By Michael B. Wright of Tampa
It was time to renew my “pastport.” Seemed like I’d just done it less than a year ago. Just as well, I hated that photograph ; made me look like a criminal or a terrorist. Evidently others thought so too, since I’d often had my luggage searched at airports.
‘Click! Click! Click! Click!’ I had four pictures from which to choose. Naturally I went for the one that most resembled Sean Connery in Hunt for Red October.
I’m now on a northbound bullet train, taking me to visit someone very special, someone I’d not seen in over 40 years. Today is June 18th, and this is going to be the Father’s Day to end
all Father’s Days. I lean back and gaze out of the window. The countryside whizzes by so fast. It reminds me of a library visit a long time ago, when I scanned through newspapers on a microfilm projector, looking for an article. After fifteen minutes, I was dizzy to the point of nausea.
I close my eyes and drift back to my childhood. Dad and I are fishing together at Twin Lakes.
Next he’s letting me shoot an arrow using his big re-curve bow. That trip to the ‘Ice Follies’ in Cincinnati where I
got to see Hopalong Cassidy in-person. Now we’re off to my first Cub Scout Jamboree, where I had a part in the talent show.
I’m jostled out of my reverie by the C&C agent as he nudges me. They used to call them “conductors”, now it’s “Conductor and Customs.”
“Oh, certainly. Here you are.”
He punches it by hand, just like in the old days.
“Thank you Sir. And your pastport?”
I hand it to him, realizing we’ve slowed down and are approaching the terminal. We come to
a stop. I retrieve my bag and make my way towards the exit, looking out of each window as I pass.
There he is. Dad’s standing on the platform, looking just as I’d pictured him, maybe about twenty-five years old; fifteen years my junior. Not sure how to approach him, don’t want to frighten him. I just want to become friends and get to know him better. I must be very careful to not say or do anything that could possibly alter his future, or mine, for that matter.
Time-travel has its responsibilities.
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