The time travel narrative presents itself as an opportunity waiting to be written. The narrator has been keeping an online blog: transcripts of daily or semi-daily marijuana trip reports. A lag has entered the cybernetic loop of life and text: the author has fallen behind in posting, publishing, beaming forward the message. He hasn’t stopped trance-scribing; he continues to write each day as he always has: longhand, in a series of notebooks. But analog jottings go digital a solstice apart from their occurrence. Thus it comes to happen that the author can edit or revise his account of January 6th. As he thumbs through the notebook and arrives to the day, he discovers a minor error, a curious slip of the pen. He’d dated the entry “Wednesday January 6, 2020“: a fictitious date. 2021 was at that point too fresh to have become a habit as a thing to write, causing the narrator to default unconsciously to the year prior.
The solstice approaches. Time to wake and greet the dawn. After morning meditation on the floor of the flat, I venture out to grab a sandwich and pastry at a nearby cafe. Workers in hardhats mend the facade of a building from a scaffold across the way. Property values dictate endless construction under the present regime. Commuters hurry past smoking, vaping, interacting with their phones. My flatmates meet me at the Farringdon Station, bleary-eyed students in tow, the lot of us then boarding a train for a brief outing to Essex. We arrive to Mistley, a small port town, air thick with the smell of malt. A local woman named Josie leads us on a tour, sharing with us her research on the seventeenth century witch-hunter Matthew Hopkins. We cross the village green and journey along a public footpath, Josie filling our ears with juicy lore related to Old Knobbley and a ghostly hound named Black Shuck. After the tour, I retire to a pub and down a few pints of Guinness, mood darkened by lack of magic.