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Decision, 1974

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September 21(?), 1974 (Day 3, 3:45 AM)

I’ve decided to keep this journal during my trip, for a couple reasons. One, I’ve never really journaled before and I hear it’s good for mental health, which seems like something I’m going to need. And two, I’ve never left the earth before, and I definitely want record of this for when I come back. For, you know, the book deal or whatever. Not that anyone will believe me (unless I come back like the Six Million Dollar Man or something), but maybe I can turn it into fiction? Or…?

I’m not even sure how you do this. I guess you put a date at the top? Okay, did that. And now you just… write? Okay then.

Yesterday I was given a choice. It’s taken me a couple days (Not sure about this? Hard to tell dates on the Casio) but I think I’ve come to terms with my decision. Jin (a former friend of mine, if anyone is reading this after the fact) is somebody I’ve known for a long time. He’s always been the weirdest of our little group, which of course makes sense now. We were all drinking in his backyard late last night after his barbecue (he’s actually a pretty good chef) and he asks out of the blue in his weird little accent: “What if you had the chance to explore the universe, but you had to leave tonight. Would you do it?”

Most of us said yes. Sharon said no because of her kid. Rob said no because he just landed his dream job at some financial place (side note: who dreams about jobs at financial places? Gonna miss you, Rob), but two beers in, it sounded good to the rest of us. Then he said something like “Okay, but what if you were gone for awhile?” We asked him how long. “Like…” He waved his beer around and shrugged. “Forty years.” We all said no then, although it was a pretty close decision for me. Somebody (Rich?) pointed out that you’d come back to some future society in your late sixties, which was what pushed me into “no” territory.

But Jin kept going. “What if you looked and felt the same when you came back?” I remember Rob was the one that clarified this (of course, detail guy): “So, like, you wouldn’t age forty years? I’d come back from a forty-year trip around the universe but I’d still be 29?” Jin nodded, and we all thought about this. I was the only one who changed their mind, although Linda was looking a little wistful. I said “I’d go” and everybody kinda looked at me. I think Sharon made a joke or something. Jin looked right at me and said “You would go right now?” And I shrugged and took a drink. “What else am I going to do? Go to work tomorrow?” And everybody laughed because knew about what happened at the dealership. And Jin said “Okay!” and grinned real big, slapped me on my shoulder, and everything but the two of us disappeared.

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