If you could bend time

These days it is so easy to  capture everything that amuses and all that amaze us with our digital cameras or by a tap on our smart phones. Photographs bring back memories of sorts. Sometimes we are reminded of the past that we wish we could change or right the wrongs we feel we have made. If time travel were possible, do we really want to undo some things in the past or relive the fabulous moments we had?

Ideally we should all let go of the past as what is past is past, good or bad decisions have been made, we are where we are. Even if we are allowed to travel back to the past, we cannot recapture the feelings we had nor revisit the wonderful experience we  had in our youth when we are no longer the youths we once were. If we believe that things happen for a reason, do we really want to rewind the past ? Good moments pass , bad moments also pass. Everything is transient and it is necessary for us to be present at every moment of our being.  Easier said than done as we carry our past with us and they become part of the emotional baggage  we carry and if we do not handle them  properly, they haunt us and even stunt our growth.

Every Anxious Wave , the debut novel by Mo Daviau is an engaging read for those who like the concept of time travel.  Ms Daviau cleverly weaves a story that centres on the theme of time travel where the characters are able to  make trips to not only their past but their future as well and in the course of undoing certain traumatic incidents that have scarred them for life, they face a new kind of challenge.

One of the main characters, Karl Bender has just turned 40. Karl feels miserable as  he clings on his memories of his ex-girlfriend and the Axis, an Indie rock band he played in throughout the 90s. He owns the Dictator’s Club, a bar in Chicago and his life revolves between his dingy apartment and his bar. One day he stumbles upon a wormhole in the closet of his abode. He starts using the wormhole for selling trips to the past to fellow music fans and he accidentally sends his buddy Wayne to Manhatta in the year 980  when the latter wants to travel to Manhattan in 1980 to save John Lennon’s life. Reentry requires an electrical power source  and Wayne would have to be in a place with many electromagnetic fields. Karl finds Lena Geduldig, a PhD student in astrophysics and in the course of  working on ways to get Wayne back , they end up finding themselves falling in love, entangled with their own pasts and somehow their meddling around with time travel threaten their future together. Meanwhile as they find a way to get Wayne back, Wayne is comfortable where he is and although he misses Karl, the bar and his mom, he does not miss Chicago or his job. Where he is, the sunsets are too beautiful and the people whom he has met don’t hate or compete and they find food, they eat and they share everything, ‘and they all seem  to love each other in this really magical, uncomplicated way.’

Ms Daviau writes:

I RECEIVED A long –email from Wayne :

 The native tribe I have hooked up with has names. I wrote them down with ash on a leaf. Would it be wrong to teach them written English ? They are long and complicated names, names that contort the tongue in new and stretchy ways. They gave me a name that sounds like Honnakuit. It probably means “ tall pasty white guy.” They are not armed and seem to be very concerned with oen another. They sit very close to each other in a circle to eat. They all have long hair, even the men, and spend a lot of time doing each other’s hair…………………………………

The story is hilarious and as they bounce around time, the characters realize that when they try to change their  pasts, they might mess up the present as well. The novel asks the question : who would we become if we were to rewrite our pasts? Ultimately love is what propels the characters to hold on to across time. click

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