The Max-Man Time Paradox

The boy stood across the street from the gay bar, right where the Mysterious Man knew he’d be. It was the boy’s twenty-first birthday – that’s how the Mysterious Man knew his location – and the boy was trying to get up the courage to go inside. He was beautiful, so young! Had the Mysterious Man ever been that young? He’d forgotten, it was so long ago. But there was the boy, this beautiful, youthful boy, so insecure, so unable to see his own inner-light, struggling so hard with his sexuality – the Mysterious Man’s heart ached for him.

He was ridiculously lean – skinny, really, though the Mysterious Man didn’t like that word, too many years spent struggling with it himself – long and gangly, awkward. Of course, the boy had spent most of his senior year eating little other than hot dogs and Ramen noodles, so his condition was no surprise, but all that hair! It laid there in this huge, glorious, unkempt mop. The Mysterious Man envied it as he felt the gentle spring breeze blow against his bald head.

The street was alive, but not busy – the Commons were a few blocks to the north and the din of the outside diners echoed through the air – the sun had almost gone down, still casting a few rays of pink into the ever-darkening skies – it was the kind of spring evening that demanded a person to go outside. And there stood the boy, across the street from the gay bar, when the Mysterious Man stepped up to him. At that moment, the streetlight above them hummed to life, bathing them in soft yellow.

“I knew I’d find you here,” the Mysterious Man said, “I wanted to catch you before you made your decision about going in or not.”

The boy was startled – probably afraid some stranger had realized he’s gay. “What?” he said, frightened and suspicious. “What’d you say?”

“I said, you shouldn’t be afraid of going in.”

“I’m not afraid,” the boy responded, defensively. “Okay, I’m a little afraid. Who are you, anyway?”

The Mysterious man stepped into the light, so the boy could see him, the bald head, the heavy moustache with the Fu Manchu sides. There was something about him… something familiar.

The Mysterious Man smiled… mysteriously. “Have you ever heard an older person say how they’d love to get the chance to meet themselves when they were young and give them advice? Well, I’m having that moment!”


“I’m you, Teddy. I’m you – and today is my FIFTIETH birthday!”

The boy stared at the man with a hint of self-recognition, but what youth has any idea of the real effects of aging? Was he more horrified than fascinated by the sheer number of wrinkles or the softening jowls? Couldn’t he still see the lively spark in the eyes? “Prove it,” he said.

“Name? Social Security Number? Relatives? Addresses? It could all be faked – you know that. You need something bigger. Let’s see…” The Mysterious Man snapped his fingers. “Yesterday you got a tattoo! You wanted to do it the whole time you were in college and you finally manned up. And now, you’re worried that your grandmother’s gonna freak out when she sees it this weekend.”


“An Infinity Symbol – on your left shoulder – and yes she is.” And the Mysterious Man pulled up his sleeve and revealed the exact tattoo, faded, a little bluish and blurred.

The boy’s jaw dropped. “Oh my God…” he mumbled. “How…?”

“Less how than why,” the older man said. “Now, we don’t have a lot of time and there’s much to get through. I suggest we go to your place – you live in that horrible flat over on South Meadow Street right now, right? God, what a hole! You even thought that while you lived there, though you pretended you were sentimental about it so you could tolerate it.”

The boy shook his head. “This is weirding me out so much.”

A slight chuckle and the man said, “Teddy, I haven’t even STARTED with the weird shit yet. Let’s go.”

They walked down the street with the same gait. To anyone passing them, they appeared related, father and son, probably, the older man thought. Like the boy, he felt disjointed, too. He hadn’t been near Ithaca in two dozen years, not since he finished his first Masters, and suddenly here was the city he remembered alive again. He let the boy lead only because he’d forgotten exactly where he was going, but he filled the time with conversation.

“So,” the boy asked, “what did you come back to tell me?”

“Not tell you so much,” the older man said, the two of them studying each other, remembering or perhaps hoping to avoid, depending on who was having what thought. “I mean, I know there are some obvious questions – do you become successful, famous, lucky in love? I could answer, but I suspect that after my actions here tonight, there will be a change in the space-time continuum and those facts may be altered.”

“What do you mean?”

“Let’s establish the theory before we complicate it, okay? I’m a mathematician and a physicist – I hold two PhD’s in applied mathematics and theoretical physics.”

