Mireia Moreorless is/was from the far future. But she has a salient relation in the now: Anna Lemma Clepsydra, who possibly saw you yesterday/tomorrow, wherever the fuck you were/gonna be. Anna Lemma Clepsydra. Anna walks unseen through ordinary moments of your life, anyone’s life. No-one’s half-life.
She’s might be on the Paris Metro innit. But ain’t fixed at Pont de Neuilly. Did you move across the black floor of the Fnac on Champs-Élysées and ask for the new Radiohead CD in broken French this week? Me neither. But if you did, and the assistant looked broken by boredom at the sight of you, Anna probably clocked it, walking past.
Mireia is the girl you see all over Paris, the one who never sees you. Future or past. But did you ever break a cup in Starbucks, or trip on a flagstone, or sneeze in a library? Anna saw it with her side-eyes. Just passing through. Miriea’s dad invented a tourbillon that counters the effects of gravity so well that time escapes space. Mireia’s mum was a nurse. A comfortable way to know from where you came from. And from. Anna was a foundling.
Anna doesn’t know the date of her birth or who her mum and dad are or were or from where. Sorry, but that is pain and excruciating mystery. She now runs a business called Ébauche – a time travel agency. Its revenue stream is largely theoretical, for now. But big stars have booked their trips to near-time, and the agency serves great coffee, and venture capital is making its way in.
All of which has nothing to do with anything, much. Except that on Saturday I managed to book a place on a private tour of a Soviet-constructed (and now long since decommissioned) nuclear facility 180 miles north of Bucharest, Romania.
You are expressly told not to take photographs of the exterior. But, on leaving, well, I did. And the security staff ran me off the premises: out into the scarred grey street.
Luckily a municipal bus was at the stop not far off. I boarded the bus in the hot Romanian sunshine, wheezing and laughing, laughing and wheezing. Sweaty hands. Touchscreen temporarily fucked. And Anna, Anna Lemma Clepsydra, Anna who walks unseen through ordinary moments of your life, anyone’s life (no-one’s half-life) was probably on that bus, or on the pavement, laughing at me, with me, like far-future Mireia, descended from the dust of stars.