Rhawn Joseph, Ph.D.
Bruised and battered, blinking up into the dirty-blue sky, I lay there, trying to collect my thoughts and assay my injuries. That I had crossed over never occurred to me. And why would it? I was solid. Real. I felt pain! There was nothing ghost-like or ephemeral about my body!
The smog-filtered opacity of the sky was the first clue. But my eyes were swimming, unfocused, my vision blurred.
I must have hit my head!
Hands roaming beneath the thick tangle of longish hair, I explored my scalp and winced.
Tender, yes. But no blood. Just dirt, gravel, and twigs.
Blood slithered down the back of my arm. Rivulets of coagulating red corpuscles erupted like a stream of black pearls from an ugly two inch gash. The skin was ripped, torn, shredded, bleeding...more proof I had not crossed over.
I had been thrown... or hit.... or fallen... and struck my head, but as far as I could tell, nothing was broken. Bruised, yes. Twisted, yes. But not broken.
My leg throbbed. My ankle was swollen.
Standing was difficult. Walking was excruciating.
Had I broken my ankle?
And not just my ankle. My leg! My thigh! It hurt like hell.
No matter. There was a "CureAll" kit in...
Where was I?
I was standing in a weed infested field littered with broken glass, bottles, cans, scraps of paper, and dirty clothes.
The air stunk of gasoline fumes, pesticides, poisons...
My ears were ringing with the rushing roar of thousands of smog spewing old fashioned gasoline engines.
Painfully, I swiveled round and faced the raging rivers of roaring sound.
Fifth clue, sixth clue....
Less than 20 yards distant was an old fashioned four lane highway congested with an ugly assortment of loud, smog belching, oddly styled box like cars. It was like something out of the 1970s, before the invention of the hydrogen-solar convertor!
Had I crossed over?
My body was real. Tangible. Physical.
But so too were the old fashioned gasoline chugging cars! And the noise, the awful smell, the filth, the asphalt highway... and the pain!
Where was I?
A scrap of newspaper lay at my feet. The headline hit me like a brick: "PRESIDENT BUSH..." it screamed.
Bush, president? No. It can't be.
Not in my world!
In my dimension, the Bush clan had caused a lot of misery. Presley Bush the elder had been a Nazi, and in 1942, three of his businesses were seized for violation of the Trading with the Enemies Act. Yet, even though caught red-handed, he and the Rockefellers conspired to disrupt the U.S. war effort by sabotaging oil supplies. Presley Bush was finally hanged, in 1943, for treason.
George Q. Bush followed in the footsteps of his dad and ended up on the gallows in 1964.
As to George W...
I gazed at the dim witted face pictured beneath the headline, and then at the date: August 15, 2004.
President George W. Bush?
I felt sick. Dazed. Confused.
Had I crossed over?.
The winds of change...were all about me.
Suddenly I became aware of my unclothed condition. I was naked. Buck naked.
This has got to be a bad dream... an anxiety dream, like I had in the orphanage, when I was in school and college. There I'd be running down the coed crowded halls, naked as a jay bird, with my masculinity hanging out, and nowhere to hide.
But this wasn't a school yard.
I was naked, standing in a filthy, junk littered field next to an old fashioned highway.
My head hurt.
The world was spinning.
This had to be a dream.
I sat down, closed my eyes, and tried to wake up.
But I was awake.
It wasn't a dream.
Bush was president, and I was in a filthy field, bruised, battered, and naked.
Even though I sensed my clothes might still be wrapped around my body, I had no choice but to cover my nakedness with the discarded rags that littered the field. The clothes were putrid, rotten, coming apart at the seams. And the smell? Horrible! Horrible! You can't even begin to imagine!
I glanced again at the crumpled newspaper. There was something about Republicans cutting funds for education and health care.
That I had crossed over was now a certainty.
In the world from which I hailed the Republican party had been thoroughly discredited and many of its leaders executed or inprisoned--thanks to the work of a double agent, Lee Harvey Oswald. Oswald, who had been recruited by the CIA to kill the president, had instead gone straight to the attorney general, Robert Kennedy and told all. President John F. Kennedy was to be assassinated in Dallas, Texas, by a team of "Bay of Pigs" Cubans. The assassins had been specially trained by the CIA and were under the supervision of George Q Bush and former CIA-director Allen Dulles whom Kennedy had fired the previous year.
Oswald was to be the fall guy.
On the fateful day, as the President's motorcade glided on its journey toward the grassy knoll, a hundred agents pounced and arrested all the conspirators, including George Bush and Allen Dulles. And that was the end of the CIA, which the Kennedy brothers likened to the Gestapo and Hitler's SS.
Bush, Dulles, and a host of other spooks were hanged the following year, and the CIA was destroyed, shredded, and cast to the wind.
Oswald became a national hero and was elected to the Senate, representing California. In 1968 Oswald became Robert Kennedy's running mate, and in 1976, he was elected president.
I glanced again at the newspapers. "Republicans cut education..."
Not so in my world!
The massive round up and execution of so many right-wing Nazi spooks, arms merchants, generals and Republican politicians, and the public backlash against the Republican party, ushered in a period of revolutionary change. The promise of "Camelot" was a promise fulfilled.
Now, instead of an unceasing arm's race which sucked up trillions of dollars and which enriched only the few, hundreds of billions of dollars were made available for education, the arts, health care, and science.
The Kennedy era--a period which lasted 16 years-- was called "the Camelot Explosion" --a reference alluding to the Cambrian Explosion half a billion years ago, when a myriad of simple celled creatures suddenly evolved into multicellular animals with bones, eyes, and complex brains.
With hundreds of billions of dollars available to scientists and educators, there was an explosion of scientific discoveries: incredibly powerful laser guided computers, the invention of the DVD and CD, fabrics that were self cleaning and self mending, "CureAll Kits" which could regenerate injured tissues by extracting and manipulating the host's DNA, the hydrogen-solar convertors which eventually made the petroleum industry nearly obsolete, the first manned space flights to the moon, the first unmanned landings on Mars, and the establishment of thousands of high-tech high schools that offered concentrated training in math, computers, and medicine, and hundreds of new universities and teaching hospitals which were graduating thousands of new scientists and doctors each year--and all this by the end of Robert Kennedy's second term, in 1976.
To coin a phrase: "it was the best of times, and the worst."
In 1976, President Robert Kennedy, his brother, the former president, John F., president-elect, Lee Harvey Oswald, and Chief Justice Martin Luther King, were assassinated, on world-wide TV, before an audience of billions. Later it was determined that the assassination was the work of a team of Arab suicide bombers linked to the Bush-Laden terrorist network.
It was horrible. A nightmare.
Not just the United States, but the entire world was traumatized. It was as if we all had lost a beloved brother, a father, a son... It was if hope itself had been murdered that day.
1976 was a momentous year, and not just because of the assassination of Oswald, King, and the Kennedys. It was in part, because of these deaths, that I discovered some of the secrets of particle physics.
And what secrets are those, you ask?
As we soon figured out, our reality consists of more than three dimensions, and, it was possible to journey from one dimension to another.
To be honest, it would take almost 16 years before we solved the riddle which made trans-dimensional travel a reality.
What I accidentally stumbled upon, and later confirmed, is that we all live and exist in a multi-dimensional universe. The three dominant dimensions which make up this reality are just a fraction of the whole. There are hundreds, maybe thousands of dimensions, and many of these dimensions contain worlds and realities quite similar as well as shockingly different from our own.
There are dimensions where the Kennedy brothers were never assassinated. Dimensions where Hitler won the war. Realities where humans never evolved. And realities, such as yours, where a low IQ, former cocaine sniffing drunk is president of the United States.
I had crossed over.
Exactly how that happened, I could not as yet remember. The blow to my head had left me amnesic. For the life of me, I couldn't remember what took place in the hours and days before my arrival.
Near as I could tell, I must have crossed over and landed right smack dab in the middle of that highway... and then: Pow! Boom! I was airborne--whacked by a car and sent flying into that field.
Normally, the possibility of injury was of no concern. When crossing from one dimension to the next, one was not just invisible, but intangible, like a ghost.
