Excerpt From Something I'll Never Finish Writing

“So it’s not that I’m not glad that you’re coming, I-I just keep wondering why you’re doing it.”

The man paused, searching Lewis’ face before glancing away to stare at the ground. He began to speak, his large blue eyes glazing over as though he were somewhere far away. 

“It’s for a lot of reasons, but mainly for my Lizzie. Are you old enough to remember losing anyone in the Sunder?”

“I have flashes of memory, I remember my parent’s faces although it seems like it gets harder every year.” 

“Well, I was 22 when it happened, I’m sure any one of these folks could tell you the same story. One moment you’re staring at the love of your life, the next… poof, there’s a brick wall and you’re alone. For me, it was Lizzie.” He said, his voice dropping to a whisper as he said her name. 

“You see, I was just about to graduate and I’d been dating her for a few years now. Never met anyone like her before in my life, being around her was like…” His voice trailing off as he glanced around the campfire seemingly searching for his words in the flames. 

“Well, have you ever walked in somewhere and smelled fresh baked cookies? Just this pure happiness the moment you walk in. That’s how it felt. Perfect. Well anyways, we were getting ready for a night in, I’d bought this dumb musical about a circus that she loved and she was real excited. I came up to her room, and she was laying on the bed in these black leggings, the soft ones kinda like pajamas and this giant maroon sweatshirt she loved. I mean you shoulda seen her. She just had her hair done, and colored it this auburn honey color that glowed in the string lights we had draped over her bookshelves.” As he spoke about her, his eyes lit up, and a big goofy smile began to spread over his face. He laughed to himself as he mentioned the string lights adding “that was probably a pretty big fire hazard now that I think about it.” 

 “Anyway, I handed her the DVD and she starts setting it up, but then she says can you go grab my candy, I left it in the other room and I joke with her that she’ll have to get her own candy and she does this adorable Pweeeeassseeeee she’d do, but I didn’t budge” He seems to mimic her voice as he goes, laughing to himself after copying her “please”, his voice a high-pitched singsong. 

“ Then she started making this cute pouty smile, her big, brown, puppy dog eyes too much to say no to. So I get up off the bed, walk into the other room, and grab em. Then I’m standing at the door looking at her just as I’m about to go in, and Lizzie sees me holding the candy.  She looked up and smiled.” The man stops and catches his breath, and lets out a dreamy sigh as though he could see her smiling even now. The group sat silent, everyone rapt in the story, many of the older faces sharing that far-off look. For a few seconds, he sat quietly smiling to himself before continuing with a chuckle. 

“Goddamn, that smile. It-it always started in the middle of her lips, because she’d suck em in like she was trying to fight it and then the sides of her mouth would slide up until this big toothy grin appeared as she crinkled her nose giggling. Man… that smile, it was like, well it was like the first day of spring when it’s cold and overcast but for a second the sun peaks out and that warmth just rolls over ya. That was Lizzie’s smile, always that radiant little sunshine, and it was the last thing I saw bef-before the wall appeared.” He stops, his voice breaking as a small whimper escapes his throat.

Lewis looks away, unsure of what to say but soon sees that the other older members of the crew are also crying. Each staring into the fire as rivers of tears roll down their cheeks. Small sniffles and strained breaths filling the air.

“One minute it’s the love of my life, the next a-a brick wall. I spent three hours smashing the damn thing down screaming, begging, for her to hold on. You can guess my face when all I found was that howling nothing on the other side. For a long time… a real long time I didn’t care about nothing, just felt empty inside. Then y’all come along, talking about finding the source of the Sunder. I get to thinking, if the source is in here with us, then we must’ve been taken, not them right? So I’ve spent every night since I met ya, praying… praying with all my damn might that she’s still out there spreading that sunshine smile. I’ll be damned if I don’t find some way to claw my way out of this hell and back to my Lizzie.” The man stopped, his eyes fixed on Lewis.

The firelight dances on his face, the tears still fresh. A quiet crept forward like a thick blanket until only the crackle of flames and the rustling of leaves filled the night. Each of the team, gathered their things, following some unspoken agreement to head in for the night. Lewis felt their pain, while he could not remember his parents, he still had lived with that hole in his life. All of the survivors knew it, a longing for that which had been stolen. Lewis lay on the ground, staring up at the night sky, and the frozen moon. As he began to drift off he thought to himself. Soon, soon we will be whole again. We just have to push on, not just for us, but for everyone.

