Time Travel Vision

Hat Rin town was a squalid trap of meandering Hawaiian shirted tourists and parasitic locals sucking the baht from their bumbags. Through the dirt streets and low, one-level buildings, I wandered, wondering, what daring-do would I go through next?

            Faces merging, swinging past in a flow, a moment in time. Id had a condition for several years where I could look at a persons face and understand how it would look from the moment of birth to the moment of death instantaneously, simultaneously, as if they were all lined up in a ball and deposited into my cortex at once. Glimpsing a teenage girl on the street corner, I can watch her pop from her mothers uterus, wailing and pink with outrage, wrinkled toothless maw agape with wordless indignation.  In the same instance, she is toothless and wrinkled again, but elderly, a lifetime later, grey-haired and horrified at what has come to pass, her own body stretched and warped by the passage of her own children.

            Beginning and end and everything in between, the temporal vortex of a human visage caught for only a second in my retina, before sweeping off into the arrangement of another place and time. It is one of my powers, one of the few remaining since I was deposited here on this island by my unknown enemies.

            How long it had been had ceased to matter. I had come to understand that my imprisonment here, the removal of my powers, the limitation of my resources and the transformation of my sidekick into a Thai bar-owner all served some hidden purpose, some hidden agenda. I feared I may have become too powerful in my previous incarnation, posed a threat to those I had once wished to help, and they had, out of mercy, removed my memory and deposited me here, out of kindness, out of mercy.

            A baby crawled out of a pharmacy ahead of me, scurrying across the stairs reared up on to its hind-legs, sprouting hair and swelling into an adolescent, lanky limbs melting off into muscles as he erupted into manhood and disappeared into a sidestreet, no doubt to grow old and die.

            The palms rustled in the light tropical breeze. People stared good-naturedly as I patrolled. A superhero rarely goes unnoticed unless he chooses to do so, and when I patrol I like to be as visible as possible.

            Soon, I would master whatever was holding me back, and fly off this island, fly back to my home planet, and be reunited with those I love.

            It is the same anywhere. Spend any amount of time in one place and each day seems like the last, like the next, like every moment before and after but somewhere you know it was not always like this. It could not have always been this way, and could not be this way forever. Somehow they all begin to blur together, to be alike, when each should be unique. The only constant is the constant of change: the furrowing of your brow, the sagging of skin on flesh, the greying of all colour. Like fruit left on the vine too long, its vibrancy soon peaks, diminishes, as it gets ready to drop.

            Yet change must come. There must be rot, so that fresh seeds may bloom, to repeat the cycle ever onward. Cling to the bough as much as I would like, soon the tree would let me fall.

            Outside the Bongo Bar, I remembered suddenly what Yeoh had sent me to do.

            Ducking inside, the black lights were already on and the luminescent walls gleamed UV. Like the innards of some raver Aladdin’s Cave, overrun by graffiti-prone fluorescent molluscs. Someone was sat with their back to me, long dreadlocks dangling to their spine, painting an ornate ‘Om’ in sanskrit on the wall, adding to layers and layers of psychedelic artwork.

            I myself had once blundered in here, many moons ago, and sat chatting to a long hairred, moustachioed German, delightfully named Jurgen. Jurgen had lived there many years, taught me some phrases of his clunky language, and offered me a quarter of his acid tab if I covered the total cost for him. I’d gleefully accepted, and he’d taken me upstairs to a little corrugated iron shack perched on the roof. Here he revealed a two inch square of blotting paper with a dark splotch in the centre.

            “I asked him to give me a trip like back in the old days, in the sixties.”

            He’d torn off a quarter and given it me, and I chewed the paper, excited that it was my first time. Jurgen had a walkman with a dual headphone socket and two pairs of headphones, and we sat upstairs, waiting, listening to Frank Zappa.

            I sat watching him laugh and slap his thighs, no doubt back in the sixties again. I felt querrilous. My mind twitched, flapped, felt itself expanding, interesting, altering. The music soared through my cortex, sparking all kinds of revelations, all now lost in the mist of time, vanished back into the abstract ether.

            After a little while, the urge to explore had overwhelmed me. Slipping off, leaving Jurgen lost in time, I scurried downstairs and stumbled into a Thai birthday party. Perhaps a dozen Thai men were sat around, laughing and joking, singing the same awful pop song to one man, over and over again. A wailing croon of a female voice over synth backing. They loved it. I painted a picture of a ringed planet on the wall, with a rocket flying around it.

            It was still there. I ran my fingers over the rough unfinished wood, feeling the texture of the paint, remembering how that night I’d felt my skin turn the same roughness, the paint spread across my skin, the rocket ship flying through space before my eyes.

            Someone slapped my back. Turning, I looked into the smiling face of Toy, Yeoh’s compatriot. I shook his hand soul brother style, and he thrust a bag of ratshit mushrooms into my hands.

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~ by mightyjahj on January 30, 2009.

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