Time Travellers from the 1960's : Ted and Louise : Ch.3 : Exploring the 21st Century
Chapter 3 : Exploring The 21st Century
"It will be alright Lou. They may not be quite the organisation we left behind in the seventies but I'm sure they'll help us to find our place in the 2003 world. They will be well adapted to helping us; after all they know their period better than we do," said Ted.
"They do seem very money orientated," said Louise. "If our journey hadn't been paid for I am sure they wouldn't have brought us round at all. They might have dumped our bodies somewhere."
"Oh I don't think so," said Ted. Anyway we're here now aren't we. Nothing terrible has happened, and we're both in working order. I certainly feel on top form. And you look on top form to me." He reached forward and brought her closer to him. She responded immediately, warmly, cradling his face in her hands and kissing him enthusiastically. It did not seem long since they had been this close, as they said goodbye to each other. That felt like only one night ago, as if they had been to sleep for one night. In fact 30 years had taken place in that time, but it did not feel that way, to either of them.
"Let's go to one of these clubs the attendants talked about," suggested Louise. "They seem like the perfect places to meet young swinging people. I've been here for a few days and I am beginning to feel horny. You know what I mean?"
"Yeah let's do that, see what sex is like at the beginning of the twenty first century," agreed Ted. Most of the members of the New Seminary had been believers in the right to swing, and practitioners of that right, on occasions at least, being forward looking people. So far the attendants of Future Investments had been a great disappointment in that regard. Although they loved each other dearly and were strongly committed to each other, both of them believed it was natural and desirable for both of them to try other partners whenever they wished. They had both enjoyed a lot of swinging in their years with the new Seminary, and with people who were not members of the group also.
Ted and Louise were taken after dark from the Future Investments building, which they had known as 'the Seminary' by taxi to a place somewhere near the centre of the city which they had known so well all their lives. Most of it was still recognisable to them. In fact it had changed perhaps less than they had expected. "Have we gone far enough into the future?" asked Ted. "Nothing seems to have changed."
"Oh I don't know. There are buildings here that I've never seen before, although I happen to think it's a shame they pulled down the older buildings which were there before," said Louise.
"I hear you but don't you think the new buildings are pedestrian. They're so conservative, and it's as if they're trying to squeeze in as many apartments as possible into every available plot of land."
"There is a property boom going on currently," said their guide for the evening, a young lady called Belinda, of Future Investments. The 'company' was apparently contracted to look after the couple from the past for a month after 'reemergence'. Ted and Louise would have expected assistance and advice from the Seminary so they were pleased and content to have guides to introduce them to whatever changes the future times held for them. Belinda was good company. She gave the positive impression that she was 'game for everything', which appealed particularly to Ted, who found her quite attractive. Belinda was keen on clubbing, she said. Louise felt Belinda was rather formal in her work, and she tended to speak very fast, injecting much unwanted detail into her explanations, which Louise found rather unnerving, particularly as she didn't have a clue what the girl was going on about half the time, but she warmed to the young lady as her obvious passion for clubbing became obvious. Ted found her quite mesmerising in her crisp efficiency, and probably felt rather overwhelmed by her ability and knowledge, which served to make her more mysterious and attractive to him.
The taxi and other cars they had seen impressed Ted. They were sleek and modern looking. Designs had surely moved on since the early seventies, although they were not radically different. Ted's fantasies about cars becoming airborne, and fuelled by natural air or water instead of oil appeared not to have come true, yet at any rate. However the taxi driver, with whom Ted exchanged a few questions about technical matters did also say there were many more cars on the roads today than in the seventies. He said they would notice the difference when they went out in the daytime. It was evident to Ted that the taxi driver did not really believe they were from the past. The man was merely humouring them and enjoying what he thought was a joke. So the activities of the New Seminary/ Future Investments were not commonly known among the 2003 population. Ted had imagined that the people of the future would have known all about the possibilities of this form of time travel by 2003, but it appeared that either the New Seminary or Future Investments had taken the decision not to publicise their activities too widely, for whatever reason.
Young Belinda led Ted and Louise along the street after being dropped off nearby by the taxi. Apparently, due to the time, they were going to go straight into the club. It was the common practice of what Belinda called 'clubbers' to go to bars first, to drink a few intoxicating drinks, before proceeding towards the clubs where, apparently, 'everything happens'. Not much had changed here then, they thought. Ted's anticipation was rising, becoming a form of exhilaration which he had not felt for a long time, fuelled by the sight of the beautiful young women of the city all around them, in their flimsy clothes, which seemed to be designed to enhance their human female shape, not unlike the fashions of his own time. He saw plenty of mini skirts, which had still been pretty fashionable back in '73. The promise of those television glimpses he had seen recently into this world of sexual excitement seemed about to be fulfilled. His exhilaration contained an element of fear, as he was about to step into the unknown, as if it had not been only a few weeks in his consciousness since he had last flirted with women who were strangers to him.
Ted sensed excitement in Louise also. She had not been to 'clubland' for a while. However she had never had problems attracting the opposite sex. Men were always very happy to oblige her when she offered. She could be quite fussy about men. She seemed to regard Ted as satisfactory for most of her requirements, but there were sometimes occasions when she got carried away and could be as predatory as any man. It was a matter of mood and inspiration for her. If she saw somebody who really attracted her she could go all out. Sometimes when she was in the mood, she just wanted to 'let her hair down'.
Marriage, of course, was still the partnership arrangement aspired to and probably most common at the beginning of the twenty first century. With it came the mutual commitment to be sexually loyal to each other, just as in the sixties and early seventies, denying the flexibility that the 'partnerships' of the progressive groups in the society of his past had aspired to. Because of the 'evidence' to the contrary, which Ted had observed in his viewing of 'modern' television Ted had been tending to discount the validity of the 'official' version of the social system of this future reality. A large proportion of the programmes and films he had watched on TV recently had portrayed marriage as an old convention, still common, but its old rules no longer being observed by the characters in the programmes.
But as he now came to review the marriage 'institution', as people still called it, in his TV watching, he recalled that the partners who had remained 'loyal' were usually angry, or ashamed towards their partners when they came to speak to them. In films, soap operas, sitcoms and even 'real life' documentaries the 'victims' of marital betrayal usually had a choice of behaviours, between 'leaving' their partner; murdering them; accepting the 'infidelity' after a period of anger or punishment, usually after extracting a promise of loyal behaviour in the future or to never see the new partner/ friend ever again; or to take themselves a lover also, in which case the originally disloyal partner would then become the angry one and follow any of the above options also. Times had not moved on much from the 1960's. He had expected the people of this time to be wiser, more open minded, less the slaves or dependants of each other, more independent. But it wasn't so at all, not very much anyway.
(to be continued)