Why I arrived in this dimension, sans clothes, in my completely corporal, physical body, was a problem that I hoped would solve itself. In the interim and meanwhile, I intended to bide my time, find out a little about this world, and await for the customary four hours to elapse, at which point, I would materialize back in my own dimension.
I sat on an uncomfortable wooden chair in the local library, scanning the newspapers, while waiting for one of the few archaic computers to become available. The other patrons gave me wide berth, no doubt to avoid the aromas radiating from the filthy rags which hung on my body like a scare-crow.
Three newspapers and four magazines later, I finally gained access to a remarkably primitive computer. A quick glance at the library clock told me I would rematerialize in my own dimension, in about 2 hours.
In many ways, having arrived in my own physical body had certain advantages. Normally, having a ghost-like presence significantly reduced the capacity to interact with the environment. Sitting down at a computer and asking or typing in questions or instructions was an impossibility.
The advantage, of course, was the ability to flow and travel from one destination to another with the aid of thought and mental imagery, and then mentally manipulating whoever proved most susceptible, and then making them act for you, like a puppet. Think of demonic possession sans demons.
I didn't travel from dimension to dimension just for the fun of it--though, in truth, it was an exhilarating experience. Rather, a primary purpose was exploration and the acquisition of knowledge and inside information.
Trade secrets, for example. I was after new inventions and scientific breakthroughs which had not yet been discovered in my world.
Knowledge really is power... as well as a source of income; sometimes, riches beyond belief. And what do we do with these riches?
Twenty percent of our net profits are earmarked for "Charity" --to use an ugly word.
Billions go to the training of teachers and the establishment and maintenance of colleges and medical schools in undeveloped foreign countries. Billions for science, health care, eugenics and birth control. Billions for peace and security.
It soon became evident that there was not much to be discovered in your reality. Science and education was not a priority in your world. The big defense contractors ate up nearly the entire pie.
A glance at the clock told me I had less than an hour before rematerializing back into my world.
Lounging on a sagging couch, beneath the clock, was a bum dressed in rags not unlike my own. He was staring at me, probably admiring my taste in clothes.
There was something terribly familiar about him. In my dimension, he was probably somebody famous. In this reality, he was a bum.
And what had become of me? Had I discovered inter-dimensional travel?
In the short time I had left, maybe I would find myself and learn what I could about me.
There was also yet another temptation, a dangerous urge that threatened to rip open horrible festering wounds.
Her name was Dr. Sara Jess.
The brilliant and beautiful green eyed Sexy Sara!
Although I discovered trans-dimensional travel, her genius made it possible.
Allow me to explain how it all came about.
In 1976, my two best friends and I, were banging away on drums, computer synthesizers, electric pianos and guitars, trying to compose a heart-felt "heavy metal" song in honor of the dead Kennedys. "Screaming Jay" Holland, a skinny Adonis whom I'd known since computer-high school, was inventing, so he bragged, a new form of music, what he called "heavy metal." Two years later, he and his new band, "Galactica," would be well on their way to their first of 12 gold records, six eventually going platinum.
I was an OK musician, but, if I do say so myself, an absolute genius in math and electronics. Electronics, or so Jay rightly believed, was the key to giving his new music the "heavy metal" Latin beat he was after.
Four-eyed Rod Riugo, "Mr. New York," was my second in command.
Unlike yours truly, Rod was a real musician! and had played in "Screaming Jay's" first band, "The Screaming Jay Hawks."
What we all had in common was a fascination with math, music, electronics, and computers.
When not in class, Rod and I spent our time, out back in the garage, designing computers together. We were assisted, and more often than not, serenaded by screaming Jay on his screaming guitar. Sometimes we'd sing along, throw in different lyrics, or jam together and make up new melodies.
Together we made music, and worked on creating a portable, flat screened, user friendly, home computer protype--radio and CD player and TV included--which could also receive and transmit messages over the newly invented internet. It was our hope to someday refine and then mass produce these little multi-tasking computers.
Three years later, and with a few million dollars courtesy of Jay's record label, the three of us formed our first computer company: Big Apple Computers. We became billionaires the following year when "Big Apple" went public.
OK. Slow down. I'm getting ahead of myself.
That night, back in 1976, the three of us were smoking pot, this incredible "green bud," doing shots of Rum, and trying to invent a new form of incredibly metallic sounding electronic music.
It was that same evening, while electronically manipulating our music, when I first saw what I can only describe as "darkish holes" appearing in the fabric of this reality.
Late it was, maybe three in the morning. Skinny Jay--with whom I shared a two bedroom cottage, just a few blocks from campus--had already gone to bed and was in a drug-alcohol induced coma. Rod had passed out on the couch. Both were oblivious to the musical screeches and metallic melodies I was generating with a twist of a dial and a click of this and that switch.
I must admit, I was not just seeking to make music. Rather, I was trying to manipulate the computerized instruments with sound, hoping to invent what, 10 years later, I would finally invent, and what I would call "Wireless Computing."
That night, as I turned a dial, creating an almost physical hum that vibrated along the skin of my body, I suddenly noticed these dark pulsating orbs floating in mid-air. There were about a dozen of them. They seemed to appear and then disappear only to reappear, shrinking and expanding in size.
At first I thought I was seeing "spots," floaters on the surface of my eye.
Yet, as I slowly turned the dial, increasing the volume of hum, more and more of these orbs, these dark pulsating spots, would appear. They were all around me, dozens of them, growing larger and then smaller and then larger again.
At their maximum, each seemed to be about 4 inches in diameter.
I soon realized they were not orbs or spots. They were what I can only describe as "holes" or "concave bubbles" --darkish ghostly "holes" floating in air, and which seemed to radiate their own energy in harmony with the electronic signal I had produced.
"Hey, Rod," I yelled. "Check this out."
But he responded not.
Rod was in a state of unconscious bliss.
Playing with the dials I flicked a switch and turned it up to full volume.
More and more of the "holes" appeared. Instead of emerging and disappearing, they began to coalesce, to merge, forming a huge hole that grew ever larger, swallowing me up. The next thing I knew, I was in another world.
I had crossed over.
It was like being enveloped in the electric darkness of a filmy negative, where all is black or white. My skin tingled with waves of electric pulses. Colors and objects had become blacks and whites distinguished by varying shades of gray. Perspective was abolished. There was no sound.
Black and white cars, birds, houses, trees, toasters, lamps, bookcases, couples strolling hand-in-hand, and so on, were jumbled and juxtaposed and occupied quadrants of space which defied any sense of gravity or up or down.
A car raced along a nonexistent highway where the ceiling of our house once stood. A television set floated sideways in air. A young man, upside down, and dressed in flowing robes of white crossed my central field of vision and disappeared. A potted plant toppled and fell. A speeding car careened and crashed. But there was no sound. Everything was in black and white and transparent--as if I were peering at the negative image of a picture.
I thought, perhaps there had been a power outage and my eyes were playing tricks with the shadows, creating illusions and giving form and substance to what wasn't really there.
It was all very interesting. A trip! Truly, I was enjoying myself.
Relaxing, kicking back, I took it all in as the cascading electric like waves washed over my body, increasing in intensity. And, with each passing electric wave, the juxtaposed and floating negative images became more defined and vivid--though they retained, to all intents and purposes, their black and white, transparent, filmy negativity.
Although amazed by the increasingly vivid spectacle, I felt no sense of fear or anxiety. Insofar as I was concerned, I was hallucinating in the darkness.... and that these images and realistic phantasms were an imaginary product of the shadowy darkness and my marijuana marinated mind.
Gradually I noticed what appeared to be 3 humans, dressed in robes of white, about 15 yards away, floating in the central field of my vision. Two were standing face to face, in profile. The third, what appaeed to be a man, was looking down but facing my direction. Although semi-transparent and difficult to clearly discern, they appeared to be conversing.
A hallucination, I thought. Cool.
And then, the third man lifted his head. He seemed to look right at me.
Wow, I thought. What an incredible hallucination.
Lifting his hand, the man pointed directly at me. The other two turned, and stared.
I was no longer enjoying myself.
To my utter astonishment, the others pointed as well, and then, they stepped toward me.
Bubbles of sound reached my ears. I could make out only four words:
Closer they came, robed in white.
Fear and panic gripped my chest and squeezed.
