By the time you read this, I will be dead and gone.
Meet me by the Del tree in Austin place.
September 28th 1903. 5am.

The first paragraph of my great-grandpa’s journal.
Going through the mess of his old workshop,
I stumbled upon strange things.
My mother referred to them as worthless crap.
Junk that his children (one of whom was my father’s mother)
had to clear after his death in 1938.
Which of course, they never did.

He just dropped dead one day.
Probably poisoned by one of his many mistresses.

Says my stone-faced grandmother.
Who gives me an I-can’t-be-bothered-with-your-questions look.
Grandma dropped dead the next day.
God bless her soul.

G. K. Bastian was her father.
She didn't see much of him growing up.
My father says his grandpa was a visionary.
Who loved to dabble in magic and science.
Who played with chemicals and butterflies.
Who lived in his workshop at the end of the garden.

The family called him a drunk.
The street kids called him a madman.
He said he could time travel and everyone laughed.
As did I.
Until I found his journal.
It has taken me a decade to decipher.
And is filled with ideas I am yet to understand.
And mysteries I am still to solve.

This work is a response to my great-grandfather’s genius.
I hope to meet him at the Del tree on Austin place in 1903.
And I hope he answers my questions.