The time travellers and me

On the weekend, I dreamed I met two time travellers. One could slide into the future, the other could slide into the past. I watched them disappear, their bodies pixelating in rainbow colours, and then they were gone, shimmying through time to see things and learn things and fix things and change things. A minute later, they were back, having lived lifetimes. Or moments. Or both. I said, "Must you go alone?" And they said no, they could take me through time, too. So one of them held out his hands and I took them, facing him and holding on tight. He said "Don't let go."

My first thought was, "this journey is taking a lot longer than I expected." I guess travelling through time can take time. When we pixelated, now it was in black and white. We dissolved into the static of an old television screen, and the world around us swirled into a snowstorm at night (and then a coal-storm on snow). Sometimes, as we passed through the storms, the black pixels would form into almost-shapes, almost-people, but then they would disappear again.

Back in the present, the time travellers took me to the Mystery Room, their home. A derelict space under a building secured by a metal grill door, the Mystery Room had a bare cement floor cluttered with the rubbish and flotsam of the city street: old McDonalds wrappers; yellowed sheets of newspapers; and takeout coffee mugs, faintly stinking of warm, bacterial, off, milk.

But once inside, we disappeared. Nobody passing by could see anything but the rubbish, and we were completely invisible, more: un-sensable. In my dream, this was very important not only for the safety of the time travellers but also for their mission, which I cannot tell you. People stuck their faces through the locked grill and we boldly stood just centimetres from their noses, grinning because all the people could see and smell was rubbish.

Then the unthinkable happened. A government official came to the locked grill. He opened the gate, and he spoke to me. He said, "Your rent has not been paid, you are being evicted." The time travellers stood behind me in horror. "Pay the rent! Pay the rent!" they yelled, passing me a wad of cash. So I did, and I signed the new lease myself, forever binding my fate with the Mystery Room.

Instantly, the government official could no longer see us. In fact, it was as though he had never known we were there, the mystery of the room was intact. He looked blankly past us through the gate, screwing up his nose at all the rubbish and the bad smells. But as he left, he slid an envelope under the grill: a fine, due for late payment of rent.

We were trapped. The official didn't know we were there, so we had no way of paying him the money. Bureaucracy could yet destroy the Mystery Room.

I woke up.

What do you think it all means?

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