In the shade of a giant tree that reached up at least sixty feet, I found I was walking on acorns. I bent down and picked a few up. Most of them still had their “hats” on, but one was losing it. The wonder of these little nuts on the ground is really only evident when one looks up to see where they came from. Then, in the awe of the beautiful tree that produces vast amounts of oxygen, soil nutrients, rich deep shade for yards and yards in all directions, and the acorns, one sees the truth.
If you go back in time right now 5,256 years to the year 3240 A.D. what would you say? Could you even speak to the people there?
Looking at me, you may think that I am still the same now as I always was. After all that has happened I know that is certainly not true. I am so different, so changed. My body is not my body anymore. How could it be after 7,000 years? Like Lincoln’s old ax which after seven new heads and six new handles, he held up and still proclaimed it to be “the same old ax.” It was nothing of the kind, and neither am I. I have been a ScreenMaster for thousands of years. My daughters have been ScreenMasters for thousands of years. My life now is totally alien to you, if you were to see me, I could physically shock you. My daughters, even more so. We can appear in any configuration we choose, so I could be the same old Farson Uiost I was in 2091, or something else altogether. But here, in 2016, no one even knows me. When I approach people in this time, their minds tell me of someone they haven’t seen in a long time, someone who lives in this time, but who they seldom see and really don’t really know. I make myself remind them of that person. The “familiarity” smoothes things, and the time distance creates opportunities, which, when I was you, I would never have understood either.
I walk among you unknown.
People pass me as I walk as if I weren’t there. They see me but choose to ignore me. Or, sometimes, when actual eye contact is unavoidable, I stop and say hello. Yesterday, I held a Golden Retriever puppy, named Chloe, and walked in a graveyard. The puppy was soft and endearing, the cemetery was just rows and rows of monuments, no people.
I have noticed that there is virtually no way to be alone in this time. People are always coming and going around me. I feel like eyes are always on me. I was coming down a long, shaded street and I could see from one end of the street to the other. At the far end a young woman moved to the other side of the street to avoid me, long before we would have had any chance of crossing paths. She seemed defensive and wary.
Of all 7.4 billion people on the planet today, I was the one person from whom she had nothing to fear. I watched her walk on the other side of the street, she never looked at me, eyes forward. Her dog couldn’t stop looking at me. She had to tug on his lease and say, “Let’s go.” The little Schnauzer kept pulling on the lease and looking back at me.
I stopped in at a deli and was looking around at the drinks, the cold cuts, and bagels. I saw the cashier’s mouth moving, but no sound. Then I remembered the earphones I was wearing. I took them out. “Can I help you?” she asked. I could tell easily that she worked there part time, for a small wage. Her life was basically her children and husband and this little job. She seemed to be really happy, smiling, and very friendly.
I thought of Karina traveling on The Screen. Her robe wrapped around her like a cocoon, her intensity focused on her destination.
I told the woman I “was just looking.” She smiled. But, I could tell she was disappointed. I told her I would come back another time, when I had some money, and try the bagels. She seemed somewhat relieved, smiled again, and said, “They are the best.”