Written by Ken Carman
Thanks for the inspiration, Ryan.-kwc
Saw myself again today. I was young, playing in the corner next to the old man. The old man looked confused as to where he was. He didn’t recognize me. Do I get that bad at that age? Must be: for I am him, and he is me.
The boy: me… was I that clueless then? Yes, I guess so. I could be an older brother. In a way, guess I am.
When I was young I remember being so confused. Who are these people who keep popping into my life, but no one else can see? I learned to say nothing: nothing at all. I learned not to tell the truth. Tell the truth and the “professionals” show up who think reality is the same for everyone.
In fact I think we all have our sense of reality. We may agree on what an orange tastes like, but transplant another set of taste buds into our mouths and we would get confused because it’s NOT the same. We just use the same words for different things. We come to think, because we use similar words, we all taste tastes exactly the same. But the only consistency is our own, and even that varies some.
My rooms, my days, my years are filled with myself. I live with various versions of myself every second. Sometimes five year old me is here, sometimes 87 year old me. I haven’t seen anyone beyond 87 so I can only assume…
They come. They go. They paint my days like art by Edwin Hopper. As I walk, go to work, go to the beach, talk to my wife: they’re here. It’s like having many conversations going on in my head, only they’re not in my head. They’re walking around me. Sitting where there are no chairs, swimming where there’s no water. I can only assume they are where they are: swimming, driving, sitting, and I look just as strange to them doing what I’m doing as they do to me.
There’s a coffee shop we all like to visit on a side street, in a little river town, up the Hudson from the big city. When I go there there’s always at least one of me. Sometimes we wave as discreetly as we can, sometimes we ignore each other and, sometimes, we just look in each others eyes, knowing all we know about each other: but knowing we dare not say.
We have tried to warn each other about what is about to happen: what has happened for the other… but either time changes because we attempted to warn each other, or perhaps we live in different realities. Maybe these are also different timelines. All I know is when we try to warn each other what was so bad doesn’t happen: but something a lot worse does.
Maybe: just maybe… if we had enough time we could figure it all out. And we have so much more time than so many other folks. But there’s never enough time, is there?
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