When I was a kid I read sci-fi and day dreamed myself into the role of the hero, just as any kid would. I imagined travelling into the future and seeing all the promised inventions actually working and making life as strange and wondrous as the storytellers made it seem.
Then I grew up and went to work and had no time to think of these things apart from reading the occasional sci-fi story or watching the occasional film. The future lay in the future and that was that.
The other day we were in town. We went into one of the big record stores so that Tigger could have a good browse. For my part, I went into gawp mode, as I often do. I looked around the place in wonder.
For one thing it was huge, as big as a cathedral, it seemed to me. There were rows and rows of shelves full of stock, articles common today that didn’t even exist when I was a schoolboy: DVDs, CDs, iPods, personal radios and stereos, things in transparent bubble packs whose purpose I couldn’t even guess. In the middle of the store, two escalators carried unending streams of people between the street level floor and the one below, equally packed with stock and also accommodating a decent sized cafe where we later went for hot chocolate.
The decor was minimalist, with dark paint and metal fittings. Standing by the rail of the staircase and escalators, I could see parts of both floors. Altogether a striking vision. Suddenly I laughed, one of those amused, delighted laughs that come from life suddenly catching you with an unexpected thought, but one so true as to brook no denial. I had realized that my childhood dream had come true: I had travelled through time and was now standing in that very future I had so often dreamed of. I was a time traveller!
If I could have travelled back in time and told that child of my adventures, how intrigued he would have been. Of course, I couldn’t do that and in a sense it didn’t matter because he was here with me, seeing it all through my eyes, hearing it through my ears, feeling the cold of that future metal handrail with my fingers.
And the voyage continues. Every day takes us a little further into the temporal depths, a little further from our starting point on a planet whose place and time must remain ever remote and inaccessible to us but whose memory we carry imprinted in mind and body, intrepid voyagers among the waves of time and space.