The Time Traveler’s Lament | 9

C. Louise Williams
4 min readDec 31, 2021


It took longer to get back this time. Much longer. Life changing amounts of time longer.

And yet, as I check the calendar now, only two months have passed since the final turn of this experiment.

What does it mean to feel lifetimes pass by you in an instant? To feel the world swell up beneath your feet like the crest of an ocean wave and dash you up against the side of your self-awareness.

Do I still exist? Do the things that make life worthwhile still matter when you feel like in each life time you have witnessed the things that should have mattered most never change? I remember in the before time, before I was called to “travel”, someone told me to “follow what I find most beautiful, but remember they watch from the shadows — ”

All of us, as children, are often taught to play follow the leader. But what does leader mean?

Are you still a leader when you merrily walk through life while others line up behind you with evil grins and jagged weapons that disappear when you turn to witness them?

The deception — the utter fucking betrayal — of conditioning the scapegoat to always take the first step. To be willing to be humiliated. To be willing to be sacrificed. For the “common good”.

To witness the innocence of a person and to place that innocence upon the altar which humans have used to make offerings to themselves for power — unthinkable.

One phrase from Romeo and Juliet has been repeating in the forefront of my mind these last two months: “All are punished.” I believe the authority figure of justice proclaims it upon all of fair Verona for the entire society’s commitment to violence so deep and thorough that it drives apart the very love which could have resolved that endless war.

It is the tragedy of every true “true love” story, that the world should tear apart that which it also forces into being. With gusto and zest, the way one might consume any meal or fetish.

My love, how I have craved you these many lifetimes, how my mind has wandered across the vastness of the rock bottom of my life’s abyss to find you here.

And how I have folded over myself in anger knowing such vast depth has been superimposed!

What life could have been had the descendants of those long forgotten not intentionally destroyed our memory. What gifts we left to the world — triumphs of architecture and engineering for our time — our statements of glory but also our blessing of wisdom should that which happened to us again occur.

And they destroyed them gleefully.

Can a civilization that thrives on the destruction of its roots, the wanton disregard of the secrets and boundaries of its seeds, and the intentional erasure of reality to its people in the presence endure?

We know that it cannot. It is already by definition dead.

And yet still it exists. How is this possible my love?

How have we not yet seen the true distinction between a machine and a man? Have we not learned anything — have our children not learned anything?

It has been so long my love and I am weary. I do not wish to speak, nor to be understood. I fear the latter is perhaps impossible even for you now.

I simply wish to exist in peace, in life, in love, without regard for the petty and thoughtless whims of others. So many have tried to instill fear in me, not realizing it was them who burned away my capacity to feel it. What is fear to the subject of desire of all demons? What is fear to the “perfect slave”. Terror is absolute and it is normal. How can we plumb to new depths when there is no depth left to reach? New heights when there are no new heights to aspire to?

What use is fear in the face of the absolute abyssal terror of eternal suffering? What am I meant to do with an emotion that tells me to flee while there is still time?

What time? We have killed time.

Where else is there left to travel but the tattered remains of the home we both carved out in my heart. You can apologize to me later — and for all time after that — for the wounds you left while you burrowed your forever home into my ancestral flesh.

I loved you. And I think perhaps I love you still. But love is — difficult now.

I wonder when you pierced me with your poisoned arrow, if you knew how much damage you would undo. Or if you were just trying to steal a piece of my soul as a trophy, like everyone else.

When you finally find yours again, I await your prophesied return.

And so to, my ability to feel any love for this world again.