entangled time

“You’re back early.”

“How about a Welcome home, Darling?”

“Sorry. Welcome home, Darling.”‘

“You’re in the kitchen. That’s rare. Miss my cooking?”

“I can cook.”

“Really? How long have we been married? I don’t remember you ever cooking. Or coming into the kitchen. So you’ve been eating what while I was gone?”

“This and that. How did your lecture go? What was it about, again?”

“It went fine. Time entanglement.”

“Time entanglement. Something about physics, right?”

“I’ll give you an example. Suppose you got entangled with another person.”

“What? Why would you say that?”

“Take it easy. Let’s imagine that your wife goes away for a couple of days to give a lecture and you’re left here alone to starve.”

“Don’t be silly. Sure, you teach all day and then come home and make dinner, but I can cook.”

“So I peek under the sink in the wastebasket and… there aren’t any cans or TV dinner boxes. See?”

“I didn’t eat from cans, or any frozen stuff.”

“You cooked from scratch.”

“What does that mean?”

“You used the flour and sugar in the cabinet… Which cabinet is that, by the way?”

“Look… I… I found everything I needed, ok?”

“Uh huh. So I open the dishwasher… and look. It’s got dishes in it.”

“Sure. Because I was cooking and eating.”

“Uh huh. So being a mathematician, I count up the dishes and there seem to be twice as many as necessary.”

“I ate more often than usual.”

“So the entanglement thing, once somebody cooks for you and the food goes into your stomach and into her stomach and then some time goes by, the sheets come into play.”

“The sheets?”

“Yeah. You get entangled in them.”

Train Wrecks

Lot of train wrecks lately. I’ve been predicting this.

It’s a shame. So easily prevented. So much a sign of today’s permissive governmental attitudes. Deregulation.

Of course I am talking about the caboose.

Seen one lately? I don’t think so. I was born and raised on a caboose. My dad kept it a secret for years. He was so respected as a conductor that no one ever suspected.

Mom would get me up in the morning and dress me and feed me and when the train slowed at a grade, she’d lower me down to go off through the woods to find a school for the day. Then I’d catch a later train on the grade and meet up with my parents at a prearranged hobo jungle for the night.

I’d do my homework by firelight!

When we went on vacation in England, we’d stay on the brake vans over there.

Anyway, why were there cabooses? For safety, that’s why! My dad would make sure the switching happened correctly and that boxcar loads weren’t shifting and the hobo load wasn’t getting out of hand, so forth. It was a dark day back in the ’80s when the regulations were softened. The railroad companies and the government blamed it on increased electronic control of the system. Technological advances.  Lineside defect detectors and end-of-train devices cost my pops his job and his family their little home.

But they’ve still got engineers driving the trains, don’t they? They’ve still got stewards serving the meals. They’re still making movies like “Unstoppable” (2010) – spoiler alert: it was stoppable. It’s the conductors who took it on the chin.

Same thing happened to my dad and his dad – grandpa – who had the job of standing at a train intersection and swinging a red lantern when a train was coming. Became unemployed when those damn lowering-arms were invent. Now every once in a while, the arms don’t come down and bam! Although to be fair, every once in a while grandpa would doze off at the side of the road.

Haiku 1,170

Three suns cast shadows

One dim, one dark, one sleeping

My mind divided