"What is a man? A miserable little pile of secrets."
So in an attempt be less miserable, I'm going to unload a rather embarrassing secret today. It's a secret that I only revealed to The Wife two days ago, and since I found the whole experience pretty liberating, I figured, why not tell a few people I've never met?
I don't get time travel.
There, I said it. I know I'm supposed to get time travel because I am 1. a guy, 2. a huge Back to the Future fan, and 3. thought Bill and Ted' Excellent Adventure was excellent. But really, I don't get it and I never have.
I bring this up because of the book I just finished, When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead. SPOILER: There's some time travel stuff in there. And I really couldn't wrap my head around much of it. This is nothing new. In spite of my adoration of Back to the Future (and the fact that I've seen those movies way too many times to accurately count), I have never gotten time travel.
I mean, I get the theory and I'm perfectly willing to go along with the eventual possibility of it happening. I just don't get the physics at all. Any time I read a book or watch a movie and there's any time traveling in it, my head just about explodes trying to figure it all out.
I think part of the problem is there needs to be some agreement on the rules. Can you or can you not run into yourself in your own past or future? Will that or will that not cause problems? If I go back in time as an old man and influence my younger self to act in a way that I did not when I was younger, doesn't that then change me (the old man)? If so changed, am I still presented with the opportunity to go back in time, or would my new life trajectory make that impossible? If it was impossible and I couldn't go back in time as an older man to alter my younger self's life, then---ah! Screw it!