My neighbor is a kindly old man named Ahmed. He comes from an indeterminate Middle-Eastern country.
When he was a younger man, he was a scientist, engineer and inventor back in his country of origin. For years, he poured his heart into countless projects and inventions which would ultimately go on to better the lives of millions worldwide. His greatest success was the little spinny thing you find on the bottom of chair legs, which is where he ultimately made his fortune.
Unfortunately, later in life, he was swindled out of much of his fortune by a mysterious mustachioed gentleman in a very large hat, leaving him enough to get by and have a little aside. He then moved to Europe, and found that through a disagreement over accreditation, his multiple degrees were not recognized here, leaving him not only poor, but unable to find a decent job.
They could take his fortune. They could take his degrees. But they could not take Ahmed’s education and intelligence. He set to work, toiling in his apartment at all hours, his hunched over frame bustling about, to and fro. After years of effort, sleepless nights lit by the harsh glare of blowtorches, days drenched in sweat, and in questionable health, Ahmed was finished.
He had created his masterpiece. A time machine. He would go back in time and stop himself from ever losing his fortune to that man. He would stop himself from ever moving to Europe.
Unfortunately, Ahmed quickly learned the harsh truth – time travel is possible, but only as far back as the moment the first time machine was switched on. So mostly, he uses it these days to host poker and chess tournaments with versions of himself from other days.
At least, that’s how I imagine my neighbor. I really wouldn’t know because I’ve never actually met any of them. But the potential gravitational distortion a time machine might cause seems to me to be the best explanation for the constant banging – gravity is simply stronger over in that apartment.
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