I answer the door to two smartly-dressed, sunglasses-wearing men in black. They flash ID cards at me. "Agents Mulheardy and White, CIA," says the one on the left.

I shout over my shoulder, "Ed! It's for you!"

"'Kay!" he responds, and in the following few seconds, a particularly sensitive ear might detect the sound of every computer in the house performing emergency crash backups to a server in Ecuador, and beginning low-level formatting of all their drives.

I let the two agents in and offer them a cup of tea. They decline.

"What's happening?" asks Ed, joining us as we gather in the kitchen.

"Can you identify these individuals?" asks Agent Mulheardy, opening his briefcase and presenting us with a large, full colour photograph of a pair of men, both grinning cheesily, in front of a background of horizontal lines indicating their heights as 5'11" and 6'4".

"That's us," observes Ed.

"This photo was taken forty-eight hours ago at a top secret United States government research facility underneath Mount Kerrig in Nevada. The two individuals in the picture are still being held in custody there."

Ed inhales deeply. "Given that (technically) neither of us have left the United Kingdom in over twelve months, is this picture explainable due to clones, robots, lifelike dummies, time travel, lookalikes, long-lost twins, amnesia, aliens, magic or Photoshop?"

"Time travel," says Agent Mulheardy. Ed nods knowingly. "For the last five or so years, the Kerrig Facility has been researching the serious possibility of travelling either backwards or forwards in time. We have been doing this with the help of your research, Eduardo."

"Your name is Eduardo MacPherson?" I ask incredulously, having always known him as Ed.

He shushes me, and asks the agents, "And how long have you been watching me?"

"Since you invented the giant robot."

"Ah, the giant robot. You've been ripping the data directly out of my computers since then?"

"You have no secrets from us, Mr. MacPherson."

"So you know about the--"

"Oh yes. We're all very impressed, by the way."

"What are they talking about?"

"Got the world top score in Puzzle Bobble, I'll tell you about it some other time--"

"Getting back to the subject," says Agent White. "Thanks to the wormhole technology we, aha, 'borrowed' from you, Ed, scientists working at Kerrig have been surprisingly successful in building their time machine. This time last week they finished a prototype machine which should in theory have been able to send an object backwards in time. It didn't work.

"What we were expecting was that a second copy of the object we put into the machine - typically a piece of fruit - would appear in it several minutes before the experiment began. But instead, any object put into the machine to be sent back simply disappeared. That was until around midnight two days ago, when, completely out of the blue, a pair of humans materialised inside it. They identified themselves as Samuel Hughes and Eduardo MacPherson, gave us your address and told us to go and fetch you."

"To cut a long story short, we need you to come to the Kerrig Facility with us and try to sort out this mess," says Agent Mulheardy.

Ed looks at me and I shrug. We stand to gain little from resisting. "All righty then."

previous | Ed stories | next

This night, my senior year of highschool, was almost important to me. Almost.

It started in October, I think. Everything seems to have it's roots in that month for me. Whatever month it was, Jess and I were in bloom, and all our mutual friends seemed to agree that we had some kind of future together. I miss that kind of environment.

It was just before Homecoming, and she and I were at the store, though neither of us were working. We had just decided to go for whatever reason.

We were in aisle 8 (I think...whichever one has the soda), sharing a moment together. Our friend and co-worker, Cassie yelled to us from further down the aisle, and the three of us started talking. Cassie asked us if we were going to the Homecoming dance together. Jess said "No," and I laughed at Cassie.

"I've taken a vow never to attend a school function...no dance, no pep-rally, no concert, no play, nothing," I told her.

"I got news for you: you and I are going to prom together, whether you like it or not," Jess said, matter-of-factly. This was one of the things about her I really liked, though I'd probably never admit it to her. I loved it that she was the only one I knew who would tell me what she wanted me to do.

Initially I didn't want to go, and for a few days I was plagued with doubt.

I don't think I've ever felt as uncomfortable as when I've been forced to dress up.

I can't dance. Or rather, I don't want to.

No! Then the others will know I'm not as stubborn as they think!

I quickly realized that none of those fears and reservations mattered when compared to the incredible way she made me feel when I was around her. I decided she was worth it.

At the time, prom night was set for April 2nd.

Plans change, of course, and in this case it didn't take long for it to be accepted between us that we weren't going together, though I forget exactly why.

But in all honesty, I'm sure it was something stupid that I said. I made a habit of saying stupid things around her. I don't think I was capable of even stringing words together to make a comprehendable phrase out of them when around her, so that's not a big shock to me now. All the time in the world later, I still have that problem with her. Fuck whatever I say when I'm not around her, it's true. She still reduces me to bumbling and incoherent attempts to voice myself.

