Imagine arriving home and finding that a major change has just been forced into your life. Then imagine being told that this coarse intrusion was done out of love. The holidays stir within me a variety of warm and comforting emotions from my youth but there will always be one tough-love situation that reminds me of a not so good time.
Both my parents, God rest their souls, were simple people and neither one had more than an elementary school education. By the time I was about fourteen, my father continued to work his porter job and my mother stayed home full-time as the homemaker and the safety valve for her two sons. I never heard my parents argue out loud or swear. There was never any talk about sex but I learned early that when their bedroom door was closed, that meant don’t go in there. Back in the day, things seemed pretty much like the old Donna Reed Show family existence.
Close to a year prior to this controlled existence, my mother had begun talking to herself in what sounded like another language. After listening to it for a while, I could tell it was really a string of phrases, which made sense only to her. At a young age, I’d learned that some churchgoers might speak in tongues when they felt religiously excited but what my mother was doing was more conversational. This dialect seemed only mildly strange to my brother and me but it became apparent that it was increasingly bugging the crap out of my father. They'd have arguments about why she felt the need to talk to herself. As they would negotiate this issue back and forth, my mother would throw in a couple of words from her language for good measure. Keep in mind, my mother talking to herself, never stopped her from doing her housework or from performing any of her other responsibilities. Anyhow, this nutty situation went on for a while and I guess my father couldn’t take it anymore. He finally got together with my uncle (my mother’s brother) and they contrived a plan to get my mother some psychiatric help. It took a few days for me to put together the whole story but this is what occurred.
My uncle told my mother that he had some ailment and that he needed to go to the hospital. He asked that she and my father go with him. Of course, when they got there, the questions being asked were all about my mother. Soon afterwards, based on what my father had prior told the doctors, they proceeded to admit my mother for evaluation. Let’s just say that my mother was not happy about the idea and did not stay willingly. That evening, when I arrived home from school and heard about the situation, my head was spinning. Things had always seemed so “normal” in the house. My brother and I finally rationalized that maybe it would be best if she did get some help.
A few days later, my father was bringing my mother back home. What I was told was that overall they could find nothing wrong with her. I had this image of the doctors giving her some pills to calm her nerves but that was about it. Once she was back home, at first, things were a bit stained between my mom and dad but gradually life went back to the way it was before. My mother would talk to herself but to a lesser degree.
As I got older, I learned a few things. When I was fourteen, my mother would have been about forty-nine years old. Part of my mother’s issues might have been due to her going through menopause with the variety of physical symptoms and anxiety that accompany it. This premise might not explain everything but she was obviously going through some changes, some of which my father had never seen before in their marriage. The doctors probably had a chuckle when they realized this and then sent her home. Understand that this is all speculation on my part but it seems to make sense.
In retrospect, my father was convinced that the doctors had a way to help her get better. It must have been difficult for him to follow through with his plan. I’m certain on one hand, he wanted his quiet wife back but I truly believe that his primary motive for taking her to the hospital was one of love. They were married for thirty-six years until my father passed away.
In comparison to some other families and their stories, the above might sound tame and I’m appreciative for the minimal amount of drama that we experienced. I thank God and those two loving people for helping to keep my brother and me sane.
Believe in total honesty? There are times when it can be more difficult than you can imagine.
Brief background: I (the author) became a widower after a twenty-year marriage. My late wife died unexpectedly of an aortic aneurysm. About a year later, my only sibling passed away from colon cancer. Six months later, through my misery, I understood how short and precious life was. I still had love to offer and I needed some happiness. I really was not interested in any crazy dating scene so I decided to join eHarmony. This is also where my story begins.
Through instant messaging, I began corresponding with a nice woman named Diane who had two young kids. I soon found that we had a lot in common. After a few days of phone calls, she understood that our relationship was progressing positively so she made a confession to me. She was on dialysis and was dealing with some potentially serious health risks. Diane seemed to understand when I told her that because of my wife’s passing, I honestly could not continue with our relationship. I would be an emotional wreck (not to mention my kids) if anything ever happened to her. Diane appreciated my honesty, just as I appreciated hers. We sadly said our goodbyes, knowing that we would no longer contact each other.