With a sudden liquid-leap, I was airborne. Turning, stumbling, my only thought was escape.
"Hallucination, or not," I thought, "I'm getting the hell out of here."
Crashing into unseen equipment and furniture, I scrambled for an unseen door and smashed headlong into a wall.
Oh yes, I was scared to death.
Frantic, my hands searched the darkness for a door. My only thought was to get outside, to get away from the three negative image beings dressed in white.
Closer they came...and then it seemed as if some ghostly-spectral phantasm was coming right at me, chasing after me...
I tried to scream for help, but there was no sound. Over and over I slammed myself into the wall, my hands clawing, pounding, scratching for the door...
... and then I was embraced by the light.
I was outside, in the front yard of our house. But my pounding heart was still in my throat.
It was only later, after I calmed down, that I realized, "this was no hallucination."
But what was it?
Eventually I figured it out.
Somehow, I had opened a door leading to another dimension, and had crossed over to the other side.
The limitations of the computer provided by the library of your world was surprisingly limited. After giving it closer examination, I realized it was equipped with a filter that prevented access to what I could only assume were websites containing info the ruling political elite found threatening and objectionable.
As we figured out a long time ago, it was not sex, but politics that made the world go round--or stopped it in its tracks.
Politics is power.
Religion, too, is just another form of politics, as is sex.
Instead of trying to find myself, I decided to do a search on "Bush."
The political situation in your reality was fascinating. It was interesting to see how and why your world had diverged from my own. How so many of the same exact men had escaped justice in your world even though they had committed the same crimes.
So engrossed was I that twice I refused requests from other patrons to use the computer even though my time was officially up. At any moment, I was sure, the librarian would call security and escort me from the premises. From the corner of my eye I could see two librarians giving me the once over and whispering together.
The library computer in your world was like something out of the 1980s in my world. And so too was the internet. Although disconcerting, I was not surprised. In some realities there were no computers, no cars, no electricity, and no internet. In those dimensions, even though human counterparts from my own reality were in abundance, including a few of the same politicians and celebrities, it was if the Middle Ages had never ended.
In numerous dimensions, many of the same personages also stood upon the national and international stage. There were Rockefellers, Kennedys, and so on. Yet, in some worlds unceasing atomic wars had destroyed civilization and all evidence of scientific progress. They had become Neanderthals with atomic bombs.
In one reality, Nazi Germany developed the atomic bomb and Hitler conquered the entire planet. In that dimension, after Hitler dropped atomic bombs on Warsaw, Moscow, Stalingrad, and then London, President Roosevelt had no choice but to abdicate and surrender. Soon Nazi style slave labor concentration camps appeared in every American city.
In that unusual dimension, it was only after Hitler had been assassinated, in 1963, that the American democratic underground rebelled. But it was to no avail. The Nazi rulers of America put down the uprising with atomic weapons. Soon the entire world was consumed by unceasing atomic wars. In almost every dimension so far explored, war was common.
Humans were natural born killers.
"Shed man's blood, by man thy blood be shed."
What all these dimensions also had in common is that, when considered from the perspective of a continuous macrocosm, each appeared to obey the laws of classical physics, except in one respect: Trans-dimensional travelers, such as myself, became ghost-like and unconstrained by gravity or the classical physics of physical objects. Upon crossing over we could pass through doors, walls, and concrete or metal barricades, with minimal resistance. We were like ghosts--which is why, you should now understand, it did not immediately occur to me that I had crossed over. When I awoke in that field, I had a physical body--and it was in pain.
Obviously, this dimension, your dimension, effected me differently from the others. But why?
A drop of blood bubbled from my left nostril and plopped down onto the key pad. Then another and another, plop, plop, plop...
One of the librarians noticed.
"Here, let me help you," she said, her voice dripping with concern.
The librarian held out a handful of tissue--offered at arm's length.
She was pretty, sexy in a pinched, reserved sort of way. A slim Latina. A Florence Nightingale in disguise.
I gazed into her pretty face and could see myself reflected in her coke-bottle glasses. Ugh. What a sight. I was a mess.
The same could not be said of Ms. Nightingale. Can those glasses and dress her in a tight little outfit, and she'd be a knockout!
She was a knockout, and, like the bum, vaguely familiar.
"Are you OK?" she asked. "You look pretty beat up. Are you in pain? Do you need a doctor?"
She had the slightest of a Mexican accent. It gave her voice a very sexy, musical lilt.
I took another wad of tissue from her hand and pressed it to my nostrils.
"No. I'm fine. Really. Thank you for asking."
I glanced at her name tag: Gloria Gonzales.
Now I remembered.
In my dimension, she was a musician and a sometime actress and had appeared in dozens of day-time 3-D Mexican soap operas. She had a great soulful singing voice and her music was sad, unusual and wonderful: Emotional Mexican ballads mixed with slow, driving, hip-hop rhythms.
I gave her my most charming smile, and asked: "Do you still sing and play guitar?"
The smile dropped from her pretty face. Her hands reflexively shot protectively toward her throat as she backed away.
"How do you know that?" she asked, her voice a whisper.
"Your voice. The callouses on your fingers. Just a guess," I replied.
Her face a frown, she glanced at her fingertips. When she looked up, I could see tiny tears forming in the corners of her eyes.
Very dramatic! I could see why, in our dimension, she became an actress.
"I gave it up," she said. "There was no future in it."
She backed away, her faced pinched with suppressed sorrow.
My eyes followed and then flicked to the clock above her head.
My jaw dropped and my eyes popped!
"Jesus Mohammed!" I exclaimed.
I took a very deep breath.
Nearly five hours had passed and I was still here! Four hours was the max. Four hours had always been the max. Yet, I was still here, and in a physical body that was bleeding and in pain. Fingers of fear flickered across my flesh and spiraled up and down my spine.
I felt scared. Frightened. It was hard to think.
"Get a grip," I told myself. Focus.
There was only one thing to do: find myself and get back to my own world, pronto post haste.
I turned back to the internet, called up a familiar search engine, and inserted my name.
To my utter dismay, I was nowhere to be found. I tried a dozen different search engines and came up with "nada" --nothing. Certainly, there were others with the same name as my own. Yet, in each case, in your reality, they proved to be who they were--that is, they weren't me.
Where was I?
I typed in the name of my company: NeuroDynamics.
From bingo to bust.
Not only was "NeuroDynamics" not my company, but the CEO, board of directors, and senior scientists, were people I had only vaguely heard of. It was not even headquartered in America!
Next I tried "Big Apple Computers." Perhaps in this dimension we had had not sold our shares to Steve Gates and his multi-national investment group. Or perhaps, we bought it back?
Busted again. "Big Apple Computers" was a retail outlet.
I typed in "Rod Riugo."
Nothing. Nada. Zero!
Jay's music group, "Galactica," also proved a bust. There was no band by that name. A movie, yes. A computer game, yes. A band? No.
"Jay Holland?" There were thousands and thousands of them and each was sent an e-mail.
Twenty minutes later, and through the magic of a little hacking, I narrowed the "Jay Holland" list to a dozen candidates--phone numbers and addresses included.
Within seconds, each was sent an e-mail with a tantalizing piece of personal, private info--secrets from his past--along with my new e-mail return address.
I had no intention of waiting for a reply. With phone numbers in hand I got up to find a phone...and then I sat back down. My leg, my ankle, was killing me. Blood was again dripping from nose and the tear in my arm. I felt tired, weak, feverish. Even my ears ached!
I was stuck here, bleeding, and in pain.
Something had obviously gone terribly wrong. But what? Why?
Dizzy. Nauseous. It was hard to think.
All I knew, at that moment, is that I had to find a way back home.
If my company didn't exist, if Jay had never formed his band, if Rod couldn't be located...then... then that left only me....and...Sara Jess.
But Sara was...
I was my only chance.
But where was I? How could I find myself?
There were still some unexplored possibilities: My family.
The odds were not good.
My parents died, in my dimension. Killed in an auto accident, when I was just three years old--an accident, which, I blamed on myself.
The little 3-year-old me was choking to death on a peanut! It got stuck in my "wind pipe." They died trying to save my life, slamming into a bus on the way to the hospital. They died because of me.
