Untitled Rough Draft | Chapter Excerpt:
"Likewise." Arthur leans in to light a cigarette. "Whole place gives me the creeps."
You've heard that line before. And you're uncomfortable in the silence that follows – because it then dawns on you that this is the same Arthur who wrote in that old journal you read back at your world.
Arthur is – not at all what you had pictured him. You thought he would be this boyish and lanky sort – a tortured artist who used self-deprecating humor to deter an awareness of his own charm and good looks. But instead he's more of a jock than a Hemingway. He has a writer's intuition to pour his heart and soul out on page but in person he's so damn reserved, it's a wonder that he says no more than he needs to. And despite how much you've grown to like the charming poet from that old journal, you're timid in your approach to connect with the stoic, rugged man who's here with you now.
"Didn't get a chance to thank you for what you did back there," you say. "I owe you one."
"Don't mention it." There's a pause when he drags another smoke. The color in his eyes pick up from the lamplight when he meets your gaze. "How you liking the camp so far?"
"It's..." you search for the words, "it's an adjustment."
Arthur sees right through that lie. You can tell by the way his smile reaches his eyes. "Give it some time," he says, "once we get a couple of things sorted out I'll take you back to your family. You got my word on that."
"Right, well, that's gonna be a problem – as much as I'd love to go back, I'm no longer sure if that's possible."
"What you mean?"
Undaunted, you take a step closer. "Would you think I was crazy if I told you?"
"Crazier than this lot?" He laughs. "Highly doubt that..."
"I don't belong here."
Arthur looks about as if you're merely stating the obvious. "Okay?"
"And I don't just mean hypothetically speaking." The tone in your voice drops as your expression grows more serious. "I've already made peace with what's happened, I just don't know where else to go from here."
Arthur takes a long drag of smoke before putting it out. When he looks back at you, arms crossed – ready and waiting – you're unsure of what to do with his undivided attention. And your heart skips a beat as you rub your elbows out of nerves, hoping and praying that he's got an open mind.
"I'm a history buff," you tell him. You look into the distance as you think back on your life. "I host a popular miniseries about world history and the general public loves my show. I even got a Funko Pop doll modeled after me last year. And despite what my publicist says, I am sort of but not really involved with someone who happens to be a really good boost to my career."
Arthur narrows his eyes. "I don't quite follow..."
"I'm from the future."
Arthur is silent but he appears bewildered – as if concerned about your great sense of imagination. And you kind of feel sorry for the guy, really. What could he possibility say to something like that?
So you continue to do all the talking.
You pace back and forth as you retrace your steps, nodding in agreement with the sequence of events that occurred in the last 24 hours: you had been filming at the Shady Belle mansion, where you were then knocked unconscious by what had felt like an earthquake and winded up here – one hundred and thirty years back in time.
"That's..." Arthur appears uneasy but he remains cordial. "Miss, that's quite a story."
You can't make him believe you. Not while you don't even know the first thing there is to know about time travel and worm holes and ancient alien magic or whatever.
What you need is proof. So you change your approach.
"I'm guessing by this time you've already seen Mary?"
Arthur appears stricken by the mention of her name. You then recall what he had written in his journal.
"She's going to write you again," you say. "And when she does, she'll ask another favor of you. It'll be about her father."
You tighten your hold on your shawl as you solidify your bargaining chip.
"If I'm wrong about that Mr. Morgan, then you can call me crazy."
Despite how little time I have to contribute I've enjoyed the spur of inspiration. It's been a much needed break from the dry material in academia and I can't wait to share this when it's ready.
Labels: shame about tumblr tho
Ain't no replacing you ...
A class lecture about AI research and robotics.
I was invited to visit one of MIT's engineering labs at the Pierce Laboratory. It was my very first time at Cambridge so I was looking forward to seeing the sights and meeting some of the students and faculty there.
MIT is ... very motivated to make new advancements in AI science education. They have a lot of ambitious ideas about focusing their cores in artificial intelligence and machine learning, but given some of the stuff they covered in class I am concerned as to how much they're prioritizing 'pure science' above all else. The amount of value they're giving their engineers to design and implement some of the most complex components of artificial intelligence is going waaay overboard.
When we think about human consciousness, for example, based on what we already know about ourselves and how we choose to interact with each other, do you really think that your identity – your authentic self – is replicable through pure logic? Don't you think human consciousness is more nuanced than that?
I mean, MIT touched up on some AI behavioral concepts that were interesting and they're confident about meeting some of their end goals. But again, choosing not to involve experts in the humanities and the arts – and by that I mean: the language majors, philosophers, creatives, etc! – choosing to leave out experts of other disciplines in AI research is a misguided step that will hurt them in the long run.
I do wish them the best though. Got to meet some really accomplished engineers and the students at MIT are a hell of a lot smarter and passionate about their research compared to me that's for sure, pfft!
Would like to visit again, ja. ♡
... and marveling at my take-no-prisoners attitude about boys and their shitty opinions.
after several unexpected adventures i am not quite finished yet.
i. Nearing the one-year anniversary of relocating and while it's been fun and all I'm still looking to expand my library. I've given a looot of books away – most of which I've outgrown and have no value to me. But earlier this week I built a new bookshelf and I'm noticing a pattern with my new investments in photography and The Legend of Zelda lore. :x
ii. The subway commute's a lot less mundane when I create new playlists along the way. Certified bops I keep in rotation:
saggy denim - princess nokia
cigarettes - amir obè
hasta luego - j.i.d
wait a minute! - willow smith
holographic lover - st. beauty
x - kendrick, schoolboy q, 2 chainz, saudi
lost in nostalgia - xavier omär
silence - they.
cadillactica - big k.r.i.t.
iii. And as for my garden – oh man. Lol. Well, indoors I'm growing a very healthy aloe vera plant, two orchids that are currently on life support, and some vines that I keep very neat and wrapped around my lamp base. I'm still experimenting with that space but if anything's for sure, I want to make a container with water lilies to go along with my fish bowl. And I really can't wait to get started on that this weekend.