Vivid flashbacks are something to avoid. However, I found over the last decade that a few movies and television shows tend to trigger some incredibly real flash temporal relocations; I feel like I’m in the process of being transported. One of these was an early episode of the Incredible Mrs. Maisel. Unfortunately, it was set in a New York City which was entirely too recognizable to me.
While watching, my mind filled in the blanks and recreated the streetscape from long-lost memories. Finally, I had to get up and leave the room before being ripped from the current time and dropped somewhere near Greenwich Village, where I might run into a younger version of myself.
Just thinking of this is giving me an anxiety attack.
Around the same time, a movie about a cat and a folksinger on the run came out. Parts of it are set in the Village. I started having evil Deja Vue watching it. It was popular, and I saw clips all over the internet. Friends, knowing my history, asked if I would see it. I just shuddered and said no.
It wasn’t that the times and scenes were so awful, but they were traumatic. As a result, I have no desire to “enjoy” the urges, fears, and joys of a teenage me. Part of the fear was knowing what was in store. The future held the Vietnam War, the drug overdoses of friends, bad relationships, and much joy.
Being an aficionado of Science Fiction, I couldn’t guess if I’d be able to change things or just tag along for the ride. Either situation scares me.
Time is the distance I’ve put between me and past events. So I think that in parts of my mind, I see those things as still going on; just I’m no longer there to take part.
Time is thin scar tissue that allows me to move on, but as Cormac McCarthy said: “Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real.”