The misery of the orphanage and the succession of foster homes, to my childish way of thinking, was God's way of punishing me for my crime.
I felt badly, and was treated badly, because I'd been bad--or so my childish mind concluded. My parents died and abandoned me because I was bad; and I knew I was bad because I felt bad. I was bad, bad, bad. The orphanage, the miserable foster homes, were a fitting punishment for a bad child wracked by guilt for killing his parents...a child too intelligent for his own good.
Taking a deep breath, I typed in the names of my mother and father... and then I hacked my way into a government data base and the archives of the hometown newspaper.
For the longest moment, I held my breath. My heart was pounding like a jack hammer.
I had found myself.
I was dead.
I died, at age 3, in a car accident--the same accident that killed my parents.
Stunned and deflated, I leaned back heavily in the uncomfortable chair.
And then a light appeared in a dark window. A glimmer of understanding.
My situation was beginning to make sense...and what it made, was not good.
Might my death explain why I had manifested in this reality, in my corporal physical body? Was this why I hadn't returned to my own world?
Beautiful, brainy, sexy Sara warned something like this could happen.
Our brilliant physicist, Dr. Sara Jess had argued that "each and every particle in this universe, in this dimension, is affected by its counterpart in yet another dimension in another universe. What happens in one universe can effect what occurs in yet another universe."
"Like Karma?" Jay once asked, giving her a dashing smile. "Or like dying and going to heaven or hell?
Jay was not just flirting, but had a fascination with mystical ideas which also pervaded his music: "Doorways to Heaven" had gone platinum its second week out.
Sara shook her pretty head. "You're discussing 'cause and then effect.' I'm talking simultaneity, events occurring in parallel, at the same time, in two different dimensions."
Jay gave her his most charming smile. "Right. In parallel. Then someone could exist not only here, in this dimension, but in heaven and in hell at the same time, or even in the future and the past at the same time!"
"Yes, I agree," Sara replied. "The future and the past may exist at the same time, but in different dimensions."
"Or in different regions of space," I added.
"Which means," she continued, "that one can get a glimpse of the future, or the past, or even travel to the future or the past, if they can find the door leading to that particular dimension."
"And the same can be true of heaven and hell," Jay added. "So you do a bad deed in this dimension, and at the same time, you're punished in another dimension, because you exist in both dimensions. Or a good deed and at the same time, you're rewarded in another dimension which seems like heaven."
"One man's heaven is another man's hell," I added whimsically.
"Or, good luck in one dimension might be countered by bad luck in another dimension, which seems like hell..." Jay rambled on, trying his seductive best to impress Sara; which, in truth, irritated the hell out of me.
If anybody was going to hell, it was probably Jay who was a surprisingly selfish and insensitive bastard. He not only broke hearts by the dozen, but I was sure he was responsible for the break-up of Rod's last marriage.
Rod wrinkled his four-eyed hawk like face. "What does heaven and hell have to do with this?"
Sara was cool as ice: "What I'm saying is that every particle in this dimension has its counterpart in another dimension. Thus every piece of matter, including humans and human consciousness, exists in the diminsions which make up this universe and has counterparts which exist in the dimensions which make up other universes. And these counterparts are linked."
"How is that?" I asked.
"Through miniscules holes in the walls that separate the different dimensions. The particles making up an object or person in this world, in this dimension, seeps across, through these tiny holes, thus creating or contributing to the creation of the same object or person in another dimension. However, when one particle travels across, its counterpart or a related particle that contributes to the creation of the same person, in another dimension, takes its place in this dimension."
"They move back and forth through tiny holes?" I asked.
"Correct," she continued. "Because these counterparts are linked, this means that each and every particle in this dimension or in another dimension, can effect its counterpart and influence its structure and behavior. These different dimensions and the particles they contain, creates and forms a trans-universe, multi-dimensional structure."
"But if there are hundreds of dimensions..." I began to say.
Sara cut me off: "Because there are an infinite number of dimensions, it is not necessary for the same particle, or the same object or person, to exist in every dimension and in every universe. The limiting factor is two," said Sara. "If you exist in one dimension, then you exist in at least one other dimension. However, you need not exist in all dimensions and you may exist in alternate forms."
In every dimension I visited, I also existed--the exception being your world, where I died at age 3.
It was precisely because I existed, as a living being, in these alternate dimensions, which precluded and prevented my physical existence in the very same dimension--I could not completely materialize except as an ephemeral ghost-like entity.
This was known as the "limiting factor of one."
When traveling from this dimension to another, and because I also existed in these other dimensions, I would also "leak back" to the world from which I originated. The very fact that a body identical to my own existed in whatever dimension I was visiting, would repel my body and force me, particle by particle, to leak back to my own world.
This leakage, caused by my dual presence (the limiting factor of one), and the empty void I had left behind in my own dimension, ensured I would eventually return to my own reality, forced and sucked back--always within 4 hours.
It was also because of the physical reality of my alternate body in whatever alternate dimension I visited, which prevented my own body from assuming a solid, corporal form; solidity, of course, being an illusion anyway.
"Jesus Mohammed!" I exclaimed. Suddenly it was making sense.
I was stuck here, in my physical body, because I did not exist in the form of an alternate physical presence. The "limiting factor of one" did not apply as I was the one and only.
Because my alternate body had died, there was no physical pressure to force and squeeze me particle by particle back into my own dimension. There was no physical presence to prevent me from assuming a corporal, physical form.
Which raised an interesting question.
If I was dead, then what became of Sara Jess?
Sara came into my life many years ago, after we sold Big Apple Computers.
Even billionaires can run low on cash. I was one of those billionaires. I needed more money.
In 1985, Rod, Jay, and I, sold all but one share each of our stock in "Big Apple Computer."
We were motivated not by greed, but science. And we needed a lot of cash--money that is.
Big Apple Computers was great at what it did, which was more than simply turn out 25 million desk top and lap top multi-tasking 3-D TV-computers a year. Big Apple was a leader in hardware and software development for business, education, security, and science, and the creation of face and voice recognition systems and bio-cognition platforms.
It was an exceptionally well run and profitable company; that is, until we sold it and the new owners brought in a Pepsi salesman to run the show. And run it he did--right into the ground.
With over nearly two hundred billion dollars between us, our profits from the sale of Big Apple, Rod, Jay, and I founded "NeuroDynamics" and staffed it with the world's leading engineers, neuroscientists, and geneticists. Jay also continued with his band, "Galactica."
Over the next ten years we would revolutionize computing, creating the first genetically engineered biocomputers.
Our computers were alive. Our computers were modeled on the functional neuroanatomy of the brain. The biocomputers created by NeuroDyanamics could read, hear, see, speak, think and physically interact with the enviroment.
It was our biocomputers which guided the Mar's probes. Our computers which were responsible for the discovery of bacteria and multicellular life beneath the rusting soil of the Red Planet. Our computers which detected the presence of billion-year-old man-made "alien" artifacts deep within the hollowed out core of Phobos, the Martian moon.
It was also our biocomputers which finally recreated the conditions, that in 1976, first enabled me to cross over from this dimension, our world, to other dimensional realities.
At first, no one really believed it possible to treavel between dimensions. Replication had eluded me, for years.
On the fateful night, back in 1976, when frantically scrambling for safety, I crashed into and smashed some of our equipment.
Several nights later, with Jay and Rod as my skeptical witnesses, I tried, without success, to replicate my feat. Thereafter, it became an inside joke, known only to Jay, Rod and myself.
They weren't entirely disbelieving. Jay even made the experience into a hit song: "Multi-Dimensional Man." It was his first hit record; sold millions.
Sixteen years would pass. And then, success--made possible because we sold "Big Apple Computer" and had formed a new privately held corporation whose primary mission would remain a well guarded secret.
And the key to our success was the green eyed, incredibly beautiful, long legged physicist, Dr. Sara Jess.
Sexy Sara, with a Ph.D. from Harvard, an M.D. from Yale, and a professorship at M.I.T., had published hundreds of scientific and theoretical articles, in extremely prestigious scientific journals.
Before making the decision to hire her, I read every single one of her scientific papers.
Sara, basing her calculations and experiments on quantum theory, argued that our universe is only a single tiny facet of an incredibly large multi-universe. Sara claimed to have proved mathematically that our universe was just one of many, that there were at least 120 dimensions.