If she could only hear me now.

By the way, even if I'm coming off as bitter right now, I'm not (consciously).

Early in my teen years, it started to seem like my ego had become so massive and dense that the rest of the world began to revolve around it. Coincidence and happenstance were debatable.

At some point, the powers-that-be moved Prom-night to April 30th, for reasons unknown. My heart, my hopes, and my ego jumped all over it.

This is your second chance. No one else's. This happened just for you, and you alone.

What an ego blow that thought turned out to be. I'm still looking forward to when it finally hits me that the universe isn't as self-contained as I think it is, and that there isn't a cosmic chaos theory that always reflects on me.

I still want her. I still daydream. I'm not bitter or angry at all. Not at her, at least. She's perfect, after all. It's my fault, I'm the moron with no sense of time, with my tongue taped to my face. I'm the one that failed to act when I should've.

I don't know if I really mean that, or if I'm parodying myself. It frightens me.

I can't win, because I've got failure on my sleeve.

If she could only hear me now.

Before us were two people in a lit glass box, slowly reading out a million years of deep time in the night. "One hundred and ninety four thousand, eight hundred and sixty-eight BC. One hundred and ninety four thousand, eight hundred and sixty-seven BC." Behind that, Nelson's column symbolising English naval victory of over the French.

The fine hairs on her upper lip touched me. Her breath, warm down my cheek. A faint smell of deodorant and sweat. She said the taste of her mouth was coca-cola, but I told her it was her. We kissed for about a hundred years.

I never could resist her eyes, those entrancing blue-grey eyes.

I’ve known her since the 7th grade. We actually sat next to each other in Language Arts class. The first thing I remember her saying to me was “You’ll probably want to change seats, I’m really weird.” We were both chosen to go to Japan for our school’s annual student exchange program. I remember when we visited an agricultural center in Japan, and got to visit the area where they raised cows. Inspired by that, she jokingly said that one day she would own a cow farm, and that I would have to visit her there. On the day that we were to return to Oregon, she said that she wanted to collect Japanese beverage cans, and without thinking about currying any favor with her, I spent the last remnants of my yen supply to buy the craziest beverages I could find. Imagine a chubby white kid in Japan, carrying five or six drinks through the Kansai Airport, only to drink them all on the plane, before we even took off.

In eighth grade whenever we played dodge ball in PE, I made it a point to get on the other team as her, so that I could devote all of my energy to hitting her with the ball. After PE, we again both had Language Arts, and on dodge ball days I would never be able to have a conversation with her, but instead have to settle for an icy, flirty stare. I’d give anything to see that kind of stare again.

When high school rolled around, things started to get a little more interesting. At football games, I would stand next to, and occasionally talk to her and some of her friends, which consequently meant that I would have to watcher her flirt with other guys. Again, we were in the same Language Arts class. I remember the day that she was inducted into the Thespian Society. She had to dress up like a green fairy, and throw glitter around. To get her to pay attention to me, I took one of her bottles of glitter when her back was turned. As she interrogated me on her bottle’s whereabouts, I was given for the first time the look that could get me to do most anything for her. It was a look that made me feel needed, a look that had some unspoken insurance behind it, promising me a higher standing with her. No matter what else is going on between the two of us, whenever she gives me that look, I can’t help but come to her aid. Needless to say, it wasn’t long before I relinquished the glitter.

The following year, we were both picked as the only two students from our school to return to Japan for an International Youth Summit. I was so excited. It wasn’t everyday that I was given a break like that, where I got to spend a copious amount of time alone with her. We talked a lot on the trip, and got to know each other a little better. I actually think that she may have flirted with me a little, but I’m a horrible judge when it comes to things of that nature. Near the end of the trip, I more or less gave myself the role of her bitch, in that I helped her carry many of her things, gave her the last of my yen, so she could afford gifts for her family, and generally made myself available to her, to do any menial tasks. On this trip I also became infatuated with J-Pop, specifically Ayumi Hamasaki. When she found out about my newest interest, I was exposed to yet another look that I would receive many times more in the future, a playful, joking, almost pitying look that is always coupled with a smile. It was as if she was saying: "why are you wasting your time on things like that, you silly boy?" Without question, whenever I mention anything even remotely related to video games near her, I get this look. Regardless of what this look may mean, I can’t help but smile when I look at her eyes fixed in that stare. That year I also went to a Weezer concert with her and a group of her friends. I was the only guy in the group, and that was my first real concert. I got that look many times over, when I made apparent my unfamiliarity with concert etiquette.

