Riding the Tide of Time

I kicked my separation bonus from Minerva over to Cagetan, enabling him to make some repairs on his van, and we planned to hook up in a few weeks down in San Diego for a trip farther south into the Baja Peninsula. In the meantime, I purchased a 1972 Piaggio Vespa Super 150, and set out for a slow cruise down Highway 1, through the beach cities along the coast. I would spend a few nights at the Moro primitive campground at Crystal Cove, between Corona Del Mar and Laguna. I wasn’t sure what year yet. The Piaggio came equipped with a Time Machine. I could move back and forth in time, though not, of course, farther than the present. Like the movement of the tides, rising and falling under the influence of the moon and other gravitational energies, the Piaggio Time Machine came with a tidal time range. I could move back in time, but only to about 1960, at which point the scooter started to overheat. I could move forward in time, but only to the present time I had exited to move backward. And I could only time travel at dawn or dusk, during the Terminator – the grey line, the Twilight Zone. Any trip in time occured like a dream. I could travel years in seconds, but once landing, the material reality was diffused, poured out in a fuzzy, bent light, a narrative broken and full of surreal images like those sometimes appearing in the desert or over the ocean in an early morning or evening, a pause in the character of the light and air. I had not gone far when I decided to stop at the Pike Amusement Zone in 1963 Long Beach, where I parked and walked down to check out the roller coaster.

“Riding the Tide of Time” is episode 44 of Inventories, a Novel in Progress in Serial Format at The Coming of the Toads.