Happy Sunday kids. I’ve got a prompt post that was issued by yours truly. I shared it with the two other members of the Holy Trinity, The Notorious Q at A Dalectable Life and KC Sunshine at Table For One, so’s they could join in the fun if they feel like it. It’s simple as Simon, really. Take yourself back to the year 1985 (Yes, it’s a hat tip to Zemeckis) and explain to someone from that time what 2018 looks like. My post went in an entirely different direction than I was expecting it to go, so there’s not as much in the way of details as I imagined there might be. This post became about perspective, and how valuable a thing it truly is.
I’m speaking on the particulars with my old friend Danny, who was taken from the world in the summer of 1985. It was much too soon for him. It was much too soon for all of us. Life always seems to steal the people you can least afford to live without, and now I find myself picking up the pieces of years that never happened and piecing them back together again as if a mosaic. Thirty three years that feel like a smoky mist.
“It’s been so long . . ” I say.
“Well . . I don’t understand time the same way you do. This is eternity, the shit lasts forever . . like velcro,”
“Yeah, how does that work anyways?”
“Velcro?” Danny asks with a sly grin.
“No . . . asshole,”
Danny laughs before tapping open a box of Reds. He wrist shots his Zippo torch and takes an elaborate tug as he ponders my question.
“What? You smoke now?”
“It can’t kill me,” Danny laughs.
“Hey, remember the time . . .”
“Yeah I do,” Danny says, cutting me off at the pass. “I was never so sick in my life!”
“You never forgave Joanne for that shit,”
“She gave this impressionable young pup the run of her Daddy’s wet bar and her pack of smokes. That girl was bad news, but you wouldn’t listen,”
“Hey man, that was your fucking lesson to learn. The dude who never smokes or drinks, decides Hey why not do both in the same night because I don’t know any of the girls here and maybe vomiting all over myself will make me look more appealing,”
“Screw . . . you, man!” Danny laughs so hard that he spits.
“I can’t believe Patti asked about you after that,” I say.
“Marc . . it’s like this. The bad boys appealed to her, but she was in need of a good man,”
“Well played!” I say, clapping my hands exaggeratedly as Danny takes his bows.
“So . . did Patti take it hard? Me dying and all?”
“We all did,”
“I’m talking about Patti here,”
“She never married. She became a nun,”
“Of course I’m not fucking serious!” I laugh.
“No respect for the dead, tell you what,” Danny smiles.
“Things went from horrible to worse after you died. There was a grand jury investigation. Me and Matt went off the deep end there for a while and Shereen moved to Florida. I followed her there for a quick minute,”
“It’s all frying pans and fires with you!” Danny says.
“Name of my game, and I’m the one to blame,”
“Okay, since I’ve been lousy with the details since I left, seeing as how they don’t matter any longer . . what’s say you give me some dope on the state of the world. Was Orwell right?”
“Yes and no. Technology is a high wire act in 2018. We use it for everything while hoping we never reach the point where it starts using us. That old Tandy computer you had . . it done made babies. There’s a thing called the internet, and now you can chat with people from around the world. And it’s all about mobility now . . we carry our computers with us and they fit in a small bag. Not that we need ’em all the time, since our phones do everything,”
“You carry your phones?”
“Landlines are antiques. Water fountains too since everyone uses bottled water now. Newspapers and magazines and pizza delivery . . you get it on your mobile devices. We even have Dick Tracy watches!”
“Who’s the President?”
“Yanno . . that doesn’t sound nearly as ridiculous to you as it truly is. Okay . . lemme try harder. America’s Dad, Bill Cosby is a convicted rapist serving time. Joe Paterno, turns out . . wasn’t a Saint. He was taken down in a child rape cover-up at the school. Communism died, and then it came back as something even scarier. Terrorist attacks are happening all over the world, all the time. Kids don’t fight after school anymore, they just brings guns in and kill other kids,”
“Alright . . shit. Sorry I asked,”
“The world’s in a very shitty place, Danny boy,”
“Nah. The world’s just fine, Marc. It’s just some of the people in it who rearrange the furniture and mess up the entire living space,”
“Fucking stardust has game! You were never this philosophical on the A side of things,”
“That’s what eternity will do to a guy,”
“Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of good. We had a black President. The internet has made the world smaller, and for the most part, warmer. And while Prince, Bowie and Freddie Mercury went much too soon, their music is still kicking,”
“See? Good shit happens if you take the time to look for it,”
“You’ve got perspective,”
“Well, I remember all the good times. There’s this one night, we were heading home. We had summer jobs waiting on us in the morning and Marianne decides that going into town is the greatest idea ever. It was closing in on midnight and it was breaking the rules, and nothing made more sense in that moment”
“Shit, I forgot all about that . .”
“I think about it all the time. Going over the Queensboro and the city was just getting down to business, and we were listening to Queen and screaming our lungs out and chasing forever and it didn’t matter that we were never gonna catch it. All that mattered was the try,”
I don’t have the heart to tell him that the city he remembers ain’t there anymore. And it doesn’t matter, now. All that matters is the moment he’s holding onto, and all I know is this.
I want in.