Ty drifts from job to job. His parents despair of him.
He works as a kitchen hand and junior chef in two more cafes, then for six months as a builder’s apprentice.
Of this, Ty told Daryl: “It blew. Don’t ever get sucked into an apprenticeship. It’s fucken slave labour. Plus the industry’s gonna collapse any day now.”
Eventually he takes a job at a climbing centre in the Hutt Valley.
Of this, Ty told Daryl: “It’s funny ‘cos you get these fat guys come in and they’re hopeless, just hanging off the walls and freaking out. But it’s good, ‘cos there’s not many places you can go to learn about stuff like fear or self-reliance. To like learn how to deal with your mind. These guys are giving it a go, you have to be pro that.
“But they’re fucken funny. They like freeze up and shout and stuff. Their faces go red.”
The explosion in the café toilet continues to interest him. Considerable time is spent conducting “research” into theoretical concepts of time and the physical sciences.
Rich says: ‘He was pretty into it. Like not all the time, he’d go a few months without reading or whatever. But then if he got an idea he’d be back into it and you wouldn’t see him for like days.’
Initially Aaron visits to the flat to brainstorm re: the circumstances of the explosion and the disappearance of the man they’d come to know as “Doctor Who”.
Says Aaron: ‘He was looking at it from every angle. Science shit, eastern mystical shit – like all this “time is an illusion” shit. I mean “woosh”, you know? Straight over a brother’s head.’
Ty explains the founding principle of his obsession to Aaron. It is this:
If Doctor Who had discovered the secret of time travel, he’d taken it with him. His notes and papers had been either destroyed in the fire or transported back in time (an search of the alley turned up no sign of papers, either “contemporary” or “months old”)
However, the concept having been discovered, it could now be re-discovered. It was in fact more likely / “pre-disposed” to be re-discovered.
The café staff, as first hand witnesses to the explosion (or “maiden flight” as Ty referred to it) were in a better position than anyone to “reverse engineer the result”.
Aaron: ‘He reckoned he could work it out and follow Doctor Who through time. Which is cool, but he was into all of this complex stuff, it seemed like a long shot. I told him to keep in touch and let me know, but we lost touch. Just how it happens.’
Says Rich: ‘Ty stopped returning Aaron’s calls ‘cos he reckoned Aaron was a tool and a bit racist. Dunno if you’ve met the guy, but…’ (laughs) ‘Can’t really fault that.’
Meanwhile the café is rebuilt and, after being re-decorated and re-named, is re-opened for business.
It is much more popular with the punters now.
Julie works the counter at “Redux” for three weeks before handing in notice, saying to friends that the cafe “had an unpleasant vibe”.
Aaron remained as head cook, a position he still holds. He continues to tell new staff the story of Doctor Who, from Julie’s first encounter, through to his own heroic intervention, to its climactic explosion and the momentary appearance of “floating alien heads”.
Says Cassie, now working front of house: ‘He told me how he gave some guy the idea of time travel, and then he blew up the toilet? I assumed he was high. That same night he scored my flatmate and they did it in my bed.’
Aaron keeps his time travel songs as an iPod playlist, played whenever he grows nostalgic for the café’s “golden age”. As months pass, the playlist loses precedence to his growing devotion to the Walker Brothers.
Ty befriends Rich, a co-worker at the climbing centre. Three weeks later a space opens in Rich’s flat, and Ty moves in.
Says Rich: ‘Straight away I get that the guy’s a fucken genius. Some people don’t figure that out about Ty, ‘cos of the skateboard thing, but the dude has it going on. Like I think his IQ is up around 170.’ (laughs) ‘Makes you feel pretty stupid!’
Rich becomes a sounding board for Ty’s theories, which are talked over at length. An example, from an afternoon at the climbing centre:
RICH: I thought you said the guy disappeared.
TY: Yeah but back in time, right? So he could still exist in the present. Actually depending on his... itinerary, there could be a few of him.
RICH: How’s that?
TY: Like at a future date, he goes back to what is now our past...
RICH: Right, of course.
TY: So really want to find at least one of him. That would be ideal. But failing that, just try to track his movements through, like, space and time.
(a pause, dealing with customers)
RICH: How would you do that?
TY: Well it’s assuming a bit, but say there’s an explosion every time he jumps. Right? I’m reading through papers and stuff, looking for explosions since his first appearance.
RICH: (laughs) And?
TY: There’s a few of them, eh. But they might be normal.
RICH: “Normal explosions”.
TY: Gas or whatever. But I go out and I ask people in the area whether they remember, at any stage before the explosion, seeing a crazy guy with his skin smoking or his clothes on fire. You tend to remember. Also I tell them to keep an eye out in case they see him later, right? 'Cos he might be going forward.
RICH: You actually do this?
TY: Yeah man.
RICH: You go out and talk to people about explosions and whatever.
TY: Yeah man. Gets me out of the house.
RICH: You found him? Like has anyone seen him?
TY: (shrugs) Maybe. He might have blown up this place on the Terrace a few months back, but it's hard to be sure.
Felix’s War Diary: 11 November 1918
5 days ago