Love you long time –
OK, this is a riff on a story by Chris Nutall – "Be Careful What you wish for" – but the idea struck me, and I had to write this down…I do not know if I will ever go any further with this story or not, but the characters are SCREAMING at me right now to write this story….
This is a work of fiction and is copyrighted to the author. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead is coincidental and not intended by the author.
Heh…if you are reading this, you either cracked the encryption, or you have a high level of clearance, Clarence.
I know I'm violating regulations to write this down, but the compulsion is that I must…I cannot TELL anybody except the folks in Department 62, and they lived this story with me…so I, plan to write this narrative, more for my own sake than anything else.
Me? The name is Joseph Laub. I'm about six foot tall, dark hair, and, while I was myopic as a kid, I had the LASIK surgery so that I am now farsighted.
I am – or should I say, was, a Theoretical Physicist at the University of Buffalo. Yeah, THAT Buffalo, the one in Upstate New York, the place with the Football Team that chokes, and lots and lots of snow.
It is a nice place, and I like it – I still have a house there, north of the city, and I try to spend as much time there as I can, between assignments.
People sometimes compare me to an actor on a TV Show, that really popular show with the four nerdy guys at Cal Tech…not all that strange, as the actor fellow? – Well, that is my second cousin Johnny, and he bases his acting style on me. When we get together, not as much as we used to – we get some good laughs out of it.
Of course, I used to kid him about the blond actress in the show, the one that plays his girlfriend – since, at the time, the idea of "Joe Laub" and "Girlfriend" were totally incongruent ideas…and "Hot Girlfriend" – would be hilarious.
Of course, that was before Meredith came into my life. Most people see her as my totally hot girlfriend.
I suppose, she IS utterly devoted to me…or claims she is, anyway. I suppose she is telling the truth, for certain approximations of the word "truth." I suppose you could describe her as my hot girlfriend, for certain approximations of the words "hot", "girl" and "friend."
(Merideth Edit – I DO love you Joey, with all my heart.)
(Joe Edit – (sigh) Merideth, do you even HAVE a heart? As such?)
(Merideth – I actually have four hearts – why do you think it is so hard to kill those such as myself, silly man?)
(Joe edit – (sigh) Yes Dear)
I grew up in a little town in Upstate New York, a pleasant little town called Salamanca, about as west and south as you can get and still be in New York State. My dad and two brothers worked in the Lumber Mill, my mom – when she worked outside the home – worked in retail, as either a convenience store clerk or a grocery cashier.
It was not an unpleasant childhood, certainly not as bad as some I've heard. I was always studious, but I also spent time in the outdoors, and I spent several summers either cutting timber or working in the mill, so I might have been a geek, but I was no "pencil neck".
However, science called, and, since my folks could not afford to send me to college, I looked to my Uncle.
Uncle Sam, that is. Six years in the Nuclear Navy, and I came home as a Nuclear Machinist Mate Second Class, with a scholarship to the University of Buffalo, the GI Bill, and money in the bank.
No girlfriend though.
I call it my "female invisibility field" – I'm not sure how it works, but apparently, I must generate some sort of field that repels any thoughts of romance on the part of suitable women.
The idea that I have a house, and money in the bank, does attract unsuitable women, but I try to avoid them…I heard a fellow say, "Any woman worth wanting, doesn't want me – and any woman that wants me, isn't worth the having."
That was my life, in a nutshell.
(Meredith Edit; But *I* want you, Joey!)
(Joe Edit; Meredith, I'm talking about human women, honey.)
I eventually climbed to a PhD in Theoretical Physics, and a tenured position on the Staff at the University.
I will admit, not having extraneous things like a woman or kids in your life, does allow you to focus on work. While my mother always started out conversations with "So, have you met anyone interesting?", I think she despaired of ever seeing any grandchildren from me.
Of course, my two brothers had married fine strapping girls, and had both produced sprogs – so, I was "Uncle Joe" to seven nieces and nephews, and my mom's entreaties were fairly muted.
(Merideth Edit: (Pouting) We could always adopt, Joey.)
(Joe edit; Honey, are we talking human children, or demonic? Besides that, we're too busy right now for ANY children)
The University of Buffalo Library, at Capen Hall, is quite large, even by the standards of University Libraries. It is a huge Library, of the old sort, in a big old limestone building built at the turn of the twentieth century.
The Main library, at Lockwood Hall, is even bigger, but it is a construct of steel and glass, and far more modern for my tastes.
The Capen Library is the sort of place where you could expect to see Dr Henry Jones – either one, junior or senior – researching their next adventure. Marble floors, art deco lamps, tall ceilings, old wooden tables in vast halls, with stacks of books and rolling ladders…I like to go there, just to drink in the atmosphere.
I was looking for some old documents. Dr Parker, for whom Parker Hall is named, was a contemporary to both Fermi and Einstein, and had corresponded with them. I remembered reading something of his musings on the nature of quantum physics, when I found the most remarkable document.
It must have been misfiled, somehow, and had, quite probably, lain here in this box of letters, since it was written in 1944.
It was a letter from Dr Parker to Leo Szilard, relating an incredible experiment, where they apparently established communication to some sort of being on another plane of existence.
I will not bore you with the mathematics, save that it, apparently described an incredible leap in the study of quantum physics – and, apparently, it had been filed away and ignored, ever since.
I suppose, I should have left there, or better yet, reported it to the Library Authorities.
Unfortunately, (sigh) being a University Professor, and tenured, does not make you immune to the "Publish or Perish" syndrome.
I decided to try replicating Szilard's 1944 experiment and determine if *I* could establish communications to being on another plane of existence.
Somebody has told me – "It seemed like a good idea at the time" – is probably the epitaph that belongs on more tombstones than you might think.
It darned near wound up on mine…