The boy gasped, “Really?” as if he didn’t think himself capable of that.

“Yeah,” the older man said, smiling the same devilish grin the boy often had. “I went and educated myself right out of the job market! I mean, I made money – I wrote a couple of algorithms for some video game environments that mercifully kept me out of Academia – but it wasn’t until I got involved with the Think Tank that I really found myself challenged.” He patted young Teddy on the shoulder and almost whispered, “That’s where I learned to time-travel.”

“Time travel,” Teddy repeated. “That’s what you just said? You learned how to time travel?”

“It’s not what you think, no H.G. Wells, comic book nonsense, no time machines or bubbles or cool wrist bands or anything that would be fun. No – it’s a mathematical formula. I know, right? Sorry to disappoint.”

“How did you discover it?”

“Discover it? Seriously, I wish! No, it had been discovered – although that isn’t really the right word, one doesn’t discover a scientific phenomenon, one quantifies it – and the Think Tank had done that long before I came on board. I just took advantage of it.”

“So twenty years in the future, people are able to time travel?” The boy answered with his own devilish grin. “What about jet packs? Rocket cars? Robot dogs, yet?”

“They still show re-runs of ‘The Jetsons,’ yeah.” They turned a corner and the elder Ted recognized where he was – that big, shithole house. He continued talking as they ascended the steps and Teddy took out his keys. “But time-travel isn’t publicly known. As I said, it’s a mathematical formula, and one has to be able to understand it in order to utilize it. You have to sort of keep your mind on it and keep computing the whole journey or you’ll queer the wrinkle and ‘blip’ back to your starting point.” He shrugged. “It’s complicated.”

“So the only time travelers are braniacs?” He opened the door and the two of them stepped inside and went to the second floor. “The mathematicians and the physicists? Man, sucks for Joe Six-Pack.”

“It’s safer. Scientists know enough to observe and not interact.”

“YOU’RE interacting!”

“Yeah,” the elder said, smiling. “But after tonight I doubt I’ll be much of a scientist, anyway.” He and the boy reached for the same light switch at the same moment with the same gesture and laughed at their sudden awkwardness. Ted turned the lights on. “Damn, what a dump! I can’t believe we lived here as long as we did. It was cheap, right?”

“And no bugs,” the boy chimed in, and Ted remembered making that same joke in the old days – and often.

It was such an extraordinary sense of deja-vu, stepping into this apartment for the first time in nearly thirty years, but as he did, he remembered everything about it. They sat on the beat-up sofa together and the boy scurried to put his bong away. Ted laughed. “You’re not keeping any secrets from me. I know where your porn is stashed.”

“I suppose so. Still…” He put the bong aside.

The older version looked around. “Remember how you were weirded out before? That’s how I am right now. It’s so strange.”

The boy leaned back into his seat. “So… you’ve sort of answered how, but not why. And I’m hoping the why-answer is a little more clear.”

“I haven’t come back in time to give you sage advice or a dire warning or anything like that. I don’t think that would work, anyway. No, this is totally different. You see, Teddy, in my time there’s been significant advances in genetic engineering – your current generation did not grow old gracefully, let’s say – and a LOT of money was dumped into what was artfully dubbed Applied Genetics. If one was rich enough, one could do anything from having a single organ regrown to a near complete body rejuvenation.”

“Wow… bio-chem fountain of youth…”

“Nearly,” the older man said, running a hand over his heavy, graying Fu Manchu. “Anyway, it was a short step from Applied to Designer Genetics, where one could suddenly buy any sort of body one wanted. They even make a catalogue – seriously, like Neiman Marcus, only more exclusive. You could become thin, or handsome, or blue-eyed…”

The boy broke in, laughing. “Or really well hung!”

The older Ted sent back the exact same smile. “Exactly. One of their most popular packages.”

“Pardon the pun.”

They laughed.

“They also developed this one formula… called The Max-Man, guaranteed to develop all male-characteristics beyond their maximum, muscles, genitals, sex drive, strength and power. The professional bodybuilders and football players were falling all over themselves to get ahold of it. Could you blame them? One could get huge and stay huge without any effort at all -- that’s not even mentioning how full one’s posers or jockstrap would be.”

There was an uncomfortable laugh from the boy – he had so far to go with his own sexuality!

