Time travel. The ultimate fantasy aside from, of course, acquiring superhero powers. To join in the adventures Dr. Who, Bill and Ted, Marty McFly, Sherman and Mr. Peabody. Just climb in that DeLorean, generate 1.21 gigawatts from Mr. Fusion, get up to 88 mph and get the party started.
I kind of time travel through old pictures. I’m fascinated by old pictures. Like almost obsessively. It’s so easy to get lost in the sparkling eyes of a pretty young girl with bouncing curls from a century ago. Marvel at the perfection of a handsome young Civil War soldier in a Matthew Brady photograph. And wonder…
I was lucky I didn’t get arrested a few weeks ago. I was taking pictures in a public restroom. In the stall. There are names for people like me, I think. But I couldn’t resist this picture. So many happy young women. So many hopeful smiles. So much life and energy. So many years ahead of them. And not one of them is alive today. Talk about a buzz kill.
I wonder if they aged gracefully. If they married and had children. If they died young. If any were gay. If they had careers. If life gave them roses or lemons – probably a bit of both – and how they did with that. If they were struck down with Alzheimer’s or cancer, or allowed the grace of a full, long, lucid life.
Can you see it in their eyes? The joy and hope and light that only blissful ignorance can bestow on the young. Paradise of sorts.
I smile when I look at this picture. Crankity McCranker (my alter ego) disappears for a while. They take me back to a younger me. To a time when we all thought anything was possible and the book of life had barely been started. The ink was still wet in the preface. They had no way to look but forward. No regrets yet.
I wonder what advice they would give a younger me. And if I climbed into that DeLorean today, what words of wisdom would I share with them? They probably wouldn’t believe me anyway. You just have to live it, don’t you?
So don’t forget to bring your camera into a public bathroom stall. You never know what treasure lies within…
Just don’t get caught.