According to Sara, "the multi-universe is a highly structured continuum containing many universes, and, these many universes are often mirrors of or direct copies of each other."
"Some of these dimensions exist side by side," she wrote, "whereas others exist as dimensions within dimensions, that is, inside one another. Worlds within worlds."
For example, Sara presented evidence which "proved" that sitting, curled up within the 3rd dimension, was an incredibly thin 4th dimension, which is sandwiched inside. That 4th dimension is a passageway, a door leading to yet other doors and other dimensions.
Sara argued that these additional dimensions account for the existence of "dark matter" and the weakness of "local" gravity, which she believed, leaked from one dimension to the next.
Gravity, within well defined confined spaces, is amazingly weak, at least as compared with all other natural forces. Consider: A small magnet can easily overcome the downward gravitational pull of the entire planet and pick up a large metal object.
According to Sara, "gravity is so weak because it ceases to exist and leaks across trans-dimensional spaces, through these tiny holes that are smaller than two tenths of a millimeter in size. Within these tiny spaces, there is no gravity, just a gavitational void. Gravity ceases to exist at this level because it leaks from one dimension to the next, through tiny microcosmic holes and spaces which link adjacent dimensions."
Sara also provided data which indicated, when considered from a microcosmic scale, quantum mechanics becomes a dominant force. Each universe interacts with every other universe to varying degrees through phenomena known as quantum interference and particle leakage.
"Not just gravity, but physical objects," Sara argued, "particles, leak and travel between different dimensions via the tiny holes--or passageways-- that link adjacent dimensions. Dimensions that are close together, effect each other more strongly than those which are far apart."
Upon reading her scientific articles I realized that if gravity and particles can leak across, exiting and entering other dimensions through these incredibly small holes, then so too can matter, including living things; even if they are larger than two tenths of a millimeter in size. If these holes could be made large enough, someone could drive a car from this dimension into the next.
Somehow, back in 1976, I enlarged and then passed through these holes, and crossed over to the other side. I didn't shrink in size, I induced these holes to expand and coalesce until finally they enveloped me and I crossed over.
The truth is, the first time, I didn't really cross over. To be more exact, I stood, sat really, on the threshold, peering into multiple realities simultaneously.
We held our first of several secret meetings with the incredibly sexy Dr. Sara Jess, in 1988.
It was love at first sight--at least for me. She was foxy, sexy, curvaceous, stunningly beautiful, with slim hips, a small waist, perfect butt, firm upturned breasts, and so coldly intelligent she was intimidating--almost.
When she first strolled into our offices, in that tight, short leather skirt, on those impossibly long curvaceous legs, I wanted her so badly I was tempted right there and then to offer her a million dollars to pull down her panties and to entertain me by walking around naked on her spiked heels.
Of course, I did no such thing. Instead, I went on a charm offensive and offered her a million dollars to have dinner with me and to join our team.
To my utter astonishment, she turned me down. When she said, "no," I couldn't stop blinking--it was as if my brain had blown a fuse.
The rejection was not just an incredible surprise, but painful--probably because it brought to the surface some of the unconscious pain and rejection I felt after my parents died.
It had been a long time since a woman had said, "no."
Allow me to point out the unfair facts of life: Other than raw power, there is no greater turn on, no greater aphrodisiac, than money. Women are drawn to power and money like an alcoholic to free beer. Money is intoxicating. It makes even the most discerning damsel drunk with desire. Of course, the bulge in your pants they're really after, is your wallet. Even powerful women who are rich in their own right, will gladly pull down their panties and spread their legs for a man with a billion dollars in his pocket.
Of course, it helps if that billionaire is handsome, or at least good looking.
As for myself, I was so ugly, I was handsome.
I am an ugly-handsome billionaire many times over. Charming, rich, and ugly enough to be considered ruggedly handsome. Yet Sara Jess was unimpressed. She turned me down, flat--and it hurt.
There was only one thing to do. Raise the ante.
"OK. How about this. Two million, to start, a million dollar sign up bonus, and a 100-million-a-year budget ear-marked for your lab alone."
She was cool as ice.
"Agreed, but on one condition," she replied.
"And was it that, my dear?"
She gave me a Cheshire Cat snear--she was all teeth. "Make that two conditions."
Rod and I exchanged looks. Jay kept his hopeful eyes on her silky legs, hoping for a gander at what lay just above her knees.
Sara sat back and crossed her long legs, causing her black leather skirt to ride up, giving us all a first class look at her amazing thighs.
"OK. I'm listening," I answered, my eyes glued to her sexy legs.
She adjusted her skirt and leaned forward. "First, don't ever call me 'dear.' And second, I am never going to sleep with you."
Rod burst out laughing.
"Well then," I replied. "I guess that means we won't be having dinner."
"Smart boy," she laughed.
We shook hands. It was a deal!
With the founding of our new company, NeuroDynamics, and with the brilliant assistance of the sexy and beautifully delicious Dr. Sara Jess, we rapidly made progress in solving the enigma of trans-dimensional travel, and unraveling what she called the "multi-universe."
As Sara pointed out again and again, "each and every particle in this universe, is affected by its counterpart in another universe because of particle leakage."
How is this possible? Through the same infinitely small holes that allow gravity to leak from one universe and from one dimension to another.
Particles, yes. Gravity, yes. But what about an entire human body?
My experience, from back in 1976, held the key.
Trans-dimensional travel could only become a reality if, and only if, we could find a way to significantly enlarge these tiny spaces that were essentially holes in the walls that link adjacent dimensions.
Green eyed sexy Sara believed the best way to accomplish that would be to replicate the events which took place the night Jay, Rod, and I, were inventing a new form of music; when we were composing our sad farewell to the Kennedy brothers.
Of course we already tried that, and failed, over and over again.
Sara, the foxy lady, changed all that.
The first big scientific breakthrough was the harnessing of the anti-gravity properties of specific wavelengths and frequencies of sound.
Sound, at certain frequencies, can repel and move objects. Certain sounds counteract the force of gravity, creating a disequilibrium and an imbalance, thus increasing the rate and amount of flow of gravity from one dimension to another.
Just as the rush of leaking water can rapidly increase the size of a small pinprick in the side of a dam, the rush of leaking gravity, this imbalance, can rapidly increase the size of the tiny holes which link this dimension to its counterparts.
On December 22, 1992, we conjured forth the first darkish holes--a dozen of them which grew in size and almost, but did not, coalesce.
The real breakthrough had to wait until July 7, 1994. That evening we created a controlled space the size of a basketball, and that's what I tossed into it--a ball. It completely disappeared; and then, so did the hole.
Four hours later, the ball reappeared and bounced to the ground.
Success! Success! Success!
We were ecstatic, delirious with delight, jumping up and down and laughing and screaming like crazed children on a sugar rush.
That night Sara made love to me, for the first time.
What a transformation! From hard-as-nails coldly logical Chief Scientist Dr. Sara Jess, to ultra feminine, yielding, and submissive sexy Sara.
And what cock know how!
Later that evening, as she lay in my arms, Sara admitted it really was love at first sight.
"When I first met you, I knew I would marry you some day," she confessed.
"Well that's a surprise. I thought you didn't like me," I replied.
Sara, lying naked in my arms, bit me on the chest and then laughed: "Who said I liked you?"
I loved Sara Jess. She was the greatest love of my life. The only woman who could make me laugh. She was beautiful. She was brilliant. She was funny. She was sexy and delicious, and she was even smarter than me. And then, it ended badly. Horribly.
Sometimes it is better to have never loved at all, than to have loved and lost.
Sara was lost to me... twelve months ago. I blamed Jay. It was his fault. I wanted to kill him!
They had gone to Sunset beach together: Sara, her dog "Tiger," and Jay. Sunset beach was also Jay's idea...secluded, beautiful, the perfect setting for a seduction--I had known for years that he wanted her; the lust was always in his eyes. The bastard!
Sunset beach was secluded for a reason: there was an incredible undertow. The water was dangerous.
I got the call at 12:30 that afternoon. It was Jay, on his cellular... and within minutes I was airborne... and then I was running across the sandy beach...toward the churning ocean waters....where she lay, along the shore...next to the body of her dog, Tiger.
