This is my machine, dammit, and now that I’ve finally built it, I’m going to make a tweak that will have unquestionably positive effects on my life’s trajectory.

Don’t be mad at me. I really did intend to kill baby Hitler when I was building this device, but the collectors just would not stop calling. Despite the lucrative job I have as a literal time-machine-maker — the only one in the world with this knowledge — I still can’t make a dent in these student loans. And Navient calls me every fricking day.

What makes matters even worse is that I’m really good with numbers. They’re kind of my thing. So trust me when I say that I’ve run every calculation under the sun to find a way to pay these student loans off.

Unfortunately, it all comes back to just one solution: the only way I’ll ever get out of my student loans is to use a time machine to kill myself before I can ever sign up.

That’s not to say that baby Hitler shouldn’t be killed. Or stopped, at least.

I do wonder if there are alternate methods or points of his life we could drop in on and make little tweaks. Without the whole straight-up murdering a baby angle?

Maybe we pop in before he goes with that mustache choice? Give him a little shrug. A lightly audible “eh” just to let him know we’re not crazy about it. Who knows, we could even try to catch him before he gets really into meth. I’m not sure. That’s for whoever goes in after me to figure out.

Also, could the folks hanging out at the base of Vesuvius use a little heads up that shit is about to get wild for them? Sure. But that lava blanket has nothing on these interest rates.

It’s killing me not to hop in here and go kick Mark David Chapman in the dick on the Upper West Side. But there’s something equally cruel about listening to John Lennon’s incredible new single from 2021 as I log in to the student loan portal for my monthly flogging.

Sure, these six-figure (and growing) loans are the reason I could pursue an English degree. And the reason I was lucky enough to have $5000 worth of textbooks I just bought from the campus store fall on my head and put me into a coma for ten years where I’d emerge with the secret to time travel, but I’m not sure it was even worth it anymore.

Of course, I’ve spent countless nights staring at my creation. Imagining how cool it would be to stroll down a town in the Wild West. Kick open a saloon door and strut in. Slap a coin on the table for a shot of whiskey.

But you know what is even better and far more outlandish for me to imagine? Money. Like, having it and all of that stuff. Just kind of having even some of it after I’ve given away over half of my monthly income away to student loans.

Hell, if I get this job done, I won’t even ever have known what this experience even feels like to begin with.

Now that is what time travel was built for.

I’ve loaded up my gear and closed the hatch. It’s almost go time. The guys sending me away think that when they press the button, I’ll be off to 19th-century Austria. But they have no clue that I’ve actually rewired it to send me to a small rental home in lower-middle-class America around the same time that Hogan Knows Best was hitting televisions.

In their minds, I’m about to follow the plan. The one we’ve worked on for years. Bust in, grab lil’ baby Hitler, and toss him into der mülleimer.

Too bad, where I’m going, there won’t be any baby Hitler in sight. Just a stoned kid sitting beneath a 311 poster, pen in hand, about to hurriedly sign away the rest of his life so he can pull the DiGiorno out of the oven before it burns.

And I’m going to stop that little bastard before he can ruin both of our lives forever.