Welcome to Quantum Muse, a science fiction and fantasy ezine. Welcome to Quantum Muse, a science fiction and fantasy ezine. Your banner could be here! Find out how!
Out of Nowhere by Patrick LeClerc.
Posting the finest in science fiction, fantasy and alternative writing and artwork. For free. In our sober moments...
   Reader's login    |    Writer's login
Books by Quantum Muse contributors and friends.
A Felony of Birds

by Harris Tobias
The Greer Agency

by Harris Tobias
Assisted

by Harris Tobias
Hold The Anchovies

by Harris Tobias
Alien Fruit

by Harris Tobias
Peaceful Intent--Stories of human/Alien Interaction

by Harris Tobias
CHRONON--Time Travel

by Harris Tobias
The Stang

by Harris Tobias

The Reunion

by

Harris Tobias



Every year there are fewer of us. Weíre getting older just like everyone else. In 1968 we were 150 strong but our numbers have diminished every year since. At this yearís reunion we were down to 73. Accidents, disease, overdoses, suicides, they have all taken their toll. Itís not easy living in this time but at least I know Iím alive. When/where Iím from death is rare but life is rarer.


I donít miss much about the future, itís a dry and humorless place. Somehow our technological success has been our undoing. All the social ills that plague this era have been eliminatedódisease, poverty, hunger, racism, war, they are all things of the past. In the future we are comfortable, too comfortable. That comfort has meant the death of art, initiative, invention, dreams. When you have everything you lose everything.


I signed up for transport when I reached 18. I was a good prospect. I could be described as a square peg and a misfit. In an earlier time I would have been an artist or a juvenile offender. In 2330 I was just another disgruntled, unhappy youth.


When I arrived in the 1960ís I couldnít believe what I was seeing.  It was like a boiling pot of social chaos. Demonstrations, war, riots hunger and disease we expected all that. What we wanted to absorb was the art, the music the zeitgeist of an entire generation. That is precisely what the future, my future lacked. And that was exactly why we were here.

 
Ten years in a dynamic, evolving milieu that flowered in the distant past. That is what we had signed up for. Go they said. Go and learn what it was like and bring that energy back. That was our mission. So we went, a hundred and fifty of us. It was all the youth our world could afford. The human population had dwindled to fewer than sixty million. My world was a dying one, trapped in a soul killing malaise. Sending its youth to get radicalized shows you how desperate we were. We werenít supposed to change anything, we were there to be changed. Sending us back was expensive but not as expensive as extinction.


One group of 50 was sent to 1960; another to 1965 and another to 1968. I was in the first group. 1960, what a year that was. We were to stay in the past for ten years, fit in, get involved and, above all, learn. Things went wrong from the start.


By 1964 some of us were drafted to fight in Viet Nam. The war quickly claimed four of our number. We were all radicalized by it. Those of us who escaped the draft protested against the war. Two of us were shot at Kent State at an anti-war rally gone horribly wrong.


Many of us joined the freedom riders who went into the deep south and fought for civil rights. We lost six of our best people that way. The early 60ís was a time of great political ferment and we were drawn into it like moths to a flame. We were hungry for the stimulation being part of a movement brings with it. We worked like demons for JFK and when he was shot, no one mourned his passing more. Eventually we drifted to San Francisco some of us physically, all of us mentally, and joined the ďhippy revolutionĒ. Drug overdoses and car accidents took six more young lives but, still, it was a time like no other. Drugs, free love, tie dyed flower children, the breaking of social taboos; everything seemed possible and we were in the thick of it.


The cultural fallout was tremendous and it continued throughout the decade. When the 1965 group arrived, we hippies had exploded like a bomb in the bosom of America. We quickly brought the newcomers up to speed. We were so caught up in the excitement of the age that for a while there we thought this whole time travel scheme was actually going to work. You never saw so many motivated, creative people.


The war in Viet Nam got bigger and bigger and so did the protests against it. The war managed to ensnare and kill several more of us. Many of us burned our draft cards and occupied buildings. A few of us got so radicalized that we joined the Weather Underground, The Black Panthers and other fringe groups. I know we lost at least one of our members that way.

 Culturally it was a rich stew. The Beatles and their music burst on the scene. Modern art grew and evolved at a mind boggling rate. We discovered LSD and other psychedelic drugs. Several of us lost our way and our lives through drugs. Woodstock came and went but, as tempting as the drug scene was, the lure of the lifestyle was stronger. The majority of us got through those times in good shape. Our reason for being there began to make less and less sense. Why try and import change? Why not just change the world and let the future take care of itself?


