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Timebreak

It had occurred to me very early on, without the aid or hindrance of theoretical scribblings, complicated formulae or any serious reference to scientific literature. I knew how it was achievable, and I even knew how to do it in a subtle way that drew no attention. That was the only way. All I needed to do was simply close my eyes, and with a few steady breaths, usually no more than three, I was there.

I imagine you are wondering where precisely 'there' is, and I will tell you, but first you must understand how I came across this possibility. Of course 'there' is here, or not quite here, but usually it is recognisable as the same space that I occupied when I closed my eyes those three deep inhalations ago. Yet, I digress, for I was about to let go of the secret and share with you my discovery.

Firstly, let me reinstate the context, which is neither noble nor thrilling, but is satisfactory and that is always sufficient. It does not matter whether I am sitting in the park on a bench, waiting in the rain for a friend's car to near, or indeed pondering over cheese in a supermarket refridgerator. In any case so long as I am not in a compromising situation it really is unimportant, and on that first occasion, almost twelve months since, I was standing in the bus station, getting rather cold and a tad concerned that I had missed the last one. I recall now how overjoyed I was to later discover I had indeed missed it. This will not seem so strange once you understand the magnitude of my discovery.

So I was waiting for a bus (my excitement still causes me to wildly digress) and it was late; that is to say, it was five minutes to twelve midnight, precisely, as precision is the key now as much as it was then. The timetables in the station are curiously difficult to decipher, being the size of a wall, each inch filled with tiny text organised into columns, all merging into a blurry mass of miniscule heiroglyphs under the harsh yet dim flickering fluorescence of the inadequate lighting. At my fourth attempt I was able to discern that the very last run on my service was due, in the past perfect sense, at 23:54 and therefore there was a striking probability that I was waiting for no other reason than that it was moderately less cold within the confines of the station. I positioned myself on one of the spring-loaded, foldaway plastic shelves that pass for seats and pondered my options, or that was my intent. There was a taxi rank across the road I could see it from where I was sitting - and there were cars idling, ready to take my fair, which was most infuriating. How could it be that on all previous occasions, when I was prompt, that the bus was not? This inequitable distribution of punctuality troubled me, not least because my friend was awaiting my arrival at my intended destination.

I should highlight that I am not so callous as to request that in order to ensure my own safety, I would have someone stand alone in a vandalised bus shelter. Quite the opposite is true and in any event, the friend in question owns the garden wall against which wouldbe passengers queue, on account of the defecation and graffitti that this bus shelter has been subjected to over the years.