Late in November, I met Rosanne on-line. After some enjoyable instant messaging and a few phone calls, we talked about dating and she invited me to a yoga session at an institute located near Union Square in Manhattan.
It was fun not only because I had never done that type of thing before but because of her good company. Afterwards, I invited her to a late lunch in the neighborhood. As we waited for our order, she presented me with a gift of wrapped science fiction books. I could not help but be touched by the romance of the moment. I had only mentioned this interest to her once she remembered and had acted on it.
She spoke of her many hopes for the future and mentioned that she enjoyed eHarmony because she believed in leaving her options open. We finished the evening by seeing the movie Ray and I drove her to her complex in Brooklyn, sealing the night with a kiss on her cheek. Next weekend, we went to the medieval surroundings of the Cloister’s museum and on our third date, we spent the evening at the Brooklyn Museum where we playfully danced across their ballroom type exhibition area to various concertos.
During our relationship, Rosanne and I spoke on the phone almost every night but as time progressed, I felt she was becoming more distant. After a few weeks of knowing each other, every time I brought up the conversation of intimacy, it kept getting sidetracked. I figured a few weeks weren’t very long so I did my best to be a gentleman. Whenever we went on a date, I would pick her up around her apartment complex but I never knew her address. This seemed strange but I understood how a single woman living in Brooklyn would want to be careful.
About two weeks before Christmas, I decided to be frank with her. On the phone, I mentioned how long it had been since I had been intimate (since my late wife had passed). Rosanne seemed comfortable with the conversation so I asked her how long had it been since she was with someone. Very nonchalantly, she answered, “About two weeks ago.” I stopped dead in my tracks. We had been going out for more than a month, spoke almost every night and she had sex two weeks ago? When I questioned her on this she said, “I’m also seeing someone else. I told you before that I believe in leaving my options open.” Needless to say, the conversation soon came to a close and we said our goodbyes. Merry Christmas.
The contrasts in the two stories show that honesty is seen from the owner’s perspective. Diane felt I should know the important factors in her life so I could make an honest decision on how to proceed. Rosanne on the other hand never felt that she lied to me; she simply did not mention that she was seeing someone else. We take for granted that we all carry the same meaning of when we say the word honesty. Encarta World Dictionary defines honesty as the quality of condition, or characteristic of being fair, just, truthful, and morally upright. I’m certain you’ve got your personal view of the word honesty. Let’s all try not to hurt each other by being too honest.
This article deals with ways that early books, movies and television series have utilized teleportation of people while using mechanical assistance. As interesting as individualized teleportation by the power of the mind might be, I've decided that teleporting by wishing it to happen is just too magical. I will try to at least make this article as realistic as possible (yes, I'm being serious).
What Is Teleportation?
The theory has two potentials. You can:
1) Simply find a way to break down every atom in the body to a form that can be somehow carried across space and then reintegrated at a designated location or
2) You can make a copy of the information in the body, find a way to send it across space and then assemble that information back into a living person.
That was simple enough. The examples below will deal with both theories.
History of Teleportation Devices
During 1877, early science fiction writer Edward Page Mitchell wrote a short story called A Man Without a Body. A man had discovered how to disassemble animal and then human atoms. He then sent them along a telegraph wire and reassembled them. The trip was cut short when the telegraph battery died after only transmitting the inventor’s head. You might say he was ahead of his time.
Then there was the famous short story named The Fly by George Langelaan. It was published in the June 1957 issue of Playboy magazine. A brilliant scientist created machines, which he called disintegrator-reintegrators. These were booths in two separate basement rooms attached to wires. When the scientist attempted the first human trial (on himself), unbeknownst to him, a fly had slipped into the booth. The result was two beings, one more fly than human and the other more human than fly. From that point on, the mixed-up scientist (pardon my pun) desperately attempted to find the small insect in order to run them back through the chambers in order to get him back to normal.
