I have a problem: my time machine is always late.
I have wasted hours trying to make it work in the proper way (it’s not convenient to try to force the mechanism, as it was shown by the tragic Chichilo Sartori incident), but nothing seems to work.
I tried to find some equation that allows me to compensate the loosen mechanism (my hypotheses was that the further you go in time, either forward or backwards, the more delay you have, as a result), but there was just no case. I have taken it to Laucha Micheli’s repair shop —no better clockmaker than him—. I’ve consulted Manteca Acevedo, who knows a lot about quantic engines. I’ve corrected the tempions flow with an electromagnetic, long range bar, confined the electrostatic repulsion forces to limit the thermic velocity, inferred over the an/cat reaction in order to increase the passing energy; but it was worthless.
And the problem isn’t minor.
I became a traveller because it was the best way to join my two passions: on one side, I’m a kind of homemade scientist who is fascinated with building weird artifacts; on the other, I love anecdotic history’s episodes; so, when I found the instructions, I didn’t hesitate; I built the Machine and threw myself into the space-time, but there was no case.
Three or four times, I wanted to see how María Antonia Josepha Johanna von Habsburg-Lothringen lost her head, on Vendémiaire the twenty-fifth of the second year of the French Revolution, at eleven am, on Paris’ Revolution Square; and I always got there when the last curious were leaving away and Sanson, the executioner, cleans his guillotine. Once, I even arrived the night from the twenty-fifth to the twenty-sixth, and only found a drunken pissing one of the gallows legs.
I wanted to see Martin Luther King and his I have a dream on the twenty-eight, August, nineteen sixty-three, in front of the Lincoln’s monument, in Washington; but only found the stairs full of papers and dirty because of the thousands of people that had stepped on them; and a left behind group talking about how shocking the speech had been, as they walked away.
I tried to arrive between fourteen hours, twenty-five minutes and fifteen hours on thirtieth, April, nineteen forty-five, on the Reichstag’s roofs of Berlin and solve, once and for all, if it was Melitón Varlámovich Kantaria, or Mijaíl Petróvich Minin or Abdulchakim Ismailov, the soldier who made the red flag wave at the German Parliament’s portal; and see Yevgueni Jaldei immortalize the moment on a photograph (icon, if any, that marks the end of the Second World War); but didn’t even got there to see him putting his equipment away. It was five o’clock already, and the roof was empty, and there was no flag.
By the time I stepped the Curia of Pompeyo’s Theatre, in Rome, on the idus of March, in seven hundred and nine year at urbe condita; Bruto and the conspiratosr had already killed Julius Caesar.
I didn’t get to see Perón on the Rosada`s balcony, seventeenth, October, nineteen forty-five. The Fat Man bomb had already exploded in Nagasaki. There was no americans in Saigón. The military man didn’t let me enter Roswell’s Ground Zero. The Beatles helpers were putting the equipment’s, from the rooftop, away, at the Apple building. Mary Jane Kelly was already dead on her bed, and didn’t see traces of Jack the Ripper. The corpses of Benito Mussolini and his lover, Clara Petacci, were already hanged upside down at the service station on Piazza di Loreto. Lady Di’s car was wrecked to pieces in the tunnel, near the Sena, and surrounded by ambulances and police cars. There were nothing but chips from the bridge over the Kwai River. From Joan of Arch, there were only ashes and two or three embers aroused by a weak, north wind. Dempsey was going into the ring, after Firpo’s terrible right uppercut. Tunguska’s trees were already in flames and fallen. And, of course, the police had already circled Dalla’s Dealey Square, and taken JFK, deadly wounded, to Parkland’s Hospital.
There’s nothing to do. I’m always late everywhere, because of this jalopy that cost me over ten years of work, a money monstrosity, my marriage, my children hatred, and my friends and family’s condemn.
Of course, I’ve tried a number of times, to go back to nineteen ninety-eight and prevent myself from this inconvenient, with the hope that, on those first steps, I’d find a proper solution, maybe obvious on the draft taken from Popular Mechanics Magazine, March edition; but, no matter what I do, I’m always there after I’ve closed my workshop and while, for sure, I’m sleeping on the bus, on a long trip back to my home, that last hour of the afternoon. I couldn’t even prevent myself to hold strong the handrail, the time the One-ninety-eight’s bus hit the brakes at the Brandsen and Quirno Costa corner, because of a taxi driver that crossed a red light; and gave me a fall and a back pain that lasted three weeks.
Original Title: Siempre llego tarde a todos lados.
Translator: Maximiliano Frini.
About the Author: Daniel Frini