Last year I hardly ever saw her, except for a few times, during lunch. To be honest, I spent most of that year without really thinking about her. I did learn that she made a habit of drinking and smoking. At that time, I was slightly turned off by that, and thought less of her, as I was adamantly against both potentially harmful recreational activities.

This year I once again had Language Arts with her. I picked a seat right next to her. For one reason or another, I’ve gotten most of the afore mentioned looks multiple times over the last few months. Despite all of the flirting that I (possibly mistakenly) associate with the looks she gives me, I feel that I am little more than a friend to her.

That brings us to today, my school’s Senior Prom. For weeks I’ve heard nonstop talk about the prom, and am thoroughly sick of it. At first though, I was excited, because she was on the ballot for prom court, which meant that she would almost definitely have to attend the event (she normally wouldn’t, and even openly criticized prom). So, one night, after days of mental preparation, I mustered up the courage to call her, and ask her if she wanted to go to prom with me. Much to my spirit-crushing disappointment, she told me that not more than an hour earlier, she asked another guy to prom. She assured me though, that if she hadn’t asked that guy, then she would have said, “yes” to me. I spent days in a depressed, gloomy state, only to be momentarily rejuvenated by her stares at school. About a week later, I overheard her telling a friend that she wasn’t going to go with her previously arranged date for one reason or another. So, believing everything that she had told me earlier, I sat back, and waited for her to approach me about prom. That never came though, and she asked another guy, one of my friends actually. I found out about this an hour before school was out the Friday before Spring Break. That set a real positive tone for the next week for me. I couldn’t understand the situation. I mean, I honestly believed her when she said she, more or less, wanted to go with me. So, over the course of the break, I brooded over my latest revelation, that she lied, and sadly developed an indirect resentment for my friend that would be taking her to prom.

Last night I had a dream about the situation: I was in a parking lot with her and a mutual friend. As we were getting into a car that would serve as all of our rides, I pulled her aside and asked her about prom. She then said that if it would make me happy, she would be willing to re-create a prom like situation, in which I might be able to take her. That’s just wishful thinking though, as I known nothing like that will ever happen.

I don’t know what to think now. I’ve occasionally noticed her watching me, when I’m doing mundane things at school, like reading, or playing video games during class. She’s also been using her “help me” look, to borrow money here and there, money that I’m pretty sure I’ll never see again. But I don’t care. I can’t bring myself to confront her about the prom ordeal. I don’t know what I would gain by that confrontation. At worst, she tells me that she was lying, and that she never had any intention of going with me, and that furthermore, I am stupid to think that she ever liked me, based on the way she looks at me. At best, well, I can’t really think of an “at best” scenario. All outcomes just kind of fall between “bad” and “slightly less bad.” At this point I think I’m happy enough just to subsist on her stares and looks, however misinterpreted they may be.

I never could resist her eyes, and I suspect that I never will.

After writing this, and letting it sit for a while, I realize just how whiney this is... Having read past daylogs of other people that have similar themes, I swore that I would never broadcast my feelings (especially self pitying ones). I don't know what happened... Well, at least now it's out of my system. thanks.

To: politicalcommitteestatus@fec.gov

I am extremely upset and displeased that the FEC is even bothering to debte the concept of free speech. To restrict the ability of non-profit organizations to state their case to the public is an anathema to the Constitution. I may not agree with some of the organizations' positions, but I strongly support (and protected during my military service) the right they have to express their opinion in a public forum freely.


Alix Paultre.

In case anyone here didn't know, the FEC has just posted for public debate the following:
March 11, 2004. The FEC is undertaking this rulemaking to determine whether the current definition of "political committee" adequately encompasses all organizations that should be considered political committees subject to the limitations, prohibitions and reporting requirements of the Act. A similar review of the definition of "expenditure" and its implications, along with the rules for allocating funds for activities involving both federal and nonfederal elections are also a part of this rulemaking.

Commenters wishing to testify at the hearings on April 14 and 15, must submit their request along with their written or electronic comments by April 5, 2004. Those who do not wish to testify must submit their written or electronic comments by April 9, 2004

All electronic mail comments should be addressed to Ms. Mai T. Dinh, Acting Assistant General Counsel, and must include the full name, electronic mail address, and postal service address of the commenter. Faxed comments should be sent to (202) 219-3923, with printed copy follow-up to ensure legibility. Written comments and printed copies of faxed comments should be sent to the Federal Election Commission, 999 E Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20463.

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