Sunday, November 4, 2012

This may be unsettling...

Not what it seems       I felt like cheering when I heard my friend explain that her husband’s operation was successful.

“He can wear a 60 long suit now!”

She gleamed. Not so many years ago, her 6’ 9” mate had worn suits sized 74 and 76. Thanks to a rigorous diet, numerous surgeries, and an unshakable faith, he, a popular minister, had lost four hundred and fifty of his 800 pounds! In a very real sense, I shared their triumph.

“He’ll lose eighty more pounds,” she explained.

I believe her. And him; I always have. In the years I’ve known them, I’ve witnessed their remarkable determination, often death defying.

Thoughts of them woke me early this morning. As I opened my eyes, I was startled as I stared at a reflection on the near wall, a shadow cast by the light of my computer and shaped by my denim jacket draped on a chair in front of my PC.

I blinked. What I saw was a face caught in a state of shock, a dark gasp more real looking than the grandfather of Grandfather Mountain, a silhouette that matched Munch’s “Scream”.

Normally, that wouldn’t have been unsettling, even on Halloween. But this early a.m., I still felt the influence of a recorded book I’d been hearing, Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife. Its spooky hero, Henry, travels in time.

The way Henry does that results in fractured perspectives that, well, defy even the suspended perspective on which science fiction relies. He travels forward and backward in time, often seeing himself or his wife-to-be before she has actually met him. If that doesn’t sound confusing, please let me know. I’ll loan you my copy of the book.

And I may also tell you about the time I saw a flying saucer; for me it was a mind-bending and conscious-altering experience.

But first, you’d have to convince me you’re a believer in things others may regard too strictly as being unbelievable.

That seems to be a box I jumped out of long ago.

                                                         B. Koplen 11/4/12

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