The elder Ted smiled again. “I knew you’d understand,” he said. “I know your fantasies, Teddy. I know the pictures you’ve masturbated to. I know you’ve spent a lifetime dreaming of muscle – and I’m here to tell you that I have, too, nearly thirty years longer. So, for my fiftieth birthday, I manned up and did something about it – like you did with the tattoo.”

“What do you mean?”

“I bought The Max-Man formula, Teddy,” the older man said, pulling a small plastic bag from his pocket and tossing it on the coffee table where the bong had been. “I spent everything. I liquidated myself completely – the house, the cars, the investments, the retirement – everything. I have nothing now but what’s in my head, the clothes on my back and that package right there.”

The young Teddy was resisting every urge to touch it, to pick it up and examine it. Instead, he said the obvious, “Why haven’t you taken it?”

“I thought about it,” Ted said, leaning back and putting his hands behind his head. “I could take it now at fifty and have twenty-five… thirty years of enjoyment, OR I could give it to myself when I was significantly younger and have an entire lifetime.” He looked at young Teddy and smiled. “And since yours was the only birthday where I could remember where I was at a particular time and place, here I am. And there you are.”

Teddy looked from the man to the plastic package, nervously, as the truth sunk in. “You want ME to…?”

“I sure do! Listen, it’s your twenty-first birthday – more significantly, if I hadn’t interrupted you, it would’ve been the first time you got laid with another man. (And it’s GREAT sex, too, by the way!) – so let’s up the ante by making it the day you became a Max-Man, as well.”

The boy was suddenly nervous. “I don’t know…”

“Don’t be afraid of it!” the older Ted said. “It’s the fantasy you’ve had your entire life – don’t pretend it isn’t! Like I don’t know the magazines you have stuck under your mattress. Like I don’t know what you think about when you masturbate. C’mon, Teddy, you got the tattoo…”

The boy glanced at the older man then quickly grabbed the package – he tore open the seal and revealed its contents: a hypodermic that seemed to be missing the needle, about four inches long.

“It’s an auto-syringe,” said Ted. “Put the end against your thigh and press the button. It’ll inject automatically.”

The boy released a heavy sigh – the sound of resolve, the older Ted knew – and stood up, stepping into the half-bath that was off the kitchen. He tried to move quickly, before he lost his nerve, and his hands were a little shaky. Setting the syringe on the edge of the sink, he opened his jeans, pulling them down over his ass to expose his upper thigh. Teddy fumbled with the syringe until he had it in place – here he was, living the fantasy of his life, and his dick was a little shriveled acorn from fear, nothing like in his fantasies, he noted absently – and pressed the button.

There was a “snap” as the mechanism released – Teddy felt a sharp prick, but it wasn’t so bad. After a second, he pulled the needle out and tossed it in the sink – no blood. “I did it,” he called to his older self, buckling his jeans as he stepped back into the living room.

His older self said, “I know,” but his voice didn’t sound quite right – it was deeper than it had been a moment ago. Huskier. When Teddy glanced up, he saw why.

The lean, gangly man that Teddy had met earlier was now a massive bodybuilder, bigger than the three-hundred pound freaks that were beginning to dominate the sport and the magazines. He was still bald – which mildly disappointed Teddy – and still had the same thick whiskers, but otherwise a completely different man physically. “Look, Teddy,” he said, flexing, “this is gonna be you in about an hour.”

“Oh my God…”

The freak stood and he walked over, his gigantic thighs barely getting around themselves – dressed differently, in a t-shirt and baggy gym shorts, flip-flops. With a smirk on his face – they were exactly the same height, only Teddy felt so much smaller – the elder Ted raised his arms in a double biceps pose. “These are gonna be your arms in about an hour, Teddy,” he said, his voice low like a big cat on the prowl. “Wanna feel ‘em?”

That was the moment Teddy’s cock came to life, the moment he touched his future biceps.

The bodybuilder pulled off his own t-shirt, tossing it aside, revealing his ripped torso, the oversized pecs, shoulders and traps, the tiny waist and the mind-bending abs. “These are gonna be your pecs,” he growled. “Feel these.”

Hypnotized, the boy ran his hand along the mounds, ran his fingers down the deep cleavage, barely touched the thick nipples – when the elder Ted gasped, the boy twitched nervously and pulled his hands away. “Sorry,” Teddy mumbled. Ted smirked.

