Saturday, September 8, 2007

Message in Bottle Across Time...

Seriously ... not science fiction ... science fiction can be very serious, actually, but this is one-hundred percent real...

It's about that letter that I wrote and mailed back in 1972, which turned up a few days ago on eBay... You can see it right here.

September 22, 1972 ... that was the day I wrote and presumably mailed that letter. They had xeroxes back then, I suppose I might have xeroxed it, but I don't recall. If I did, I know I haven't seen it since then, until it was on my screen two days ago...

I put the letter in a mailbox back then. It was an age a lot like ours. Television, radio, rock music, even ships in space. But crucially different in one extraordinary respect: no Web.

I couldn't have imagined, even in the science fiction I was just beginning to write back then, that that letter would come back to me in this way.

Maybe if I had been rummaging around in my attic this week, looking at old files, and I had come upon a copy of that letter, it would have felt different. More like a peek at the past.

But on my screen, the letter feels as if it's traveled right from the past, right from my hands when I dropped it into whatever mailbox back then, to my eyes, right now.

September 22, 1972 ... glimmering before me, now ... a communication from my earlier self, intended for someone else, not me, but now I realize that maybe this was meant to be ...

Maybe, in some cosmic recondite logic, I was intended to be the recipient of this letter, right now, right here, in this way, all along ...

It feels strange, but good, to be in touch with my 1972 self this way ... I think I've done ok ... he would have been happy to know that this was the result, or at least one result, of the letter he put in the mail to me...
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