"God DAMNIT!" Drew yelled in frustration. They stared furiously at their new phone, stabbing their finger at the screen over and over again.
"You will do what I want!" Stab. Stab. Stab. "Shit!" Fling.
They hurled the recalcitrant phone across the room, remembering at the last moment to aim for the soft pillows on the bed.
Phones ain't cheap.
"Okay," they said, trying to take long, slow breaths to enhance their calm. "You're a fucking API programmer at a Fortune 500 company. Logic is your jam. Work the problem. Find a solution."
Drew called into work sick for a month, went to the library, and checked out every book they could on theoretical physics, quantum mechanics, wormhole action, torsion physics, synchronicity, and chaos theory. They read through Claude Shannon's work on mathematics and came across his quote stating, "We may have knowledge of the past but cannot control it; we may control the future but have no knowledge of it."
"Fuck off, Claude," they whispered as they pushed the button on their time machine. They went back to 1889 France, broke into a pub, stole half a dozen bottles of absinthe, broke into Saint-Paul-de-Mausole Asylum, gave the absinthe to Van Gogh after he promised to paint Starry Night with more muted colors because they couldn't figure out how to darken the picture of it they wanted to use on their lock screen, then time-traveled back home.
The next day Drew sat with her coworkers in the cafeteria, lazily pushing around a walnut-lentil bolognese with their fork while flipping between two pictures on their phone.
"Still can't find a good lock screen pic?" asked Ted, a middle manager from Accounting.
"I really thought Starry Night would be it," they sighed, "but I think I might go with The Scream..." flip "...or The Persistence of Memory..." flip "...instead."
"Huh," said Ted. "Those melt-y clocks are cool, but there's too much brown in it."
"Yeah," Drew said, a small smile tugging at the corners of their lips. "Too much brown."