Sunday, July 04, 2010

The Past Is a Foreign Country

Somewhere in the slush pile of my mind, there's the remnants of an abandoned story: as workers gradually demolished an old building, all of the site's previous occupants -- people, businesses, other buildings -- started reappearing.

It hit a dead end -- I lacked characters, any sort of plot beyond "weird shit happens," any sort of path -- but perhaps it's time to revisit it. I met up with Tapeleg for a few beers yesterday, and time seemed to fold in on itself a bit.

First a meeting at Conor O'Neill's, a late '90s hangout of mine as the James. The inside's been completely redone but just enough remains to give me the occasional flashback; I've been to the current version enough times that when I'm not there I can't really remember which features belonged to the old place and which the new. From there we proceeded to Time Warp Comics, the center of my adolescent life and my one-time employer. It's not the same space I once knew, of course -- it's now in its third location. But there's a familiarity to it even if the faces and prices are different. 14-year-old Greg would still gravitate there.

The real trip came at the end: out to north Boulder to an outdoor inline rink at Gateway Park. I don't know if I've been there or not -- I suspect I may have played some drunken mini-golf there once -- but it had a message for me. As we walked up to the rink, I started laughing nervously and helplessly. The boards were covered in ads, most heavily faded. Straight ahead of me, though, one healthy green and black advertisement: Boulder Planet, Local News/Local Views. The same message that's on my old business cards, a ghost ad from a place I once worked, now ten years gone. For just a moment, logic started crumbling, and the only possibility that made sense was that I'd misunderstood and been misinformed. The past decade hadn't really happened, the paper was still going and I'd be back there at work on Monday.

1 comment:

KynanPlanet said...

It would have completed the Past Is Alive fantasy if you'd seen Greg Todd getting tucked into a squad car.