Gone, Baby, Gone

Once upon a time, I went on a vacation.  I know, you’re thinking, “Just one?”  I’m thinking of a specific incident, but it’s my memory and I’m not sharing.  Anyway, this vacation was amazing.  I didn’t want it to end.  I didn’t cope well with it ending.  It was a… turbulent time in my life.  On the way home, I kept thinking that maybe I should have missed my return flight.  Days later, I would posit that, really, I didn’t come back.  Funny how you never know what you know.

Not long ago, I was reading the latest installment in my favorite series of books.  It has a kind of esoteric look at causality and time paradox and the main character is constantly struggling with his own sense of identity.  Small wonder that I like the character so much, right?

The main character in the story is mulling over meeting himself as a kid, and how it must no longer have happened because he didn’t remember doing it as an old man.  Weird.  The conclusion was that it was someone who looked like him, who had his scars, but that it was not him.  There were also iterations of himself floating around that were each treated as distinct entities.  The book described the situation as “raining weird.”  Apt.  Now, maybe I’m reading too much into things, but I had a thought.

The world is constantly changing.  Even if something so mundane as your work-week seems like it repeats itself, the details will always be different.  One day, the power might go out.  You’ll deal with it.  One day, there will be a firing or a hiring.  You’ll deal with it.  Running with the hiring example, after that day you will not only be you; you’ll also be the person who showed the rookie where the broom closet is.  Yeah, I know not every story can be exciting, but it will still have happened.  That version of you is bound to that time and place.  Every time you go anywhere or do anything, the you you are at that moment will be overwritten.

Every time I leave, you’ll never see me again.  You might see a guy who has a face like mine, and he may tell similar terrible jokes, but I never came back.

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