Friday, April 29, 2011


She walks slowly across the young man's room
She said I'm ready for you
Why can't I remember anything to this very day?
Except the look, the look
You know where
Now I can't see, I just stare
     --Pearl Jam, Alive

He went back in time.

Surprising, really.

If he had befriended a genie, played with some wishes, or if he took better notes during Star Trek, it might make at least a bit of sense. But no. Truth is, he didn’t know how he got there. Or exactly when. Maybe he was napping. Dreaming. But that tight blue carpet under his feet sure didn’t feel like a dream.

And there he was. His young self. Sitting on the bed across the room.

Was he reading? Pondering? Sulking?

Clearly, the boy didn’t feel eyes on him from across the room. That lamp didn’t carve away very many shadows.

But there the fuck he was.


Here was the proverbial moment. The thing people wished for. Here on a polished platter. That moment when he could take himself aside and speak the GREAT WISDOM. The LESSONS OF LIFE. He could tell himself what not to do, what mistakes to avoid, and what people he'd be better off not knowing. He could FIX THINGS.

But he didn’t move towards the boy. His heart just pounded. Fast.

Because there was no wisdom. There was nothing to say. What the fuck had he really learned anyway?

Boy, it's actually worse than you realize. Sorry. Have a nice day.

Face it. He couldn’t be a father to himself. Or a mentor. Or a friend.

He would just go back. Leave the kid to his own thoughts. Let him muck it up. But that damned genie wasn’t showing up. Or that Star Trek episode.

If he did have a wish or two, maybe he could conjure up his elderly self (assuming he lived that long). Maybe THAT dude would finally have something inspiring to say.

Then again, that was a crock. That boy was stuck there.

He should just tell him to get those skills sharpened up faster. Get cracking.

There was a lot of work to do, and he could use the help.


the walking man said...

I have to say that pretty much covers the entirety of that issue. The kid had to grow into what it is he is to become. Ever it has been, ever it will be.

Lee said...

Begs the question would you really do it any differently???

February Grace said...

Brilliant. Just love this (of course anything time travel related gets my attention, but it still takes a lot to hold it. This held it and I'll think about it for a long time...)


Anonymous said...

Walking Man, yes, maybe that's the truth of it.

Lee, yes, and both questions beg answers. However, they're so daunting. There's no doubt that I would make adjustments. It's hard to unwind your whole existence from bigger things, though. Another path might be a disaster.

Bru, glad to see you out and about! Life only seems to get more complex, not less.

Terri said...

Fantastic! Talk about a life-changing moment. Me? I'd have so much to say I'd get Little Me to write it all down. Not to do things differently, but to look at things a different way, perhaps.

Anonymous said...

Terri, that would be good advice. The stories we tell ourselves make all the difference.