Author: Mark Joseph Kevlock

“They all came to see me: the man who could age — or de-age — at will. They all thought it was a trick. When you reach one hundred years of age, the body becomes elastic, the flesh conforms to the soul. If I thought myself a ten-year-old, I became such again, as I had once been. The body remembers its past, catalogues its every phase for later retrieval. If, boy, you know how. That’s why I’m tellin’ you all this: to teach you. You can’t learn if you don’t believe. So believe. The universe won’t let me die until I pass on its secrets. There’s a train coming at midnight down the celestial tracks. I mean to be on it, boy. So time is short. Listen again. They made me the main attraction. Even my fellow performers said I had six relatives, stashed in the wings, poppin’ up on cue. They didn’t believe, either. Happened right in front of them. They thought they were hypnotized somehow. The real secret to the transformation is in grabbin’ a memory, not lettin’ go. Fear attaches itself to failure in all human endeavors. Just don’t be afraid, boy. Let old Malcolm Manchester perform for ya’ one last time. Here it goes… I’m thinking of springtime up on the roof. Suburban beginnings, before I ran away to join the circus. Thirteen years of dreaming ready to explode its seed, shower the landscape of this crummy town. And… voila! Presto chango! Look at me, boy. I’m younger ‘n you. Soprano again. My body ain’t forgot. Time unwinds, before the power of the human will. Wait, now. Feel those tracks, gettin’ up a vibration? I can’t miss that train, boy. Won’t be another for some time. Heaven’s Own Special. ‘Course you can’t feel it comin’. You have a century plus before your train arrives. I hit a hundred and discovered my talent. Thought about quitting when I was ninety-eight. A long time to wait for something to happen in one’s life. Hey, look at me now. I’m seventy-three. Still a child, though, in the places it counts. At seventy-three I clambered back upon that same suburban rooftop over my family home. The world gets older if you live long enough to perceive it. The eras try to leave you behind. Don’t fall for that linear nonsense, boy. If you lived in outer space, what time would it be? What seasons would change? I’m hearin’ a hum. Lucky thing, got my bags packed. Before I go, you’ll have to show me. Demonstrate that you’ve learned, mastered my elementary parlor trick. Try it now. Pull down your courage… and show the world your wonder. Hurry up. Once the moment passes, you never get another just like it. I put in a word for you under the big top. Gave you a recommendation as my protege. Let’s see somethin’ I won’t believe. Wait, I’m thirty-nine now, playing with toys on the floor. I just saw Santa Claus. What’s that, boy? The power to set wishes free? Good choice. Wishing is half of reality. My wish? To bring out the children inside of us. Children of all ages. Stand back, here she comes. I’m ten years old. I’ll never get any older. I can roll like a boulder down a hillside and never break a bone. The train doesn’t stop, boy. You gotta run to catch it. You gotta leap on board and never miss. My legs will carry me anywhere. See ya’, boy, at the end of the line.”