If I Had One Hour in a Time Machine…

One hour isn’t a lot of time. It’s not enough time to put all your money on some stock that’s about to blow up. It’s not even enough time to place a huge bet on the Super Bowl since you wouldn’t be there to collect. The financial aspect is out unless you want to break the law. You could rob a bank and get away completely clean. The police would be baffled. However, since I’m mainly a law-abiding citizen, I’d be too worried to ever spend the money.

That leaves the big question: the past or the future? There are many moments in my past that make me smile and even more that keep me up at night cringing. I’m not sure that I’d want to relive any of them to be perfectly honest. Besides, if you were traveling to your past, you’d be there too in your earlier form. You wouldn’t get to relive anything anyway; you’d just have to watch. I’m not a theoretical physicist, but there’s something about the same matter not being able to occupy the same space at the same time. In the Hollywood movies, you’re never allowed to touch your doppelgänger because very bad things will happen. Knowing my luck, I’d trip on a banana peel and fall smack dab into myself, thereby ruining the time continuum forever… or something. I’d rather not take that risk.

I could travel back to a past that isn’t mine. I could find out who really did shoot Kennedy or prove, once and for all, that Elvis really is dead. I could travel to ancient Rome and take in a show at the Colosseum. I could see the Vikings conquer Europe or watch the Eiffel Tower being built, although both of those events took far longer than an hour. I might like to see what this fair city in which I live, Los Angeles, looked like before it was destroyed by smog and urban/suburban housing with only four floor plans. I bet it was pretty.

However, if I was given only an hour, it’s a safe bet that I’d probably want to see the future. I’d like to know whether humanity destroys itself or not. I’d like to see if we are ever able to overcome superstition, racism, war and all of the horrible things we do to each other. I’d like to know whether there’s any hope for the human race at all or if we’re just sitting on a big, red, self-destruct button. The real question is, how far into the future would I have to travel to see that?

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