Bootstraps Paradox Time Travel Theory Explained Simply (with pictures)

Time travel is a fun way to explore new possibilities and alternate outcomes to events that have already occurred. However, some aspects of time travel break the laws of physics as we know it. Known as paradoxes, these occurrences are normally caused when someone disturbs the flow of time (normally in the past) that would cause a contradiction in someone or something’s existence. (normally in the future) These paradoxes can cause things to appear into reality with no rhyme or reason, or a long chain of events that would cause major change in our history. A great example of this is none other than The Bootstraps Paradox theory.

Definition

The Bootstraps Paradox is a theory in time travel in which an object, or piece of information exists without ever having an origin or starting point. It is as if the object was ‘self-created’ and is is stuck in limbo with no beginning or ending.

Broken Down

Imagine you had a time machine, and you used said time machine to travel 20 years into the future. Upon arriving into the future you meet with your mother who gives you a piece of art.

You take that art piece back to the present day and give it to your present day mother

She cherishes this piece of art and holds onto it for 20 years. It is here where your past self. arrives and your mother gives you (your past self) the piece of art once again. Remember, this is the past you’s first time traveling into the future, and it’s their first time receiving the picture. This creates a never ending cycle of you receiving the painting from your future mother, giving it to your present mother and your mother holding onto it, just to give it to you once again. The question is, where did this piece of art come from? Who painted it? How did this painting come into existence?

Origin

The origins of this theory are founded in the 1941 short story written by Robert A. Heinlein, called “By His Bootstraps”. The story follows a character named Bob Wilson and his journeys through a time portal, as well as the paradoxes he encounters. In one part of his adventure Bob travels to the future and finds a notebook with translations from English to a brand new language that the people of the future Earth now speak. With the power of this notebook he uses the new language to establish himself as chief of the new world and becomes a king. Through the years he finds that the notebook has become old and is beginning to wither. In response to this, he creates a new journal with this new language being translated into English. It is then revealed that the journal that Bob created is actually the same one that his younger self finds and essentially, the same one he used to come to power. The paradox comes from the journal. If he was the one who used the journal to become chief and was the one who wrote it, how was this information known to anyone in the first place? How is it that this book exists if the only person who has ever handled it was Bob himself?

Uses in other media

Another story book that uses the Bootstrap Paradox is the novel written by David Gerrold “The Man Who Folded Himself.” In this case the main character receives a time travel belt from an ‘Uncle Jim’. It is later revealed that he actually is ‘Uncle Jim’ (Just an older version of himself) which brings the same question as before. Where did the time belt come from?

Zelda

The Legend of Zelda, Ocarina of Time is another interesting story that uses the Bootstrap Paradox. During the Song of Storms quest, Link finds a crazed man rambling on about how a child taught him the Song of Storms and now he can’t get it out of his head. He teaches Link the song, but when Link goes to the past it is revealed that he is actually the one who taught the man the song in the first place. So the man taught Link the song, just for Link to then teach him the song. Once again this begs the question of who is the song’s original composer?  

One final example of the Bootstrap Theory is the most recent from the others. Anyone who watched Family Guy should know that Stewie has invented a time machine. In fact many episodes have centered around him, and usually Brian, as they travel through time to fix mistakes that they usually cause. In the 16th episode of the 9th season, “The Big Bang Theory” Stewie and Brian end up launching themselves outside the space-time continuum with Stewie’s time machine. This essentially means they exist outside the laws of physics and reality. With Stewie’s return pad not working, he decides to overload it, in hopes of causing an explosion that will blast them back into reality. This plan appears to have worked, but it is then revealed that this blast Stewie causes is actually ‘The Big Bang’. In short, Stewie was created by the universe so that he could use his time machine to create the universe. In this sense the universe had no start or origin and exists only within the physics of itself.

In Closing…

There are plenty other examples of this theory. In fact, an episode of Doctor Who has The Doctor explain this exact same paradox. Can you think of any other paradoxes that have used the Bootstraps Theory? Perhaps there’s even a TV show or book you know that utilized this theory and you didn’t even know about it. Leave comments so I can know!

Who we are

Maybe the two different worlds we lived in weren’t so different. We saw the same sunset. -S.E. Hinton

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You’re probably wondering what this site is about and the lack of posts isn’t helping to shed much light on the subject. Well, this is Same Sunsets. We are a group of college students and graduates that came together to help ourselves, and maybe some others along the way. There are three subject areas (they’re a bit vague but stick with me here) Loving, Living, & the Reasons Why. Each of these will have a lot of content in each, dealing with their assigned subject matter. Much more to come soon, so come back and have a look!