I continued to struggle through the rest of the Red Nails adaptation. But my discipline had been fractured and I had no sense of ordinary time any more, let alone a contrivance such as a deadline.

Carol had no idea what I was going through, and I was desperate to confide in her. We had known each other only a few months, though, and I was not at all certain how she’d react to my strange story of encounters with . . . with . . . But the truth is, I think I feared my own reactions once I admitted aloud to such impossibilities. Better to keep it all secret, I told myself. Then, it wouldn’t be part of real life. It’d be a fantasy of mine, something weird that happened only in my head.

  Then I’d forget all about it like the rotten-horrible nightmare that it was.

No such luck.

During the following months I became an unwilling participant in a series of utterly astonishing experiences, some so subtly enfolded into the rhythmic patterns of Time that their consequences took years to materialize. In 1973, it seemed to me that common clock time was nothing but illusion. What little I understood of the standardized Newtonian/Cartesian overview of time and space seemed ludicrously misguided. Then, in the wake of my subsequent experiences, my understanding of Reality itself was shot to bits.