Rip in Space-Time Found

October 7, 2011

There has been a rip in my personal corner of Einstein’s space-time.  I feel I should report this as a service to the planet, since my experience may be indicative of a nearby black hole and impending Armageddon.

It all started about five years ago when Dennis Mather was hired in at our office.  I was afflicted by a severe case of déjà vu for weeks.  I believed in the depths of my soul that I had worked with Dennis before.  I asked around the office if anyone else knew him.  No one did.  (I certainly couldn’t ask Dennis.  A direct action so fraught with potential embarrassment would have been ridiculous.)

Since that time, Dennis and I have worked well together on many projects.  He has a sly sense of humor and makes 80’s cultural references that I can appreciate.

The cosmic tear had been propagating recently, but I hadn’t paid attention:  I had met the physical double of a lost friend from college on a recent flight;  a random person in the gym had been shocked to know I once lived near the obscure Indiana town where he grew up; and—on the morning of events that follow—I had seen three deer near a busy intersection on my way to work.  All harbingers of extraordinary metaphysical activity, if ever there were.

Space-time finally ripped open while Dennis Mather and I were having lunch.  During our umpteenth conversation about non-work topics, I asked him where he grew up.

“Over by City Hospital, at 12th and Whitman, off of Thoreau.”

My inner ear ceased to function and the room started spinning.  My jaw dropped open.  Dennis thought he needed to be more specific.

I shook my head.  “No. No.  I grew up on Thoreau.”


We recounted various details of families, addresses and dates.

Dennis stared off into space while chewing on my brother’s name and our address.  “Yeah.  I knew your brother.”  Dennis remembered that my brother gave him a copy of Michael Jacksons’ Thriller album.  He still has it.

As a kid, I could walk to Dennis’s house in five minutes.  He was eight years older than me, four years older than my brother.  My brother hung around Dennis quite a bit.  I remember Dennis with a kind of grease monkey look about him, regularly fixing cars, bikes and other mechanical gadgetry.

Through the rest of lunch, we talked about banana bicycle seats and tree-house clubs.  We compared notes on who had the best Halloween candy in the neighborhood.  I remembered the Gremlin hatchback Dennis’s family drove—he told me he had slept in that beloved automobile the night they brought it home.  Dennis’s newspaper route had been handed down to my brother, then to me.  I told Dennis about the old ladies who fell in their houses and I rescued as part of my newspaper delivery duties.

In a sci-fi rehash of an nineteenth-century novel plot, Dennis and I fell through a hole in space-time and ended up working together after twenty years.  I was unrecognizable to Dennis because his last mental snapshot of me would have included a full head of bowl-cut hair and baby teeth.  I only partially recognized Dennis because my perspective had entirely changed.  In the Reagan era, I was a head shorter than he; four administrations later, I’m a head taller.

Some would say that this is mere coincidence and I should let it go.  But I know better.  Clearly, our situation has been brought about by a malfunction of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.  I’m reporting the incident to INTERPOL.



  1. That…..is…..awesome!!! Also a great relief to you, I’m sure. Sounds like a very cathartic lunch!

  2. Thanks Cass. Unfortunately, Dennis won’t let me talk to him any more without saying the secret bike club password first.

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