes. He’s bringing donuts. If you like we could…”
I turned back and Roberto was gone. I blinked a couple of times. I sat down on the bed, remembering 1982. It was a dream, I said to myself as I stood up again and walked over to the closet running my hands over the clothes.
Nonetheless, Jason’s old sweatpants were gone.