Robert (gurdonark) wrote,
Robert
gurdonark

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life in the Air Age

"My world is not like yours--I come from some place long ago.
Now there's no way back. I'm lost and I feel so alone"--Bill Nelson

I find myself drawn to songs and books which focus on the notion that one lives in the wrong time. One is not a geek or misfit--one is merely misplaced. The time machine landed just outside the delivery room, and the stork plopped the package down hundreds of years from home.

Sometimes when I go through airports these days (and I seem to have reacquired my keen airport-sense), I see kids who are radiant, with clunky glasses and curious clothing. They make me realize that kids dismissed as nerdy when I was a kid were in fact merely misplaced style-setters. It's time travel--that look isn't dorkish--it's fashionable.

It's a convenient fiction, this being misplaced, enjoyed by many. People pine away for the eras of good music, free love, courtly manners, or simple decorum. Never mind that the penicillin was still seen only as bread mold. Never mind that millions of people worked long hours tilling fields to make sure a privileged few lived well.

But I think that the truly frightening notion of time travel is the idea that I was born into exactly my time, that these contradictions and absurdities are my contradictions and absurdities. I'm Morlock and Eloi all at once. This curious theorem holds that I am misfit because it is my time to be misfit, my shortcomings are my own, to be improved upon or borne with, and that I am not, in fact, a misplaced cavalier or salt marcher. What if the time machine was set exactly to this point, and my destiny was to live in the present in which I actually live? How would I cope then? What if I'm "supposed" to be here, and now, and these are not limitations--these are the challenges in my quest? What if I define the quest myself, without even destiny waiting to play a hand? What if I am where I am, and this is what it is,
and my time is now?

I must ponder how this will affect my world view, because I was so comforted that I was just in the wrong time, and the machine just needed a bit of tuning.
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