I have always been fascinated by time travel. One of the first stories I remember writing in grammar school was about a boy who traveled back in time, only to wake up in bed, thinking it was a dream. Then, in his pants pocket, he found a rock he’d picked up in the past … and knew, it was no dream. I thought it was very original. Teacher? Not so much … C+. Time travel enables so many interesting plot lines. You can encounter your elder self in Looper or your parents as children in Back to the Future. It can bring together interesting personalities that never actually met, like Picasso, Einstein and Elvis Presley in Picasso at the Lapin Agile. It raises questions of whether the past could be changed by a time traveler and what unforeseen effects such changes might have. It raises philosophical questions regarding immortality, since, if we can travel back to see those long passed, aren’t they still alive in some sense? Hmmm.
Yes, this is Top Sites Tuesday Number 237 and ruminations on immortality seem a bit too serious for my Two Thoughts on Tuesday. So let’s lighten it up with Thought Number One in the form of a question: If you had a time machine that worked only once … round trip, of course … where would you go? Or more properly, when would you go? Would you try resolve a weighty question by going back to witness the life of Jesus or even the creation of the universe? Or would you resolve a simpler mystery, some faintly remembered event from your childhood or a partially told tale about your parents? Would you try to learn something … or do something … that would benefit you when you returned? Be careful … remember what happened to Marty McFly when he tried to use sports results from 1985 to win money back in 1955 in Back to the Future II. Would you change that critical decision in your life and risk the unknown effects as in Peggy Sue Got Married or would you try to change history by preventing a tragedy, as Jake Epping did in Stephen King’s 11/23/63? Lightening up the subject of time travel may be harder than I thought.
Unless, of course, you have a time machine like mine. Unlike Marty McFly’s DeLorean-based time machine, mine resides in a metallic gray 2007 Acura. It doesn’t require a flux capacitor or 1.21 gigawatts of energy. All it requires is an AUX plug for my smartphone so I can play my mp3s. It doesn’t have to go 88 mph for the time jump to occur but it does work better if I’m cruising down a back road at fifteen miles over the speed limit with the sunroof open. Or eighty on the freeway will do if the traffic is light. It works parked in my favorite place in our park, too, as long as I close my eyes (not advisable on back roads or freeways). It is absolutely essential that the volume be turned up to window shaking levels … 1.21 gigawatts, even. If I put on Little Anthony’s Tears on my Pillow, I’m suddenly in my Dad’s turquoise and white Buick Special, headed to a dance at East Haven High. If it’s the Supremes’ My World is Empty Without You, I’m back at UConn … Muri and I have broken up but I’m still hopeful We Can Work It Out. Play the Fifth Dimension’s Age of Aquarius and I’m cruising to work on East Main Road in Portsmouth, RI, with the top down on my red Fiat Spyder. I’m newly married and love my job. I own the freakin’ world. If I put on Chicago’s Saturday in the Park, it’s 1973 … we’re headed to San Diego to spend the weekend with our best friends, Don and Jackie. And here’s Thought Number Two: the best thing about my time machine is that I can’t screw up the present by messing with the past.
I’d like to hear your thoughts in my comments section and I’d appreciate it if you’d click my button … gently … to make me Number One on Top Sites Tuesday #237. Now, excuse me … I’m off to my first date with Muri. It’s a Saturday night at Beta Sigma Gamma fraternity, the room is decorated like the Playboy club and we’re likely drinking Pink Megatons. The song?
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