Note: I originally wrote this story May 28, 2007. But considering its quality, the fact that only ten people read it the first time around and that nobody around here has any idea what to update this site with anymore, I’m reposting it a second time around. Enjoy!
There’s this song playing right now. I don’t understand the words to it, and I’m not even sure if I really like it all that much, but my mind is made up: I want this song to be played at my funeral. Not that I plan on dying anytime soon.
I always hear this song when I walk down the street, past the group of homeless people who gather by the shopping center (on the corner, right by Mac’s Bar and the music store that closed two years ago). At some point in time, whether it was before or after he had entered homelessness, one of these people had gotten ahold of a beat-up old boombox. The only thing he played in it was a two-sided cassette tape that had the same song recorded on both sides. Why he only listened to that song, or why nobody ever put up a protest I’ll never know.
These people are Time Travelers, they tell anyone who asks. They’ve seen the far reaches of the cosmos. They’ve met creatures you couldn’t even imagine. They’ve learned languages you couldn’t understand. They’ve fought in wars more violent and hellish than any war on Earth. Or so they say.
They hang around in the streets for a while, then disappear for almost a month. Upon their return, the men are clean shaven, and everyone is wearing a change of clothing. They never ask anyone for change. They don’t prophesize the End of the World. They’ve never hurt anybody, although the bored and confused Suburban Youth have and do beat these people with baseball bats.
I would never want to be in their position. Yet I find myself wanting to drop everything in my life to become one of them. I want to know where they go; and why they go. I want to believe, for lack of a better term, that these people actually are Time Traveling Astronauts who go on amazing adventures.
But then my mind snaps back to Reality.
My cell phone rings. The person on the other end is The Only Woman I’ve Ever Proposed To. I didn’t even have romantic feelings for her, and vice versa. It was just a spur of the moment thing: I was sitting at a Mexican bar, eating nachos with a couple of friends, when I suddenly called her and asked her to be my wife. She laughed at me and told me she would think about it, which hurt me for some reason. Nobody ever has to think about anything if they want to do it. They’re not thinking about what you’ve asked them; they’re thinking of a good excuse, a reason to say No.
Anyways. This is the first time in over a year she’s called me. We see each other all the time, but we just never call one another. We chat about nothing. How are you? What are you doing now? Know of any good parties? She wants to get drunk, and so do I, now that I think about it. It’s only two in the afternoon, but since when has time ever stopped kids from getting a few drinks? I’m most certain that this is indicative of a problem. I’m also most certain that I don’t care.
I tell her to grab any liquor she can (that being none) and meet me by the shopping center. We’ve got places to go.