There are two time machines before me: one goes to the past and one goes to the future…which one should I enter?
Because I’m scared of finding utter disappointment in my future, I would definitely go with the past model. Why? Because the past is where all of my most cherished memories reside; I had one of the funnest, happiest childhoods that seemed to never want to end. It would be comforting to see my two grandmas and grandpa once more. When they were around my life was pure content and innocence with no worries at all. The smell of brunch in the morning, grandpa cooking up his delicious waffles, eggs, sausage, and cutting up vegetables in front of us kids like a master chef. Grandma H serving our favorite mac and cheese hot from the nuke, preparing her creamy jello, spread sandwiches, and cutting up musk melon as she called cantaloupe. My other grandma and her ice cold glasses of tea always sitting on the end table that I could never get enough of, her wide assortment of beanie babies, her loving, calm demeanor that made myself at home. She would be sitting in the corner in her old yellow chair with the texture of rough trousers and watch over me while the rest of the family was away. There I would be, in the wood paneled dining room, playing with the toys from the box or trying so hard to get a yard stick to stand upright on the floor. To this day, my mom teases me about that. I came extremely close to accomplishing the feat though yesterday.
There are a number of things that I would change if I could ride the slipstream of time into yesteryear. For one thing, I would definitely get into sports more and not be scared to fight for the ball; baseball would be the one sport I would set out to excel myself in. Oh, yes…there’s a HUGE advantage to going into the past. I would be able to know the answers to the all the tests and every piece of homework I’ve ever witnessed…surely getting perfect marks with ease – knowing the inside scoop on the ACT/SAT would jump my original score up by at least a couple points and U of M here I come! Or maybe I shoot for the stars and go for an Ivy League school? It’s fun to dream.
What exactly does this time machine look like? Is it a phone booth, souped up DeLorean, or The Time Machine itself? Can I wear it on my wrist or unravel and set it on the ground? Is it egg shaped? Hot tub shaped?
But I could do so much more with this revolutionary invention. I could go back to significant events and fine tune them in my favor. There’s the sports scores I could predict ahead of time, like having my very own Grays Sports Almanac, becoming a very rich man in the process but not after some skepticism and investigation by the police and every higher up intelligence group this side of SVU. My friends would be amazed, my many servants obedient, my many wives the ever more adventurous and exuberant – yup, I would be a regular Hefner in the Playboy mansion, probably contracting every single viral infection known in the universe.
Would I dare try to stop September 11 from happening? Well, there’s the pros and cons to doing that. The pros are that obviously over 2,000 people would still be living, but the bad side is that America would not be prepared for future, imminent terrorist attacks and or have improved security measures. bin Laden would still be out there, angrier than ever that his diabolical plans were futile and would surely cook up something even more sinister. I touched up on this issue in a post of mine a long time ago called A Two Way Mirror of Events, that talked about various alternate universe outcomes. Mostly opinions and guesses but some of those predictions are extremely plausible.
But why am I just telling you, I should just go and do it of course?
Okay, so I have decided to use my time device and set the year to 1991 when I was born, transporting myself back to this same exact spot, on the floor by the wall, on this same October evening 23 years ago. Only there is no floor here, not even a house; I’m lying face down in a field of crabgrass and prickly weeds, hand sunk in wet mud; I feel a worm crawling up my finger. My mobile home park has not been built yet as well as everything by the main county road going by it. Somewhere, about ten miles away, my newborn self is crawling on the floor, a helpless, innocent being with my dad and mom watching him curiously. What marvelous and incredible things could I tell him if he could possibly understand me? Or would I tell my mom and dad, not saying I was their son of course, to not split up in 2002 and stay together just a little longer? I think I’ll pull myself out of this quarry and head for them, maybe not going inside the house but just observing it from the outside, watching surreal events unfold again from an entirely new point of view. My life story at the very beginning. I might follow this journey of mine for many years, observing and recording things that were not readily apparent to me while I was there and maybe slipping some advice along to my past tense, helping him avoid and learn to overcome troubles and adversities that he would ultimately come face to face with.
Congrats! You’re the owner of a new time machine. The catch? It comes in two models, each traveling one way only: the past OR the future. Which do you choose, and why?
– That is still not going to stop the savvy hacker from jail breaking and making it go both ways!