"Tiger" Jay sputtered, "had been chasing seagulls. And then, he disappeared beneath the waves. The undertow had got him, sucked him down" he said, pointing at the ocean. "Sara was frantic. Hysterical. I tried to stop her... I warned her... but she dived in after him..."
Pushing Jay aside, I fell to my knees and cradled her in my arms.
She was cold. Wet. Seaweed was tangled in her hair.
Her head fell back...her eyes vacant, lifeless...
"No!" I howled. "Please, God, No. No. No."
I couldn't stop crying and kissing her face as rivers of tears fell from my eyes.
"Sara, Sara, Sara."
The love of my life was dead.
Sara Jess was dead.
I had not felt such torment since the death of my parents.
For months I couldn't eat, couldn't sleep, couldn't function. A cold cruel wind blew sadly through the hole in my guts. I felt like dying. Like I was dead. Killing myself to end the endless misery seemed to offer the only promise of relief.
Instead, I became a trans-dimensional junky, trying to forget, throwing myself into my work.
But I couldn't forget.
"Sara," I whispered. "Sara Jess!"
My Sara was dead. I had never dared search her out in any other dimension, fearful of what I might find, how I might react.
But this was different. I had to find her.
I typed her name into the search engine, and then, there it was: She had her own website: SaraJess.com. And there were pictures! Sara Jess was alive! My heart leaped... and then, I felt the same numbing pain.
My Sara was dead. And now Sara was alive! But I belonged to another world. Another dimension.
This Sara, I quickly determined by scanning her website, was the author of several best selling science trade books--all non-fiction, some on math, others on physics. A physicist, though, she was not.
And why was that? The answers were within the data banks of the internet and the political differences between my dimension, my world, and your own.
As we discovered, what exists or has taken place in the dominant dimensions which make up one universe, has counterparts which are either identical, or which differ by varying degrees and major factors in yet other dimensions.
Your own dimension is more like our own in that Hitler lost world war two. However, in your world, enlightened leaders, like the Kennedy brothers, had been eliminated. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 and Oswald was blamed. Robert Kennedy also fell to the assassin's bullet. These men and leaders like them were replaced by a succession of scoundrels who served an assortment of wealthy special interests. Hence, unlike our dimension where hundreds of billions of dollars were spent on science, health care, and the establishment of thousands of new schools and colleges, in your world, the politicians spend your nation's tax dollars on war, weapons, defense contractors and influential special interests groups.
Unlike the dimension in which I was bred, those born in your reality, people like Jay Holland, Sara Jess and Rod Riugo, were raised in a society that rationed education, health care, and opportunity. Rod Riugo, born in a New York ghetto, and almost blind without his coke bottle glasses, probably never had a chance in your world. He was probably dead. In your world, Gloria Gonzales never became a star. Jay Holland never formed his rock band. The scare-crow of a man sitting under the library clock, was just a bum.
Sara was born of a single mom, a waitress. They had no money. Despite Sara's uncommon intelligence, in your world, she would never have been able to afford admission to a good college. Graduate school? Harvard? Yale? Stanford? Berkeley? An impossibility. Where would she get the money? And even if she had the cash, there were still the limited enrollment space--higher education, in your world, was rationed and even the best of the best were often denied opportunity.
And yet, in your world, as in our own, Sara had made a success of herself. She was alive, and, my heart ached for her.
Sara died just 12 months ago. Sara meant everything to me, and our company. If not for Sara, we would have never made the first real transdimensional breakthrough, back in July of 1992.
Four years would elapse before we dared the first human experiments. First we had to become convinced the process was completely safe.
After tossing in a variety of objects, including old shoes, a garbage pail, and several 3-D digital movie cameras--none of which ever transmitted or recorded a visible image--we moved on to living things.
Fruit flies were the first to take the voyage. Then mice, rats, several cats, and then three dogs.
At first I was against sending a dog. I like dogs. But, to my surprise, when the first dog came back, he was smiling and wagging his tail.
We progressed to rhesus monkeys, and over a dozen chimpanzees.
As near as we could tell, there was no mental, emotional, physical, or genetic damage. What went in healthy, came back healthy. Pregnant animals returned and gave birth to normal appearing offspring.
On occasion, animals came back clearly upet and frightened. Several of the chimps were clearly unhappy about it.
We examined two hundred generations of fruit flies, some of which went through the process repeatedly. Normal. Normal. Normal.
This is not to say there weren't problems, warning signs.
Not all the fruit flies reappeared. We also lost one cat and several mice and a chimpanzee.
What became of them?
Sara feared they might have broken apart into tiny, invisible fragments.
"Perhaps they disintegrated and returned as invisible clouds of disembodied particles," she said. "Or maybe they died or were killed and can't come back!"
"But then, if they were dead, why didn't they rematerialize as a dead body?" I asked.
We decided to run a few tests and determine what would happen if we sent something dead into another dimension.
Answer: After four hours, it came right back. It was still dead.
In fact, it was more than dead. It was mush. The speed of decay was greatly accelerated for reasons we couldn't quite fathom.
There followed almost a hundred additional tests.
Finally, despite the few red flags, we were ready.
Correction. I was ready. I would be the first human subject.
Sara was against it.
"Until we know what became of those animals that never came back, it would be crazy, suicidal," she argued. "You might be killed. You might not come back."
We argued for weeks.
Not surprisingly, I won. I mean, after all, I do own 33.3% of the company. Who was to stop me? To soothe Sara's fears, I agreed to wear protective gear and to go equipped as an astronaut--spacesuit and all.
I finally popped my cherry and took my maiden voyage on August 7, 1997.
It was beyond my wildest dreams. I was soaring through air, and below me, there were houses, sidewalks, automobiles, people moving to and fro, and everything was in living color! Everything was real, as real as the reality from which I came.
Everything was real, except me.
Faster than the speed of thought, I fell from the sky and stood on a busy sidewalk. To my astonishment, not only did no one see me, they passed right through me. I wasn't just invisible, I was like a ghost, a blob-like phantasm consisting of transparent grayish shades of black and white.
Sure enough, I could pass through doors and walls, or sink beneath the earth. Or, with the aid of thought, suddenly soar into the sky only to land at some distant point that I had discerned while flying miles high above the earth.
The first trip, was exactly that. A fantastic, spiritual, eye popping, mind blowing trip! Four hours later, I materialized back in the lab.
There followed extensive debriefings as well as an incredible number of physical and psychological tests.
I was still me.
Two months later, I took a second voyage and emerged upon a world strikingly different from our own. It was a smoking ruin. Civilization, as we know it, did not exist.
Rod took the next trans-dimensional joy ride. Then Jay.
We were never able to pre-determine which dimension we would enter, or where. Even so, the experiences of Jay and Rod were identical to my own. The body became ghostlike. One could pass through objects or journey to distant shores by forming specific thoughts. After four hours, the body rematerialized in the lab.
The ghost-like manifestation was a curse and a blessing. At first it seemed all we could do was observe our surroundings. Picking up a newspaper, using computer facilities, and so on, was an impossibility. Our ability to obtain information was limited to passive observation or reading over someone's shoulder.
We brain-stormed but couldn't come up with a solution.
The answer to our quandary would come one year later, during my sixth trans-dimensional journey when I encountered the totally unexpected. A fellow traveler.
I was floating through the well guarded offices of a top secret defense contractor, when, there he was--or rather, "It" was.
It, was a phantasm--just like me--a ghost-like, transparent, negative image entity. It was hovering above a highly decorated uniformed man, a soldier in a white lab coat, who was sitting at a desk reading a file.
If the It knew I was there, It didn't show it. It paid me no mind.
Instead, the ghost-like It, descended toward the white coated soldier, and then, its head passed through the man's head as he sat reading the file. I could see It, inside the man's brain, moving Its lips, as if whispering to the man, whispering instructions into his brain.
The soldier in white seemed startled, then jerked his eyes and head to the left and right, back and forth, back and forth. His frozen face was a mask of fear and uncertainty.
Laying the file down, the white-lab-coated soldier, robot like, spoke to the computer at his desk--which flicked on. He began voicing commands.
I drew up behind to observe.