The grotesque tale begat three films: The Fly (1958), Return of the Fly (1959), Curse of the Fly (1965), The Fly (1966 remake) and finally The Fly II (1989). All of these films were based on teleportation accidents and their attempted resolutions.
Teleportation history was made when in 1966, producers of a television series called Star Trek decided that money could be saved by not creating small spacecraft to get from their main ship in space to the surface of a planet. Teleportation was used as a way to “transport” people to the landing site and the rest was history. The characters also referred to this action as beaming up. This was all done through the transporter unit, which was based in the main spacecraft (Enterprise). I'd have to spend another page trying to note the movies, sequels and television spin-offs that sprung from Star Trek so let’s just say that teleportation became a household idea due to the original three-year series.
In 1995, Christopher Nolan published a book called The Prestige. During the early 1900’s, scientist Nikola Tesla (who was a real inventor during that era) created replicating machines for a magician. You know, disappear from one cabinet and reappear in another (or somewhere else on stage). In 2006, a mystery thriller film, also called The Prestige was produced. I will not give away the plot to this superb movie but it helped me to better understood what can happen when fame and greed are mixed with science. This now leads me to one of the possible consequences of teleportation.
The Guts of Human Teleportation
As computers grow to be more sophisticated, with the ability to hold and compute more information than the human brain, we will eventually reach a point where teleportation of matter is possible. In reality, it would take more energy to perform a simply people transport than now exists in the known universe. Putting that aside, there is really only one way to perform the feat of teleportation and that is to destroy the original. I will explain this in terms that I have learned from Star Trek (pardon the nerd in me).
You are on the USS Enterprise. Once you step on the transport (teleportation) pad, the computer scans everything that makes you a person. This information is stored in a buffer, which acts as a holding cell for what you are now (which is data). The data is then “beamed” down to the planet where it is received by another transporter buffer. Within this second buffer contains the building blocks of all matter. The second buffer reads your information and builds you from the data that it has been given. What you are now is a “new you” built from the materials in the second buffer. What has happened to the “original” you might ask?” You were totally disintegrated of course.
Some might consider this murder. Others say this is just plain evil. The picture below explains it best.
Why destroy the original person, you might ask? Think about it. Let’s say the Enterprise transporter copies everything that is Captain Kirk but the original is not destroyed. The data is beamed to the surface and integrated into a new Captain Kirk. What do you do with two Kirks? Which is the real one? Also, the more you teleport, the more copies you have. Consider that Captain Kirk has transported hundreds of time in the course of the original three-year Star Trek series. Fortunately, the show was not built with the duplication theme in mind (except on rare occasions). In the Trek world, we think of teleportation as pieces of us thrown down to the planet and put back together. Just rebuild the original. Simple.
Want to take the next step into complicated? The reintegration (or rebuilding) process is even riskier than the disintegration part. For the sake of argument, let's deal again with killing the original person.
The usual Star Trek transport theme is to beam people to the planet and make them appear at any location but this means the Enterprise computer is doing all the work (no receiving computer on the planet). The main computer copies the original person, destroys the original, sends the information to a spot on the planet and then builds the information into a person. During the return trip, this also means when you are standing on the planet and say, “Beam me up,” that the Enterprise computer locates you, copies your information, destroys you, beams the data into the ship’s buffer, which then builds the “new you” from matter onboard the ship.
Even if you go with the theory of breaking down all your “original” atoms, sending them somewhere else through a beam of light and then reassembling the “original” atoms back into the “original” person, are you truly still an original?
The answer to this is, “Who really knows?” As I stated in the beginning, human teleportation is all fun theory. That is until someone proves me wrong. Excuse me but I have to go to dinner. It's my time to teleport.
The greatest happiness you can feel is when you share with someone you love.