On Being a Professional Wallflower

Wendell Howe:
May I ask how you avoid giving away your time traveling to the folks you are meeting?
Signed: Katherine aka KatFlap

I would be happy to answer that question.

I am a Temporal Anthropologist. That is a title that takes decades of education and training to acquire. I had to get a doctorate in both History and Anthropology to even be considered for the real training. The hardest part is acquiring a Time Travel License. To be certified I had to be trained to never stand out, to fade into the crowd, to be unmemorable, least my presence have an impact on those around me. I was also trained to be introverted. I must not make friends or even have meaningful conversations with those in the past, least I influence them and change history that way. It must be as though I was never there. I discuss the importance of avoiding Time Manipulation in my essay “Why the Institute of Time Travel is Necessary” in my April posting.

People have wondered why I am not allowed out of the Victorian Age. That is because I am ingrained in this era. I’ve been teased that I’m more Victorian than Queen Victoria! Outside of a few necessary high tech items that have been carefully disguised (see my essay below “Tools of the Trade”), just about everything I own is Victorian. My clothes, down to my underwear, is Victorian. I don’t even own a 27th century suit. I shave even when I’m in the 27th century with a straight razor. I have developed an embarrassing Victorian modesty. My mannerisms and speech are Victorian. I fit in so perfectly that if I told anyone in the 19th century that I was from the future, they would laugh at me. On the down side, I no longer fit in the 27th century. But then, anyone devoted and crazy enough to become a Temporal Anthropologist, never felt like they belonged to the 27th century anyway, but to another time.

It can be a lonely life. I feel an outsider in the 27th century. Yet the 19th century, where I feel at home, I am not allowed to get involved with anyone. But it’s all necessary to protect Time, and if this is the price I have to pay to be in the Era I love, then so be it. I’m not sorry I became a Temporal Anthropologist. I can’t imagine any other life.