I think about a world to come where the books were found by the golden ones, written in pain, written in awe by a puzzled man who questioned, "What are we here for?" All the strangers came today and it looks as though they're here to stay.

-David Bowie "Oh! You Pretty Things"

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Retcon Files: Lovewarp

Sometimes (Plug your ears: I'm about to destroy a metaphor) it is necessary to put the wagon in front of the horse, if only temporarily. Without figurative language, perhaps this will make more sense. I think a person would be a fool not to imagine possible futures. I don't think it's idiotic, for example, to imagine being happy with a woman for the rest of my life after dating her for a matter of months. I am one of many lovers who has seen this beautiful reality in his mind's eye. As a result, I've said time and again that time travel is likely to be invented by someone who is in love. This is the occasion of the newest installation of Retcon Files, because when your future is full to the brim with love a desire arises to fill the past with the same.

I met Amy the same evening I returned to Michigan for the summer. As a result I saw that the entire span of my life from birth to mid-May in 2010 had been empty of that strange passionate certainty that I felt the first time I saw her. The feelings I have for Amy are such that I can put aside my desire to preserve the space-time continuum in order to change this fact, to extend the influence of Amy into my past. The thing about shattering space-time for the sake of romantic ideas is that you need to choose the right place and time for your travels. I would be a fool if I knocked on Amy's door in 1996 only to find that she was on vacation. The embarrassment would last only until reality itself collapsed, which probably wouldn't take too long. In order to avoid unnecessary cataclysm I would travel back in time to my brother Micah's middle school talent show, a memory Amy and I have shared on several occasions. From two different vantage points, we watched Micah walk out into the crowd sporting shiny rock star pants, playing his electric bass with a wireless setup.

Now that my hypothetical self has traveled back in time to this talent show, I quake at the idea of destroying time. That would mean I'd destroy the Amy-future that started this whole thing. And a bunch of other things, I guess. But I've gone all this way back in time. I've got to do something. I pull myself aside and tell past me, "You're going to fall in love some day and it's going to last as long as you live. Oh, by the way, I'm future you. The woman of your dreams is in this very room. You don't get to meet her yet, but she's coming. All those girls who break your heart - you don't have to cry over them. You're one of the few who gets a happy ending to his story. So, be happy." Past-me walks away confident in love, but frustrated that even future-me is incapable of growing cool facial hair.

On second thought, I think I'd tell my mom. Even though past-me was an X-Files fan (First run!), he would be far too skeptical of future-me. My mom, however, would recognize me immediately. That's how well she knows me. Thinking further, I've concluded that future-me already went back in time and talked to my mom. I feel certain of this because I was once completely destroyed following a difficult break-up with my first love, and my mom was so sure that I'd find someone better. She knew that if a woman broke up with me, she wasn't The One, and the only possible consequence was that I'd find someone better. I used to wonder how my mom could see this as so obvious. The most logical explanation I can come up with is that her son from the future told her. Neither Amy or I knew we'd meet. Thank goodness someone did.

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