Friday, October 14, 2016

"Long Distance"

I have an idea for two little stories. In one I buy an old rotary phone at a flea market. I take it home plug it in, and dial my childhood phone number.

My Mom answers.

Time has twisted on itself somehow via the mixture of old, and new phone technologies, and patched me through to 1960. So there I am with my Mommy on the line. Our phone lines stretching 55 years to connect us.

I haven't taken this plot further. I think I'm afraid to.

In another story I'm on the train to Hollis Queens. I get off at the Hollis stop, and notice that winter has turned to spring.

The platform has shed forty seven years.

Men wear brimmed hats, and all the ladies are in dresses. The streets are fresh, the buildings seem newer, and the cars have fins. According to the newsstands Kennedy is President, and Elvis is still King.

The MTA has delivered me to 1962.

My dear, and long departed Aunt Sybil lives here. We always called her "Mum". No one remembers why. Just as we don't know how my sister became "Cookie".

Anyway back then this part of Queens was still sweet. I'd forgotten how lovely it was before the city swallowed it up. It's so long ago that it's cycled back to "Sweet". I walk to Auntie's house. I ring her bell, she opens the door.

"Hi Mum" I quietly say.

She knows who I am at once, and invites me in. I pour my heart out to her just as I did as a lad. She cooks as she listens.

I'm "almost an old man" I tell her. I'm "tired, sad, and confused". "The 21st century is a cruel, and bitter place". I can't find the strength to keep faith with all she, and my Mother had taught me. She listens, and comforts, and instructs as only she could.

I mention our going to the Moon then stopping. Never it seems to return. She smiles as I describe our little robots driving around on Mars, crashing into rocks, and flipping over into ditches. I tell her about our Negro President. She nods thoughtfully.

I spend an afternoon in 1962 with Auntie. Back there when our biggest problems were merely nuclear wars, and racial integration.

Such an innocent time it was.

After a wonderful meal, and helpful words I leave my version of Heaven. Mum keeps our trans temporal meeting her secret.

53 years to the day later my cousin, Mum's only surviving son, hands me a sealed note.
Yes, It's from my dear Auntie. She set it aside to be delivered to me years after her death.

What does it say?

I don't know.

I haven't opened it yet.

( "Mum" is the Aunt at the top of the photo.)

...the others L/R are my Aunt Elaine, and Aunt Agnes.

Stay Tuned.

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