By the time 1968 rolled around, the heady days were over. The bloom was off the hippie rose as a political movement, culturally we were as creative as ever. The movement retreated into itself and many of us became entrepreneurs, professionals, many headed back to the land to grow organic crops, others opened galleries, or became teachers, restauranteurs. A few of went into politics.  All of us committed to change. The energy that was going to change the world from the outside turned inward. Most of us married, settled down and raised children who would continue the work.


By unanimous consent we missed the first pick up in 1970. There was still so much to be done and we had become seduced by our new lives. We missed the next pick up and the next. After a while the pick ups stopped altogether.


Exactly why the pick ups stopped is a source of much speculation. Maybe we changed the future. We thought we were changing the present but social change is a slow process and it is often difficult to know without the perspective of decades. Maybe the future just gave up on us, wrote us off as a failed experiment. Or maybe the future just withered away. I hope conditions are better but I canít say itís all that important anymore. I am at home here and now.


We time travelers get together every few years to talk about our varied and interesting lives. What is happening in 2330 is unknown and unknowable. I like to think we made a difference and changed the world but isnít that what idealists always think? I wish us all peace, love and understanding. What more could anyone want?
    
END   
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
     
  


Read more stories by this author



2013-12-17 12:37:35
Rick Tornello that last comment was mine.

2013-12-17 12:33:34
was there, saw a lot of other things too, mass control, media control, worked at a Pacifica station for a little bit,a very little bit, went to Woodstock, saw how drugs imported helped to suppress and control, had to make a living had a kid at 19, conflicting goals, but jail for non-support was a strong impetus to keep somewhat of a clear head. painted as in art for a bunch of years, got a degree and as you said, I talk to some of the old time travelers that are still around wondering what the future will bring. Most old hippies and their offspring have become the ones afraid of any change and become the nannies and helicopter parents. politically correct and afraid to let the children learn how to settle their own problems. DISCLAIMER The editors of this Zine may not necessarily subscribe to my comments or might.

2013-12-02 13:12:55
Dogpatch to Harris. I don't know your age, but you are accurate on the overall view of the decade. I lived through it and recognize the points you cover. It was too active-reactive to accurately describe any one event as outstanding or causing lasting impressions on anyone other than those who lived it. Therefore, I doubt if the future described or the ending of the "pickups" were caused by anything they did. I do not believe the "Effect" would have lasted that long. Mankind is too unpredictable.

2013-12-02 07:41:31
micheledutcher - laurabeaz - Wonderful story. I like the eerie beginning which sucked me in. My favorite phrase was "dry and humorless place." This story is excellent. You have done a great job and I loved reading it. The pacing was good. The narrator had a strong and steady voice.

2013-12-02 07:40:04
micheledutcher - Mark 211 - Great idea for time travel based story and the excitement of youth for seeing and experiencing spectacle is highly plausible. Despite that though there was something a little unsatisfying about the story overall thatís hard to put a finger on Ė possibly itís that the real events mentioned are mainly only referenced without much further comment Ė though then again, it is a short story and not a novel after all.




This story has been viewed: 1382 times.
Average Rating:

Please leave comments on this story. Remember you are commenting on the story, not the Author. Love it, hate it, that's fine, but don't bring up the marital status of the author's parents.

Enter the code above to post comment:


You need to be registered and logged into the site in order to rate the story. Login

comment:



ball Did you enjoy this story? Show your appreciation by tipping the author!

Enter your tip amount. ($1.00 minimum)

Then click on the tip cup!

Books by Quantum Muse contributors and friends.
A Felony of Birds

by Harris Tobias
The Greer Agency

by Harris Tobias
Assisted

by Harris Tobias
Hold The Anchovies

by Harris Tobias
Alien Fruit

by Harris Tobias
Peaceful Intent--Stories of human/Alien Interaction

by Harris Tobias
CHRONON--Time Travel

by Harris Tobias
The Stang

by Harris Tobias


| Home | Editorial | Submissions | News |
| Discussion Board | Recommended | Merchandise | About Us | Links | Webrings | Archives |

Gallantry Web Design Services

We shamelessly accept handouts!

Give generously to the United Wa - uh, we mean Quantum Muse. It keeps Mike off the streets from scaring small children and the Web Goddess from spray painting Town Hall - again.
Enter your tip amount. Then click on the tip cup!


Quantum Museletter! Be the first to know when new stories and artwork have arrived.

Subscribe to Quantum Museletter by filling out the following form.



Enter the code above to verify entry:
Your email address:
Your name (optional):
 

Do you like this site?
Recommend it to a friend by pushing the button below!