Alexplorer Goes Time Traveling...

If you're just joining this series already in progress, then it means you don't have a time machine, so here's the short version: Every Tuesday (your present), I come back from my adventures time-traveling around MySpace and fill you in on what happened to people from my past as they keep slippin', slippin', slippin' into the future.

Ah, here's one now...



Cathleen

Then:
I met Cathleen (not her real name) my freshman year of college.  We only went out for maybe six weeks though after getting into a fight over a perceived insult about one of her friends.  It was just a misunderstanding, but I moved on.  Thankfully, we starting hanging out together again before very long.  In fact, I largely drifted from my own circle of friends and started hanging with Cathleen and her crowd all the time.  Why?  Because Cathleen was cool.

She loved music as much as I did.  She had a genuinely eclectic taste and sought out really good stuff no matter how obscure.  She was up on everything from pop to alternative and underground, the history of who was in which band, who was on tour at any given moment, etc.  She may be the only person alive who could beat me at Rock and Roll Jeopardy.  We used to hit cd stores, go to clubs and concerts, mostly after we broke up.

While Cathleen was very hip, she was also very insecure.  She was very sexual, but was paradoxically very modest.  She had this wild streak that was always stifled, an intense introversion that only lifted around her friends.  I'm sure most people thought she was awesome, but if you got close enough to be her friend, then seeing the wild side was a bonus.

I know what you're thinking, and sometimes I wonder why I never married her either.  Unfortunately, I sort of lost touch with her when I transferred to a different school.  I was in a different town with a heavy course load and a long-distance relationship with my future (ex)wife.  There just wasn't time for me to keep up with her, and I'm not one for sending out xmas cards.


Now:
I looked her up, and timid little Cathleen had blossomed into this very happy and self-assured woman.  She's married with three kids and seems like she has super powers.  Words fail me at this point because it would take the years that I knew her to paint a properly descriptive portrait of her "before" to compare to today's Cathleen.  She's possibly even more awesome now than ever.

Actual letter I actually sent to her:
Cathleen,

Time-traveling takes a lot out of a person, so I'll try to make this as coherent as possible.

When I came across you again in my travels, I was astounded to learn that you have been replaced in this timeline.  She looks the same as the person I once knew, but this version of Cathleen leaves me astounded.  Have I ended up not just in the future but also in a parallel universe?  The Cathleen I met in the past shared your name and your likeness more than a decade ago, but little else.  She was a mild, timid little thing, not the confident, awe-inspiring woman who is reading this now.

Her husband is an incredibly lucky guy.  If he wasn't aware of this already (evidently he is, judging by his profile), then the Cathleen of 2006 could show him this communication across time and (cyber)space and say, "See?  Even time travelers think I'm something special."

Since it isn't ethical to torture you (a married woman) for my pleasure any other way, I'm going to let you guess who I am.  My name in this part of the timestream is Alex, mostly because I didn't like my given name and because characters from the future should have names that end with an 'x.'

So who am/was I?  More than just a "whodunit?," this may assist me existentially.

-Alex.


Update:
Since I sent that email, Cathleen and I have been time traveling together, collecting stories about the characters from our over-lapping histories and possible futures.  She has been the Leila to my Dr. Who or perhaps the Bill to my Ted.  Or something.

In possibly the happiest of endings (or depending on your view of the time-stream, maybe it's just another beginning), I violated the non-interference clause of the time-traveler's code and decided to swing by and see Cathleen while I was in town while visiting my family over the holidays.  Though it was all-too-brief (I was literally on my way to the airport), it was the highlight of my trip.  I love time traveling!


Copyright 2006-2007 Ale[x]plorer.  All photos are of the actual individuals described above because, seriously, I can't make this shit up.
Back to the index