A reply to: A letter from Dusk
Hi, Dusk! Guess what? I have great news! My tutor told me all about time and now I know about the wrinkles!
Oh, I guess you’re wondering about how I got a tutor.
Well, last Tuesday, the teacher told me to go out of the class and into the office next to the principal’s. I didn’t want to go, because it was reading time, and she’s reading aloud to us “The Horse and His Boy,” which I absolutely love. Have you read it? You should! Because it’s about friends. So I think you wouldn’t feel so lonely.
She said, “No, Giuliana, you have to go because this is important.” Oops. Forget I wrote that and pretend that she said, “No, Tazer.”
So I went. In the little office was this guy. He called himself Dr. Sanchez. And he said I was there for a test that my parents had said I could take. But it wasn’t a test. It was more like a conversation with a whole bunch of questions. Maybe you could say it was an interrogation.
For example, he asked me, “Do you know what ‘ochre’ means”
And I said, “Do you mean ‘ogre,’ like the troll that lives under the bridge, only bigger and fiercer and with a g, or ‘ochre’ like the color of a spoon of mustard mixed with two drops of ketchup and with a c h?”
“I was thinking of the color,” he said.
“Yes,” I replied, “what about it?”
But he wanted to move on to shapes, like trochoid and stuff.
Anyway, two days later, my mom and dad said they got a call from school, and now on Thursday and Tuesday afternoons, I go to see a special tutor at his house.
“Is it because I ask so many questions that they think I’m dumb?” I asked my parents. And my mom sighed, and my dad laughed and mussed my hair.
“It’s because you ask so many questions they think you’re smart,” he said. “This is a special tutor who can help you in ways the school can’t, so that you can learn all you’re capable of learning!”
Like math! Isn’t that exciting?
And, guess what? The house where my tutor lives? It’s down by the wharf in the Spice District where I go to watch stars with my dad!
So one day, I’m going to stay late and my dad will pick me up, and we’ll get fish and chips and watch stars and I will look for the shooting star from you.
Oh. I told my dad what you said about how a shooting star is a smile from the past, and he said, “That’s right. Because it takes billions of years for the light from stars to travel here to us, so it truly is from the past.”
When I went to the tutor’s house on Thursday, he said, “Do you want to play math games?” And of course I did.
But when we took a break and he was making snack–he makes really good oatmeal cookies, by the way, with lots of Ceylon cinnamon and real sweet sparkly raisins, and no nuts, unless I want them–I asked him about time.
“How can somebody go through time and end up in the past?” I asked him.
He said something about theoretically speed something-something, and I didn’t understand it. Then he said, he didn’t buy that theory.
He said, “What I think is more like a blanket.”
“Some people think of time as a stream,” he said. “But I think of it as a blanket.”
He told me to imagine a blanket spread out on the floor. My mom wouldn’t like that.
“How about a picnic blanket on the lawn, then?” he asked.
She’d like that.
So we imagined a picnic blanket spread out on the lawn. Just for simplicity of imagination, he said to imagine it blue, but the color didn’t really matter.
So there it was.
Then he said, “Now imagine that this blanket is time. You can walk from one end to the next, in a straightforward fashion.”
Then he pinched his fingers. “Now imagine that the blanket has wrinkles in it, where one part touches another. If you are walking from one end to the next, and you come upon one of these wrinkles, you can skip over a segment of time and end up backwards, in the past.”
And you know what, Dusk? At that very moment, it made perfect sense to me!
I think whatever pulled you there pulled you through a wrinkle! So now, all we got to do is map another wrinkle and pull you back.
It’s OK if it takes a lot of time because you’ll be skipping segments. Maybe I’ll be the same age as you when you come back and we can go to college together! Would you like that? I want to study electro-magnetic-something-something, but Dad says, with my questions I keep asking, I should study quantum physics.
Right now, I’m practicing adding and subtracting and multiplying and dividing as quick as possible, because, you know. Lightning speed.
Oh! I almost forgot! The other day, when I was in the square near my house, I saw my tutor. He was with Meadow, the art vendor who is in our club NOW! And he said, “Guiliana [pretend he said, “Tazer.”], I would like you to meet my niece, Meadow!”
“I already know her!” I said. So now you know that my new tutor is the uncle of someone in our club. Isn’t that awesome? So what he says must be true! Because, I also made a rule that our club is about telling the truth. Do you like that rule?
Oh, dang! I forgot and wrote this all about me again. Poop. (Oh, sorry. The club also has a rule, “Don’t say ‘poop.'”) But we can say “Boogers!”
Anyway. Questions about you: How is the dog? That is so cool that you have a dog that comes to visit you. I never see dogs in the city. Only pigeons, cockroaches, and rats. Boogers.
Do you really like mac and cheese best of all?
You asked if I believe in magic. I don’t. But I believe in mathematics, and math is very magical, so it’s as if I did believe in magic, anyway. Do you believe in mathematics?
I hope that’s enough questions because I’m sleepy. I get to see my tutor tomorrow.
Hope you find something that makes you smile, like a shooting star from my time! Is that possible? Or do shooting stars only come from the past.
Thank you for being my friend and I hope you feel happy.