Codes, mathematical formula, diagrams, and a host of what I presumed to be top secret information about a highly advanced weapon's system, was scrolling across the 3-dimensional screen. Like me, my fellow traveler was after knowledge and information.
The key to our quandary was right before my eyes.
"Well I'll be damned!" I exclaimed, though no sound came from my mouth. Yet, the It heard me loud and clear.
The white coated soldier seemed to break out of his robot trance. Simultaneously, the It removed its head from the soldier's brain. Both looked around the room, and then the It stared right at me, apparently noticing me for the first time.
I can't be positive, but the It seemed to smile, maybe even laugh. Then it disappeared.
The lessons learned that day were invaluable. The humans of other dimensions could be mentally manipulated like a puppet. They could be made to hear voices and to follow complex commands. They could be possessed and controlled.
Jay and Rod were as thrilled as I when I told them the news. The ramifications were boundless as well as just a little bit unnerving.
"If people from other dimensions have learned the secret of trans-dimensional travel," Rod exclaimed, "then they can also visit our dimension."
"What makes you think they are not already from our dimension?" Sara asked.
"No way. Impossible," Rod retorted.
"You don't know that," she answered.
Jay gave me a mischievous smile. "Maybe he really did see a ghost? Maybe he saw the devil?"
"Not likely," Sara replied. "I doubt that ghosts or demons would go in search of top secret weapon's data."
"Not unless they are planning a war between heaven and hell," I added.
Jay began playing a drum tattoo on his knee. "You know what this means, don't you?" he asked.
Sara leaned back and crossed her arms. "OK. I'll bite. What?"
"That people who claim to see ghosts, who hear voices, who claim the devil made them do it--they might be telling the truth. They may really be possessed by demons."
Now, I too was hearing voices. The librarians had twice announced the library would soon be closing.
Again I checked the hotmail e-mail account I'd created. I had sent messages to every Jay Holland in existence and to the amazingly beautiful, green-eyed Sara Jess.
Already I had received nearly 100 messages, all crap, at least half of which were pornographic and offering me an assortment of naked women, naked men, "Lolitas," "boy toys," sex with animals, something called "Viagra," as well a bigger penis.
"Damn," I muttered.
Again, the voice: "The library will be closing in 15 minutes."
Fortunately, I had phone numbers for Sara who resided in San Francisco, and two dozen of the Jays who were most likely to be the real deal.
All I needed now was money.
With a little hacking here, and little hacking there, followed by a type, type, type, the money problem was solved--almost.
"Damn, damn," I muttered.
Now I was seeing red. Blood red. My blood. It was drip drip dripping from my nose again. The gash from my arm was also weeping blood, and, to my surprise, so was my leg and left ear. Blood was leaking from my nose, my ear, and soaking through the rags which long ago had probably been a nice shirt and slacks.
My head hurt. I felt sick, tired, dizzy and in pain.
A glance at the clock told me I had 10 minutes until closing.
Wiping the blood from the key board, I quickly tied up my financial loose ends. Money, green money, would be available at the money machines sitting in front of any bank.
Jay Holland of Sonoma had taken the bait. I found my man!
The librarians were ushering stragglers from the library.
Sara Jess of San Francisco was willing to talk.
It was while scribbling down her cell phone number that the cops showed up.
"Am I being arrested, officer?"
One of the big black men in blue looked very familiar.
"No. You're going to a hospital."
"But first, why don't you tell us what happened," his partner added. "And let's see some ID."
I felt tired. Weak. Feverish. I hurt and was having trouble thinking clearly.
The cop, like the bum, sure did look familiar. Again, it was the name tag which jogged my memory: "Dwight Sanders." In this reality, he was a cop. In my world, Dwight was "Flight Commander Sanders" and in charge of the Martian International Space Station.
What a difference a dimension makes.
We stepped outside just as an ambulance pulled up behind their squad car.
"What if I don't want to go to the hospital?" I asked.
The biggest of the two black cops frowned. "You got blood coming out your nose. You look like shit. You can hardly walk. You can't remember what happened to you. And you don't want to see a doctor?"
One of the ambulance attendants, a blond guy, white shirt, short sleeves, with bulging biceps, took me by the arm with his gloved hand.
I winced. It hurt. It felt like he was squeezing me to the bone.
"You're bleeding pretty bad. Why don't you come with us?" he said.
He had very white teeth!
The other attendant was a petite, gorgeous blond in a tight little white outfit which emphasized her ass and upturned tits. Blondy was bending over, pulling a gurney from the back of their meat wagon, giving us a splendid view of her nicely shaped butt which she wiggled enticingly.
I relented. Seeing a doctor was probably not a bad idea.
An hour later, I was still lying on the gurney, inside the Emergency Room, waiting, along with a crowd of hundreds, for a doctor.
Fortunately, a medical technician and a male nurse--I was sure they were lovers--had shoved some gauze up my nose and into my ear, placed a bandage here and there, gave me a shot of something, and did what they could--and for this I was grateful.
Feeling a little better I sat up and took in my surroundings.
By the size of the crowd, it would be next Tuesday before I saw a doctor.
To my dismay, there was hair on my hospital pillow. Was my hair falling out?
I fondled my shaggy maine and gave it a gentle tug, and, out came a plug of hair.
"Jesus Mohammed. Not my hair!"
And still no doctor!
I had waited long enough and staggered out toward the front exit where I discovered a red and blue "ATM" machine. Extracting five thousand dollars, I bought myself some funky looking clothes from the hospital gift shop, and then I was out of there.
Hailing a cab, I made one stop to buy a Japanese cell phone with internet access, and then it was on to San Francisco and the beautiful and brilliant Sara Jess.
Jay Holland answered on the second ring. Although intrigued by my e-mail messages, was unwilling to take a one hour trip from Sonomoa to San Francisco.
"Give me one good reason why I would want to waste an entire evening to meet with two people I know nothing about?"
"I can give you thousands of reasons," I replied. "Go online or call your bank and check your savings account."
Upon receiving a ten thousand dollar transfer to his bank account, Jay had a change of heart. He was on his way.
Sara Jess was also reluctant to meet me, preferring, instead, to converse by phone. The bank transfer of $10,000 cash, only made her more suspicious.
When I followed up with yet another e-mail containing very personal and private information--including descriptions of a red star shaped birth mark on her right breast and a dark mole on her thigh--she reluctantly agreed to a face-to-face.
We would meet in public. At 10 PM. In a San Francisco restaurant: Original Joes.
By time I arrived, I felt hot, feverish, dizzy, sick, and was bleeding again, not only from my gauze packed nose, but from my mouth. We had hit a bump coming off the freeway, and a couple of teeth came loose, followed by a little gusher of blood and still more hair.
Jesus Mohammed, I was falling apart! What was the matter with me?
Sara and Jay were sitting at separate tables when I limped and hobbled into the restaurant. My heart leaped when I saw her. Tears sprung from my burning eyes. Sara looked as sexy and stunning as ever. It was all I could do to refrain from rushing to her table and taking her in my arms.
Jay was another matter. In our dimension Jay took extraordinary care of himself. No meat, no drugs, no alcohol, and a 3-mile run every night.
In this, your reality, Jay looked old, tired, defeated, used up, and fat. It was shocking how much he'd aged. Jay was an old man, and had lost a lot of hair.
Jay was going bald!
Jesus Mohammed, what happened to him?
I gently touched my own scalp. Was there something in the air?
Later I learned the answer. Nothing. Nothing had happened to Jay. His dreams had never been realized. Jay was a self described failure.
Not surprisingly, he was very depressed. He was also quite stoned. I could smell it, "green bud"--something the Jay of our dimension gave up when he turned 21.
"Do you still play music?" I asked.
"Sure. Small clubs, here and there. But when you're working 9 to 5 there's not much time for music," he said, somewhat defensively.
"What about Galactica?"
Jay brightened. "Man, we were great. I mean, great! Everybody loved us! But, then, Galactica fell apart, everyone going off to start their own band. The same thing has happened with every band I've formed, like everything I've tried to do in music. No matter how good we are, no matter how much people liked us, everything would always fall apart." He shook his head dejectedly.
