My friend, Blair, and I had just finished spending a week visiting our other friend in California, and now we were taking that long drive back to dusty Arizona.
We had been driving for hours when Blair suddenly turns to me and announces that she needs to find a place to pull off and use the bathroom, or she swears she’s going to piss herself. I had just finished a huge soda, and so I felt like I could definitely go myself.
At this point we’re traveling on a very barren highway well beyond city limits and no exit signs indicating that nothing so much as a gas station was around. Ever the proper lady, Blair was determined to find some toilet somewhere so that she didn’t have to resort to pissing on the side of the road like an animal (her words, not mine). Just as soon as she said that, she makes a hair-pin turn onto an exit with no exit sign. The road on this exit wasn’t even paved, so I was pretty sure it was just some random trail leading to the desert.
But after about a minute or so of driving down this dirt trail, we pulled into a sort of “town” (I use the word town loosely, and you’ll see why in a minute). This town didn’t have any paved roads- all were dirt- and it consisted of a few buildings, and no houses. There was a building labeled Post Office, there was a building that looked to be a garage for fixing cars, and a larger building labeled Family Cafe. The garage had an old, rusty tow truck. It looked to be maybe from the ‘40’s or '50’s. The Diner had a few old 1950’s gas pumps in the front of it, and there were people inside. In the center of these buildings was just an open, dusty area.
Blair pulled her car in front of the diner, parking in front of the gas pumps. Her brand new car was a stark contrast to the old gas pumps she had parked in front of. As soon as we stepped inside the diner I seriously felt like I was pulled into one of those creepy horror movies where there is a town full of people who work to lure in weary travelers so that they can all conspire to murder them. I’m talking, like, The Hills Have Eyes kind of shit.
There were a few men sitting down at some tables and eating, and there was a woman behind the counter wiping down the diner bar. All of them were dressed in out-of-date clothes. They were wearing the style of clothes I’ve seen people wearing in pictures of the Dust Bowl. The ones you find in history text books. As soon as Blair and I stepped into that diner, all of the people, and I mean ALL of them, looked up at us in unison. They didn’t say a word and every facial expression was emotionless.
All I could manage to say was a reluctant “Uh, bathroom."
Then the woman behind the counter looked at us with her emotionless face for a few seconds longer (although it seemed like minutes). Never taking her eyes off of us, without saying a word, she pointed to her left. Blair and I walked to the bathroom silently and uncomfortably.
I should note that while in that diner, I noticed there was a display of postcards for sale. I didn’t stop to look at them that closely, but I caught a glimpse of one as I was walking quickly to the bathroom and I thought I saw a picture of a woman wearing a much older swimsuit style with one of those head coverings that women used to wear when swimming. I don’t know if that’s a very good explanation, or if you even know what I mean by that, but that’s the best I can explain it because I wasn’t sticking around that place to browse the merchandise.
Anyway, once Blair and I were in the bathroom, we both confirmed to one another that this whole place was surreal, uncomfortable, and that we both wanted to get the hell out of there before we become the unfortunate victims in a teen slasher movie.
Once we had finished our bathroom break, we left the diner as fast as possible. As we walked out, the woman behind the counter and the men eating at the tables continued to silently stare, their faces expressionless. As we got into the car and left, I could still feel their eyes staring at us. Thinking of this, even today, makes me skin crawl.
About a year later, my husband and I decided to take a weekend trip to Knottsberry Farms. At this point, I had already told my husband about the creepy town Blair and I happened upon. In fact, I told him about it SEVERAL times. It’s just something I couldn’t easily forget. And to be honest, it was so surreal, that if Blair was not with me that day, and if we hadn’t continued to talk about the experience while driving back home that day, I really may have thought I dreamed it.
Anyway, my husband and I were on the way back from our weekend at Knottsberry California, and I suddenly had to go to the bathroom. As soon as I had suggested we find a place to go to the bathroom, I realized that we were on a barren highway again, much like that day with Blair, and I got a huge sense of deja vu. I suddenly had the thought, wouldn’t that be weird if we ended up in that town again? No sooner had I thought that I realized my husband had made a hairpin turn onto an exit with a dirt road. I looked up to see up pulling into the same town.
All I could do was point forward. My jaw hung open. When my husband parked in front of the same old gas pumps, I was going to open my mouth to tell him that there was no way I was going back into that creepy diner, but before I could say anything, my husband turned to me and said” "Looks like it’s closed.”
Not only was the diner closed, but the rest of the buildings in the town were closed too. I went up to the diner to peer in the windows and there were what looked like ages of dust on the windows. Peering through the dust, I could see the display full of the old post cards, and there were thick, dusty cobwebs strewn along the cards and display.
This amount of dust and cobwebs were the result of decades of being untouched. There’s no way that amount of dust an cobwebs on that display could have been accumulated from the last time I went into that diner, when previously there was no dust at all on that display. Additionally, from what I could tell through the dusty window, the edges of the post cards were yellowed as if they had been decades old.
