This post is a time traveler. That’s because I wrote it last night, but now, you’re reading it today.
Random thought number one… in the late 1980s, Trader Joe’s… if you’ve never been to, or heard of Trader Joe’s, we’ll just call that a YOU problem, not a ME problem… sold a coffee called Heisenberg’s Blend. The coffee’s name was based on the work of early 20th century German physicist Werner Heisenberg, and not the fictional high school science teacher who made the baby blue meth. The principle states that we cannot know both the position of an object, and the speed of that same object, at the same time. It is called “Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle”.
The coffee got its name because Trader Joe’s decided that, if they took all their leftover coffee beans that accidentally lost their labels at the warehouse and couldn’t be sold as whatever the hell they really were, they could just put a new label on it that made the bean’s origin an even bigger mystery, and it would fly off their shelves… especially at the reduced price of $2.99 a can.
It was genius, just like Heisenberg. And it was the only coffee I drank until the first Starbucks moved into my neighborhood in 1993.
Okay, if I still have your attention, you’re probably wondering, “What did that anecdote have to do with time travel?”
The answer is, “Absolutely nothing.”
Like most of life as we live it. An entire day, or night, of seemingly random, essentially disparate occurrences that, because you aren’t seeing them in the same place at the same time, you just file them away in the “Nope, can’t measure THAT” folder inside your head.
Random thought number two… There is a strong likelihood that, over the course of my life, I received not one, not two, but THREE mild concussions. I say “mild” because none of the three incidents of head trauma caused any of the, what are now understood to be, concussion protocol red flags. All three of mine happened within a period of 5 years, between the ages of 15 and 20. The first was when a car hit me on my bicycle, and threw me ahead, 30 feet into the distance, landing me on my head. The second was a solo, head-on collision between my car and a parked, family-sized van (don’t ask). The third, and last, was while playing in a hockey tournament, when I got checked into the boards by a 230 pound defenseman while attempting to retrieve a loose puck. None of the three resulted in examination, hospitalization, a diagnosis, or… after each… a second thought regarding the possible consequences of any of the above. All three incidents came with an immediate “graying out” that is known to be a common symptom of a Grade 1 concussion, and in each case, a “getting on with it” after the fact. From gray to “I’m good” in just one to two minutes, and only the loss of a bike at 15, and the loss of a couple of teeth at 20.
Are you still with me?
All this backstory to say that, by the time I had entered my mid-twenties, and having not noticed anything like it before, I began experiencing something that has been the underlying theme of this post. No, not time travel, but the uncovering of seemingly disconnected thoughts that, for reasons previously unexplained, would find their way to the surface from god only knows where in my brain, only to show up spontaneously, into thoughts, conversations, stories, essays, just about anywhere words were being used. And before that, it never happened, not that I can recall, anyway.
Now, going on 40 years later, it’s as everyday a thing as yawning before bedtime. And I have to believe it’s the single most consistent, driving force that sends my fingers over the keys like this. Especially in the month of November.
And now, as is my plan for every post this month, tell me, is there a something that has happened to you in the course of your life that has seemingly gifted you with something that otherwise might just have slipped through the cracks as random, unrelated, or practically immeasurable? I can’t wait to find out.
Talk to you tomorrow.