Author : Matt Brubeck

We’re in the Starbucks next to the club, hanging out after a show. Aaron looks up and gives a brief snort. “Check it out,” he says, nodding toward the door. I see a trio of young kids, studying the menu and trying to look cool. I recognize them from the crowd at the concert.

“Time travelers,” Aaron says through a mouthful of croissant. “New arrivals, I’m guessing.”

“What? I think they’re college students.”

“Look again.” Aaron’s eyes twitch toward the newcomers, then back to me. “Their clothes are totally ridiculous, like they were picked out of random fashion magazines from the last decade.”

“I thought they dressed like that because they’re hipsters,” I say, looking again at their off-brand sneakers and thrift-store sweatshirts.

“You know how you always see these kids in low-paying service jobs?” Aaron goes on. “Retail, food service. It’s because they don’t have time to learn the period knowledge they’d need for a trade or professional job. See, I’ve figured it out.” Aaron leans over the table, whispering. “Say you’re a rich kid from the future on wanderjahr. You’ve got a time machine, but what do you do with it? Great Moments In History aren’t going to impress your friends. But if you can see a classic band from the twenty-first century before they made it big?” Aaron raises his eyebrows syly. “Watch, I’m gonna go mess with them.”

Aaron washes his pastry down with a swig of coffee, then wanders over to talk to the trio. I can’t hear their replies, but Aaron’s voice carries across the room. “Weren’t you guys at the show? Oh yeah, I know… Did you see them play here last week? Oh man, it was probably their best set ever… Yeah, a real once in a lifetime thing… Yeah, cool… Hey, I gotta go.”

Back at our apartment, we unearth my camera and download the last month’s worth of photos onto Aaron’s laptop. Aaron flips through images until he finds what he’s looking for. “Got ’em,” he proclaims, handing me the computer. On the screen is a photograph from last month’s show. In the back of the club, next to the exit, a trio of hipsters stands in familiar outfits, holding paper cups marked with a distinctive green-and-black logo.

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