Saving The Titanic
Spectators of the Time Machine, Chapter 4
It would be the smallest things that would change everything. It could be just the whim of an entitled socialite, a young lady whose birth jump-started her into semi-fame, a character in tabloid papers and an artifact for public consumption. It was a simple little key put back to where it should have been that allowed Sonya Jaric to enjoy the cruise of a lifetime and to change Charlotte’s ancestors, and her day.
Ms. Jaric lived in glamor and nothing was so glamorous to her as reading the Great Gatsby and watching Titanic. She wanted those dramatic lives, those romances, those times to be hers, too. Her twenty-first birthday was a celebration of the excess of The Great Gatsby and all the revelers were ignorant to the mocking nature of the story. It became a heavy drinking annual custom for the rich and famous to show up in period costume at Sonya’s mid-summer parties. She would collect artifacts related to the Titanic, she even had the key to the binocular locker that was left behind when the ship departed on its fateful voyage. It seemed the man responsible for the locker that housed the binoculars that could have seen the ice burg left his job just before the Titanic set off and forgot to return the key. Once she got her ticket to see the real thing this was the one treasure of hers she intended to leave behind.
Charlotte knew the moment she woke up that morning that someone had gone back in time and changed things. They changed her things. She woke up that morning as a man. It seemed she had a new ancestor who had now survived the sinking of the titanic only to make it to America and steal away a grandparent of some great-greatness. And so the odds of Charlotte’s genetic history changed, the dice were rerolled and a little key changed her DNA.
Charlotte was hesitant to go into work that day but she summoned the confidence and made the first step out the door. When she came in to the store Dan and Rickey were reluctant to ask Charlotte about her change. Weird things happened so often in their town and both of them were nervous to acknowledge the truth in front of them. So Charlotte decided to broach the subject herself.
“This is so great, I’m no longer distracted by feelings and I’m a much better driver… just kidding the only difference is that I now have dangly bits between my legs,” Charlotte said. “Oh yeah, and I can’t stop staring at women as they go by, it’s like going into a trance.”
“Ah yes, that’s what we’re burdened with as men. Looking all the time while trying to appear to be looking at anything else,” Dan said.
“It can be hard,” Rickey said.
“I’ll say,” Charlotte said.
“We’re also burdened with involuntarily saying things like that,” Dan said.
“Oh god, it’s like an infection,” Charlotte said.
“Yeah, a hot beef infection,” Rickey said.
“Nope. That’s not how that saying goes, but yes, we’re all infected in a way,” Dan said.
“Just wait until you have to play mind games with your body to not get erections at bad times… Or going your entire life trying to not get erections in public only to try to talk it back to life in private times…” Rickey said.
“Okay, that’s enough…” Dan said.
“And I thought being a woman was tough, you know with the whole not being respected and being afraid of all men thing… oh yeah, do I now get a pay bump now that I have a crotch bump?”
“Uh…” Dan said.