It's the first day back at Lister Hall, a warm September morning; Mom and Dad have left and I'm arranging my clothes, my computer, my toiletries and other necessities in my traditional room, 139 Kelsey Hall. I arrived early, but soon I hear other voices out in the hall and I go out to greet many familiar faces from previous years along with some new to Main K.
I join friends old and new in the lounge, its beat-up furniture showing the years, the television a heavy 32-inch monster. After catching up, I decide to head back to my room to read--only to find that Lister Hall's rooms are now self-locking, and my keycard, wallet, ID--everything I brought with me is in that room.
I take the short walk from Kelsey Hall to Lister Hall to get some help from the security people. But along the way, I become confused.
"This doesn't make sense," I think. "It's 2022. Why am I still in university? Why is it taking me so long to get my degree? Wait a minute, I DID graduate--in 1991."
Security gives me a replacement keycard and I return to my room to ponder my peculiar problem. I mention it to some of my Kelsey friends, but they don't seem to understand what I'm saying. And my body is all wrong; I'm thin and I still have all my hair. By the calendar on my wall, I'm 21 years old.
I look in the mirror and I see my eyes widen as I realize something terrible is about to happen, sometime between 1990 and 2022. And I'm the only person in a position to stop it.
But now I'm here, in my other life in 2022, fat, balding, and about to turn 53. And there's no guarantee that tonight I'll transition back to 1991 to fix anything. This has left me with profound anxiety, because from my reference point now, the terrible thing has already happened. Or then again, maybe not, if I take care of it in that other now, sometime in September 1990
and the years between.