(The soundtrack of my mind.)
Now, I can see the little linear-logic wheels turning in your head. If I met Gia when I was 27, which in non-linear time was after I met her in Venice at age 45, and after I was 21 in linear time, then why didn’t I remember her? Simply put, by then, I’d forgotten what she looked like. Sounds horrible, considering we’d been intimate, but that is only if you continue to think in a linear manner. There was a period of my life between age 21, to when I returned from this second jump, until 29, when Gia and I returned to her apartment to make love for the first time, that my life returned to its plodding, linear ways. By the time I met Gia for the 2nd first time, I’d convinced myself our initial jumps had been a bad series of dreams. I even managed to forget her completely.
Jumping through time does not preserve a pure linear logic. In other words, in my mind, I went from age 21 to 45 to 29, and then back to my 21st birthday party wherein I remained until I was 29. Sounds pretty neat, right? Well it is, from the comfort of this retrospective. My understanding of the timeline was built on myriad hand-scribbled notes which I began at Gia’s suggestion and kept diligently all my life. After decades, I’ve been able to pen a fairly close retrospective. As the events happened, however, memories were much more fragmented. By the time I met 19-year-old Gia, for instance, she produced only a vague sense of déjà vu, and a profound sense of being drawn to her.
She, on the other hand, seemed to have a much more complete sense of the non-linear timeline. While she attributed it to a complex explanation of “the intuitive nature of non-linear travelers,” I summarize it by saying her brain was much better suited for making sense of the disjointed way we lived our lives. In addition to which, Gia had started jumping at a very young age, from at least age 7. I, on the other hand, didn’t start jumping until I was an adult. She never said so, but it became clear that my not believing in such things had been the delimiter all along. Even when I started jumping, it took years to get my head around it.
Gia not only remembered every detail of our prior adventure, but she had an eight-year series of solo jumps the details of which she refused to reveal. So to her, she was a 19-year-old intern who had lived 27 years in linear and non-linear time, and was meeting an older man who was exactly her age. Starting to get the non-linear logic now?
She introduced herself to me that day knowing we would be married, or had been married, and precisely how long it would take her to convince me to go out with her – two summers of internships. This second date was the very first time I had dropped my guard and given in to the inexorable attraction that drew me to her. Little had I known it was the fact that we had already made love, long before we returned to her place to make love.
It was a damn shame time didn’t allow me to relive that night twice.
As we lay in each other’s arms that August night of our first lovemaking, we spent a long time arguing about how non-linear time worked, until I finally stopped arguing and let her teach me. (Rather, teach me again, according to her.) We could remember our relationship, the one we’d built during the fifteen minutes of non-linear Venetian time, and the linear memories from her time as an intern, but none of the other memories we had previously accessed. For example, neither of us at the time remembered our honeymoon, since it hadn’t happened to us yet, but we did remember part of our fifteenth anniversary trip to Venice.
Make sense? If you said yes, you’re nuttier than I am, which is considerably, after all these years. But that’s good, because it gets weirder.
No sooner had we finished our discussion and fallen asleep, than I “awoke” in the midst of a 21-year-old’s birthday party at the seediest strip club you can imagine. For a moment, I considered looking Gia up, but realized she would be no more than 13. By the time I downed my fourth drink, I had convinced myself I’d imagined the whole thing. Thus began my six-year-long wild-man period wherein I astonished my friends by going from the shy geek to the playboy via my sudden burst of confidence. Had any of us realized I’d actually lost my virginity in the future to my future wife … well, never mind, the logic of that makes my head hurt.