Author : Edward Morris

This is actually me then, writing now. I looked into my own eyes in the Instamatic snapshot I found, and switched places. The man that was sitting here has gone back then, just for a few hours this morning.

Oh, he’ll return, don’t get me wrong. So will I. But this is what we both needed, hungered for. When I was him, I wanted to see this far ahead. I said it would sow the seeds of faith in the fallow, fertile soil of my endless head that just wanted to be up and gone.

When he was me, he scoffed in my ear, “This here bag I’m holding now is just full of seeds. Stems, too. And very little else. I wish you the best, but I hate to tell ya the planting’s gonna be a disappointment this spring, Farmer John… But have a good time at it.” His snaggle-toothed smile looked sick. “Have a good time trying.”

Yet he’s just as naïve as me! I could tell he wanted to walk out into that green world that was, where Hope had yet to twist and grow bitter on the tree. There were many who cared and had gone from his When, but not mine.

“Park your ass at home,” I told him wearily. “It won’t be there long. You and Joe Matko… Yes, stop looking at me like that, call him… You can figure out someplace else to vent that dryer. This is an old house, and that vent could go up like a rocket, the way it’s made.Then you apply to Columbia. Then you’ve got some *real* work to do…”

I moved away and let him jump back into our past. And now I sit, and wait, and wait for the change. In the other room, a woman I don’t know hits the snooze button for the alarm on a tiny computer-phone thing I don’t understand.


For Harlan Ellison

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