“Let me show you something else,” the muscle-freak said, pulling down the front of his loose shorts. “This is gonna be your cock, Teddy.”

It was big – and getting bigger! Ted’s cock was easily ten or eleven inches soft and as it hardened before the both of them, Teddy could only think of Tom of Finland style drawings with the insane builds and the impossible genitals. How could you fuck anybody with that?

“That’s sucking a lot of blood from my brain,” Ted said, a light sweat breaking out on his forehead. “It’s getting harder to think about…” Then he grabbed the giant thing with both hands and started to masturbate. “Ah, fuck math…” he mumbled.

Teddy watched the three-hundred pound beast step out of his shorts and beat off, watching his muscle flex as he stroked, the whole time trying to come to terms with the idea he was watching himself. His own cock raged in his jeans as his future-self got off.

“C’mon, Teddy, beat off with me. You know you wanna – and worship totally gets me off! In the last thirty years, I’ve made quite a chunk of change doin’ it.”

Until that moment, Teddy had only seem images of bodybuilders, static pictures in magazines – he’d never seen one in real life, never experienced the mass, never felt the power and the life. He fell to his knees and tore his cock from his pants, eager to live this part out.

The older man was smooth, experienced – he had a whole routine, a banter that accompanied it. “Yeah, you like these big arms, don’t you, boy?” the older Ted murmured, alternating between posing and stroking. “Look at this thick horseshoe.” He hit a side-triceps shot, his cock sticking straight out and up, the infinity symbol tattoo strong on his shoulder. “Yeah, jerk your cock to my hot body, Teddy. Beat off to your future.” He bounced his massive pecs back and forth, keeping the boy’s attention as he stepped closer.

“Look at my big quad, Teddy.” It was right there in his face. “This one leg is as big as your entire torso, isn’t it, boy? But not for much longer… no more bird legs for you…”

Teddy was so close to shooting. Obviously, so was Ted. His cock was inches away from the boy’s ear and they were both stroking furiously as Teddy drooled over Ted’s thigh.

“Gonna shoot…” Teddy said, panting.

“Me, too,” grunted Ted. “Can’t focus on…”

They both orgasmed at the same moment – for Teddy, a huge, mind-blowing, fantasy-fulfilled orgasm. He groaned – and he was certain he heard Ted groan the same groan – they blended together. Teddy fell forward and closed his eyes, pumping out so much cum. He was surprised, frankly, that he hadn’t been bathed from Ted’s big dick – maybe a little disappointed, too.

Panting, he opened his eyes – and the big bodybuilder Ted was gone.

Where, literally a second ago, a three-hundred pound man stood inches from his face, there was now nothing. It was as if Teddy had knelt in the middle of his living room and jerked off alone – there was no evidence that anyone had joined him. The only cum was his, no discarded t-shirt… no abandoned shorts… A quick look revealed no wrapper on the coffee table…


In a bit of a curious panic, Teddy ran to the bathroom.

The syringe was gone, too.

He searched for it, becoming more and more desperate. He thought he’d tossed it in the sink, but maybe the waste can, maybe…

…maybe it hadn’t been real, he thought.

So his search became a little more scattered – if he could find ANY evidence, anything at all, then it wasn’t a fantasy, it wasn’t some weird trick of his mind – he scanned along the floor under the sink, behind the toilet, both inside the bath and out. Nothing, nothing and nothing.

Finally, he gave up.

Whatever it had been, it obviously hadn’t been real.

He looked at himself in the mirror, depressed again about his body, depressed about spending the next thirty years hating it, and even more depressed when he could find no evidence of an injection in his thigh. Wouldn’t that be something? Fucking tease fantasy.

Shitty birthday, Teddy.

But wait, hadn’t the guy said that Teddy would get laid tonight? Hadn’t he said that Teddy would have his first time? Hadn’t he said it would be rockin’ awesome?

That put the wind back in his sails a little – maybe THAT part had been true. It was still early, not quite ten o’clock – there was still plenty of time. He knew he could man-up and go in to the bar – if this night had given him nothing else, it had given him some confidence, the beginning of the understanding that his sexuality wasn’t bad. That’s certainly a good birthday present.

Just as Teddy was about to step out and meet his destiny, he got a sudden cramp in his stomach that drove him to his knees. “What the fuck…?” he mumbled, realizing that his cock was rock hard.

And then he started to grow…