Wednesday, May 29, 2024

This Time Tomorrow


I've always loved time travel fiction--the potential for changing the past, along with all the inherent dangers that might accompany such a change--the butterfly effect, as in Bradbury's iconic short story.

Straub's take on the genre is strangely compelling: a woman, with a dying father, herself almost forty, single and just passed over for promotion, wonders how things might have gone differently in her life. After an abortive birthday celebration and too much to drink, she awakens to find herself reliving her sixteenth birthday--in her sixteen-year-old body but with her almost forty-year memories. And now she has a chance to make some choices that will improve her future. Maybe.

It was a fast and most enjoyable read--and when I woke up early the next morning, I found myself in that half dreaming state and I began to think about my own past--potential life-altering moments and choices.

Most of this half-dream focused on my twenties--when I was teaching at a prep school on Tampa and wearing dresses and heels and stockings every day. I liked the school and the students well enough, but I remember, during my free period, often I would stand in the hall and look out the window at the nearby canal and the merchant ships moored there, thinking that there must be more to life than this.

That teaching interlude came to an end after several years and after another interlude at a different school, eventually we made the choice to move to where we are today.

Looking back, there are very few choices I'd change--because I'm so happy with where I am now.

But, back to Straub's excellent book-- highly recommended, both as a great read and as a springboard for meditation on the past and appreciation of the present.


Anvilcloud said...

we used to dress well to teach. One day around the mid eighties it became more casual without anyone declaring that it could or should. It just happened.

Barbara Rogers said...

Oh goodie, another time travel book! I'm in the midst of listening to an Outlander volume...and am realizing that when I read the paper version, I must have skipped some of the long descriptive phrases she uses. So some of it is new to my conscious knowledge, while I probably forget many things that I read anyway. I will really enjoy a short time-travel book!

Sandra Parshall said...

Just imagine how different things would be for your whole family if you had NOT made the decision to head for the mountains!

Marcia said...

At the start of 2020 it definitely was not in the plans to make the move to NH. How different life would be if we had stayed at the retirement community. I think of all that we would have missed by not being a hop skip and a jump from family. We have no regrets.