All of the people in that town were gone, the town seemingly abandoned for decades, yet I had been there only a year or so ago. I still can’t explain it until this day and I don’t think I will ever be able to.
I’ve run through so many scenarios in my mind. It’s very plausible that people up and just left the town, but how does decades of dust and aging paper just happen in a little over a year? Why the weird, outdated clothes? Why the expressionless, wordless townspeople? Where were all the houses? Did I my friend and I glitch and somehow end up in another time period or some other alternate reality?
Time Traveling Magazine
During the 90’s in Chile there was a newspaper that every Thursday would include a small magazine with computer and internet news. It was called Mouse Magazine, and was essentially like Wired Magazine nowadays. When I was in college around 2001, I had a buddy who collected Mouse Magazine. He had them all in his room, from like 1996 to the 2000’s all neatly organized and well taken care of. I used to borrow them sometimes for a read.
One day in 2001, he and I were walking to our college and we saw a Mouse Magazine dropped on the street among some garbage. I picked it up and it was from 1996 but it was in ABSOLUTE pristine condition, like just out of the printer! Keep in mind that this is a 10-page small magazine printed in newspaper paper. My friend had his collection well taken care of and the 1996 magazines were slightly yellowish, creased pages, and fading ink etc. But this one dropped on the freakin’ street under harsh sunlight was immaculate and it was like 5 years old. We took it to his house to compare and yup, the one from the collection was in much worse condition- the street one didn’t even had fold marks or anything.
This puzzled us big-time, we jokingly theorized that some kind of dimensional wormhole opened and this magazine somehow came through. To this day I have no idea how to explain this one.
I Time-Shifted A Whole Day
I was like 7-8 years old, I was in home, it was about 7:00 pm on a Friday and it was winter. I remember feeling very tired or dizzy so I went to my bed and lay down until I fell asleep.
In the middle of being awake and sleeping, I have this image printed in my memory: in this image I’m standing in the middle of the living room with all of the windows/doors opened (remember that it was winter, so it is impossible to be real since it is very cold in that time of year where I live). I was standing there looking through one of the windows to the darkness of the night outside. There was nobody, there was no ambient sounds or something more than that “frame” inserted in my memory.
The next thing that I can remember is me waking up, feeling a huge headache and like as if one hour had passed since I fell asleep. I went to the kitchen (which is also used as a dining room), and when I got there I felt really weird because something wasn’t in the same place. I had this feeling where you feel like something is missing or changed places, you know? I saw my parents doing their stuff, but it looked like they were doing something different from the last time I saw them. I thought, “Meh, it doesn’t matter. Maybe they finished doing what they were doing and had started something different”.
So I took a quick look to the clock and noticed that it was 6:45 pm. I thought “OK, weird. But maybe it is just my memory failing at remembering time or something”. I jokingly asked my mom, “What day is it today?”, and she answered the number of that day (which I can’t remember).
I said, “No no, what day is it?”, and she said “Sunday?” I checked it in my computer and yes, it was Sunday. I spent one entire day sleeping or my memory was failing so bad that I couldn’t remember what happened yesterday.
I automatically discarded that I have slept 24 hours because it is impossible for me (and to most of people, I think) to sleep 12 or more hours straight. I also discarded confusing that Friday because I went to school that day, so there was no way that it was Saturday or something. I freaked out and tried very hard to figure out what happened, but nothing came out. I asked my parents but they said that there was nothing wrong, they said that I woke up on Saturday and acted as usually I would.
I have to clarify that it is not my current memory failing to remember this specific episode, I couldn’t remember any minimal detail of what happened that Saturday one day after. I felt like there was no interruption between my dreams, like if I just slept one hour.
You probably are wondering “So why did you title it "time-shift” if your parents told you that you acted as always?“ As I said, there was no interruption between those days. So if I "acted” as always I was unconscious of what I did, talked, looked or whatever on that Saturday. Why my brain would remove that specific moment from my memory? Why there was two days where I had slept at about the same hours (which I never did before)?
I Took A Breath Of Air Underwater
I was really little, and I took swimming lessons during the summer at an indoor pool. I remember we were practicing holding our breath underwater for as long as we could, and while I was under it got too much for me and I accidentally sucked in a breath.
As soon as I did I got scared because I was going to breathe in water, but immediately after I was shocked when I realized I had just taken a breath of air! I came up above the water and everything was normal. I never told anyone because I thought no one would believe me, it was always my exciting little secret.
Years later I did tell my mom, who told me it must have been a dream. Years after that I started to convince myself it was a dream, but recently after learning new things and opening my mind I am sure that this is a memory.
“Fashion is the most powerful art there is. It’s movement, design and architecture all in one. It shows the world who we are and who we’d like to be. Just like your scarf suggests that you’d like to sell used cars.” — Blair Waldorf