Bryan Furuness, Sarah Layden, Andrew Scott, Matthew Simmons


August 27, 2010

Tempus Fugit, LLC
500 West Street
Camden, New Jersey 08105

Re: The Contest

To Whom it May Concern:

In one thousand words or less, here is what I would do if I won the use of the Tempus Fugitive© for a day: go back in time to cheat on my wife with my wife.

What I have in mind here is to create a “sexual highlight reel” of my marriage–the sauna on our Smoky Mountain honeymoon, the night she drank amaretto and growled, the time she wore a thong, the time I wore the thong, etc.–and maybe make some new highlights besides (don’t worry, Tempus Fugit legal team: you have my word that I won’t do anything too weird or statutory).

As long as I’m replaying my life, there are a few events I’d like to edit, just slightly. Like the time my wife told me about the only one-night stand she’s ever had. The summer after her junior year in high school, her folks went to Lutherwald for a church retreat, and she threw a big party. After the party ended, some “old dude in his thirties” hung around to “help her clean up.” Well, you can guess what happened next (they slept together).

She told this story like it was no big deal, and I had to pretend likewise (how could I do otherwise, when I’d had a couple of one-night stands myself?). But in truth I was shocked, and for the last fifteen years, that story has been the pea under my mattress, so to speak. My first thought, when I saw the ad for your contest, was, Hey, what if I traveled back in time to that party? What if I was that old dude?

I would love to be that old dude. I would love doing it with my pre-wife, remembering it, and knowing secretly that I was the one. I will admit that the thought of her sleeping with someone else inflames me. Partly it is a turn-on–that my wife is desirable to other men, that she’s a sexual creature, etc.–but it is also a major irritation. Just thinking of her sleeping with the old dude who is not me really bugs me. It feels like a betrayal, or, because technically she hadn’t met me yet, a pre-betrayal.

Most guys wouldn’t admit to feeling this way about their wives’ ex-lovers, but then, most guys are liars. Me, I’m honest. I’ll admit that I like the turn-on aspect of that episode, and I don’t want to lose that. But if I could be that old dude–well, I could have my cake and eat it, too. So to speak.

The other time I’d edit would be the big fight we had just after getting engaged, when she got mad and drove up to Muncie to sleep with her old boyfriend. Which she did, she later admitted, pretty much to spite me. I would like to travel back in time to assault the shit out of the old boyfriend just as he is taking off his pants (don’t worry, Tempus Fugit legal team! The courts would not be able to touch me. Though my fingerprints and DNA would be all over the “crime scene,” the real version of me, Terry circa 1993, would have an airtight alibi. I was at Bear’s Place that night with an ex-girlfriend. A hundred people could vouch for that. My fingerprints and DNA were all over Bear’s Place, too, and, I admit, the ex-girlfriend).

(And, okay, to be fair, I would also time-travel back to Bear’s Place, and corner myself in the bathroom until Terry 1993 promised not to sleep with my/his ex-girlfriend. That’s one memory I’d like to delete anyway.)

I know this all probably sounds like some macho fantasy to be the only guy my wife has ever slept with. Or maybe it sounds like a way of creating a loophole in marriage, of cheating without really cheating. Or like I just want to sleep with younger, perkier versions of my wife while kicking the ass of her old boyfriends. Well, at the risk of sounding like a shallow jerk, I’ll admit that you might have a point there (like I said: I’m honest). But, hey, it’s not like I’m asking to use the time-machine to pick up hoochies. At least my fantasies are about my wife.

But none of those theories really get at what this trip is about. What I want is to sleep with my wife forever, for all time. I understand that your technology can not (currently) take me into the future, and I can assure you that is not a concern. I can take care of the future myself, but I need your help with the past. Time’s horizon extends in two directions. Love wants to do the same.


Terry Linder

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