@loripalminteriTweets by @loripalminteri
No, I haven’t figured it out. I’m horrible at math, remember? I think in order to invent time travel you have to be a genius at algebra and physics and basically everything I hate (numbers). Still, I’m properly obsessed with the notion. Even though I’ve read many books and watched films about time traveling and pretty much the lesson is always to never mess with time.
I think when I was younger, I’d be quick to jump into a time machine, despite consequences. I didn’t think much of humanity (I mean, I still don’t), but more tragically, I didn’t think much of myself, so if I fucked up the timeline, I would just see it as an adventure. Though, this wild heart has learned with age that adventures aren’t all fun— adventures are scary, hard work and contain characters, some amazing, some antagonistic.
When I still lived on Long Island, I used to run on the beach a lot. I would run so far down the beach, there wouldn’t be any humans in sight. Just me, the piping plovers and the fish jumping in the ocean. I could really clear my head running away from it all. Sometimes, my brain would drift into fantasies like, what if a portal opened up and there was some strange man in a suit standing there, offering me passage to another time, or dimension, but the risk would be you wouldn’t know when you would return, if ever. At those times in my life, I probably would have went through this portal of imagination. Not without hesitation, of course. But I was (am?) a person who felt this longing within me that I didn’t belong here. Or maybe I just didn’t want to belong. Writers predisposed to depression… I think we all feel this way.
Nowadays, I don’t know I’d go through this portal. Tempted, sure. There are plenty of things about this world I could leave behind and not think twice. But if leaving meant not seeing my nephews and niece grow up, or worse, if the portal went to the past and I messed something up therefore screwing up the timeline and making it so they were never born… the past must stay a road to nowhere. As for the future, well the present is the prequel. We are determining our futures all the time.
It would take me sometime to realize another truth, having been a late bloomer and late to sex. By the time I even had sex, I really preferred getting fucked up to fornicating. This was mostly my fault (and a deeply conservative upbringing) of no one really teaching you the complexities and nuances of the female body. Even magazines like Cosmo seemed to give better advice on how to temper the male libido over your own. In reality, I loved getting drunk and high more than I liked having sex. If I was having sex, I was probably also fucked up. Booze and drugs brought me far more pleasure than men (bedroom wise) for some years. It’s not a happy story. Nor is it an uncommon one. I remember being young and older women telling me I wouldn’t be having good sex till my 30s. You do figure it out, eventually.
I wasn’t out for love back then. I figured, if it would happen it would just happen. It didn’t seem like something I could control. My first love, whom I was head over heels for, friend zoned me. That seemed to be the way for while. When I was in deep for someone, they friend zoned me, and when someone had it in for me, I friend zoned them. So I’d focus on my writing, because at least that much I could control.
Throughout this time, I would say that I wasn’t really a kisser. I didn’t really know then how much more intimate kissing is than sex, and this was often linked to hatred of being vulnerable. And eventually you then let go of this notion of that kissing can be fireworks, having never experienced it. This Disney idea you fantasized about as a kid. Get drunk enough, you’ll see fireworks. I’d rather make out with a bottle. That’s how I used to see it.
Until it happens. A kiss that stops time. Stops your mind. Makes everything stand still. Even if it’s the wrong person, you don’t regret it, not in that moment for sure, maybe not ever. That stomach fluttering, heart skips a beat type kiss. For a brief moment, you’ve experienced something better than time travel, or more transitory. Even when the person behind the kiss becomes a shadow to you, you now know for sure there is a way to make time stand still, to make your mind stand still, that time travel, in some respects, is possible. In something so simple and simultaneously complicated as a kiss. Do you chase it. Do you chase that feeling. Or do you wait. Crack open another beer. Light another joint. When it comes, you won’t be ready anyway. You never are.