I can't even begin to tell you how many times I was approached by a record producer or an agent, who would promise the moon and the stars, and then nothing would happen. Nothing! It didn't make sense," Jay continued. "It was like there was this gap, this barrier, something just beyond my reach, these invisible walls that just kept getting in the way, that would keep me from getting from here to there. It was like there was something missing, something missing, a peace of the puzzle, that just wouldn't let me succeed."
I knew what Jay was missing: Opportunity, exposure, and feedback from two close friends and collaborators: Rod and I. Most of the 24 songs from Jay's first two "Galactica" albums, had our finger-prints all over them--musical residue from those long-ago jam sessions in that old garage.
And then there was his problem with demon drugs.
"Its like there is this demon," Jay continued, his voice exasperated, "or evil spirit, or some force that just wouldn't let me succeed, that kept me from fulfilling what I thought was my destiny. Instead, I end up teaching high school math."
Sara was listening intently, her green eyes flashing with passion and understanding. It was obvious she was attracted to him.
"It's like I'm being punished," Jay concluded. "Like I'm in purgatory. Like I've been sent to hell."
Sara patted his hand. "Sometimes I feel the same way."
I was jealous of that hand. I wanted to take it, hold it, to kiss it, to kiss her....to hold her and kiss her--that would be heaven!
She squeezed his hand, and then I had a bad thought: Had she betrayed me? Did she and Jay have an affair? No. Impossible!
I gazed at Sara and she eyed me warily.
"You wanted to be a physicist? Am I right?"
Her green eyes narrowed. "How do you know that? And how did you know..." her voiced trailed off as her cheeks flushed crimson. "Who are you?" she demanded. "What do you want?"
"I'll explain in a moment. But before I do, I must prove to you that I am really who I claim to be."
Sara curled her pouty red lips and sneered. "My rich uncle, perhaps?"
"You don't have an uncle," I replied. "Like me, your mother was raised in an orphanage. She never finished high school. Twice divorced, your mother became a waitress and a drug addict. You don't know who your father is. You wanted to go to Harvard, Yale, or MIT, but you didn't have the money. Particle physics fascinates you. Am I right?"
If looks could kill.
Sara crossed her arms and glared at me.
"What's this all about? What do you want?" she demanded.
What I wanted was to take her in my arms and smother her with kisses. Sara, Sara, Sara Jess. My brilliant, intelligent, sexy Sara. The only woman who could make me laugh. The only woman I wanted to marry.... who I would have married... if she hadn't... if I hadn't...if Jay...
I gazed at her sadly, with love and longing.
Twelve months dead, and now, she sat across from me and all I wanted was to hold her, to kiss her, to tell her how much I love her...that and get back to my own reality, my own dimension.
Or did I?
I dabbed at the trickle of blood seeping through the gauze in my nose.
Here was the woman I loved... a brilliant sexy woman who meant everything to me. Sara, Sara, Sara Jess--my dream girl. My dream. The love of my life. Why not stay here, in this dimension? Why not form a new company and start over? Think of all the good we could do! What we could accomplish. It would be so easy!
"Are you married," I asked. "Do you have any children?"
Sara erupted. She was mad as a hornet.
"Screw you! Who the hell do you think you are, invading my privacy like this? Asking me these questions?"
"I'm...from another dimension," I said, giving my bleeding nose another wipe. I knew you in that other dimension, your counterpart. I can prove it."
"Oh please," she said, rolling her eyes. "This is crazy." Purse in hand, she slid across the seat.
She was leaving. I was losing her.
Correction. Almost lost her, for it was at that moment, just as the waitress arrived and set down our coffee, that my nose fell off and with a splash landed in a cup of java.
The waitress screamed.
Jay's eyes bulged out of his head, and then, he started laughing.
The waitress fainted.
Jay quit laughing.
"I'm from another dimension, another reality," I mumbled as I fished my nose from out of the coffee. With my other hand and a wad of napkins I did my best to stop the bleeding--a real gusher.
"Both of you--people identical to you--also exist in that other dimension. That's how I know so much about you. We worked together. We were partners. We formed a biotechnology computer company. That's why...oh shit!" I muttered as blood sprayed into my mouth. Another tooth had fallen out. And then another, and another... I was falling apart!
Jay handed me wads of napkins which I pressed to my bloody mouth and the crimson-oozing hole in my face.
"I'm from another dimension," I mumbled through a mouthful of blood. "A visitor from a reality almost identical to your own."
A pimply faced assistant manager had raced to our table, shouting, "Someone call a doctor! Call an ambulence!"
Other customers were gathering round. "Call 9-11," someone yelled.
Sara stared at me wide eyed, her green eyes shocked and disbelieving
Jay was suddenly full of questions: "And I formed a band, Galactica, in that other dimension?"
"Yes," I gurgled. "You're famous. Twelve gold records. Six platinum. You screw a different super model almost every night. You break hearts by the hundreds..."
...which is why he is probably being punished in this dimension, I thought....for that and killing my Sara...
Jay slammed his fists down on the table. "I knew it. I knew it."
"You knew what?" Sara demanded.
"I was born in the wrong dimension. Now it makes sense," he responded. "I was born in the wrong dimension!"
"And what about me?" she asked, her voice dripping with disgust and sarcasm. "Was I also born in the wrong dimension?"
I was leaking blood. Feverish. Growing weaker. But I continued.
"You're a physicist. You got your Ph.D. from Harvard. You...Oh shit!" I cried. Two of my fingers had broken off and dropped to the table. My thumb followed. Then my ear.
"Jesus Mohammed. I'm falling apart," I gurgled, coughing blood. "Please, help me...."
There was a loud crack as I tried to slide across the seat. My hip, it must have broke. The pain was so terrible, so excruciating, I thought I would pass out. "Help me," I moaned.
Jay took my arm. I fainted as it snapped.
I awoke in a hospital. Though my vision was blurry, I could still see: three men in white. And I could still hear: Voices discussing my case with the three white robed doctors.
"He's delusional," one of the men in white explained. "No doubt from the pain."
"But what's wrong with him?"
"Is it contagious?"
"Contagious? We don't know."
I tried to focus, to sit up, but could not. Everything was fading, becoming grayer, darker...
Where was Sara? Where was Jay?
All I could really make out were the three white coated doctors, two in profile, one facing toward me, but staring down.
"But what is it then? Why is he...disintegrating?"
The doctor facing me looked up and pointed.
"He's dying," the doctor said, as if that somehow explained everything.
The three doctors in white turned and gazed upon me.
Was it my imagination? Were they all pointing at me?
The doctors took a step toward me. "A massive system failure. Heart, lungs, eyes... He's coming apart. Disintegrating. He doesn't have much longer to live."
Dying, I thought. No. I can't let that happen. Got to tell them about the "CureAll Kit"...explain how it works.
"Sara," I mumbled. "Sara."
Sara would understand. Sara who I loved so much. Sara, my beautiful brilliant Sara, the love of my life. Sara. Sara. Sara Jess!
But Sara Jess didn't seem to hear.
I tried to sit up, but failed.
I couldn't feel my arms or legs. Had they fallen off?
The voices were becoming faint.
It was difficult to see. There was no color...Everything was either black or white.
My eyes were melting. Blood was leaking into my lungs. I couldn't breath...
The doctors sounded as if they were speaking under water.
Bubbles of sound reached my dying ears. I could make out only four words: "Delusional... Disintegrating...Dimension...Dead."
"Delusional..." echoed a distant voice.
"...claimed he was from another dimension..."
The voices were growing fainter...and fainter... and...fainter...
...and then I was embraced by the light.
I was outside, a ghostly-me, soaring above the front yard of the old house I shared, back in 1976, with Rod and Jay.
And there I was, the teenage me, frightened nearly out of my, or rather, his wits, running, stumbling, just ahead of me.
Was I dead? Was my life simply flashing before my eyes?
Was death just another dimension?
And then I remembered. Sara said something like this could happen. The future and the past also exist in other dimensions... all one need do is find the right door.
The teenage me, had opened that door...a door which linked the future and the past... which means, it is now 1976, and if my calculations are correct, that in 4 hours, I will finally reappear in my own dimension, a reality which exists in the future...and if I don't...well with my powers of possession, I shall have a very productive and a most interesting time indeed...