Thursday, February 24, 2011

Time Traveler

One of my favorite things about dying is that afterwards (at least at some point) you're able to travel in time. As far as I know this is not strictly doctrine, it is more of an obvious (to me) truth and one of the things that makes dying worth the hassle.

I really wish I could travel in time now. The fact that I'd like to travel back in time far more than I care to see the future perfectly reflects my taste in literature: give me the classics over sci-fi any day. I often imagine taking an iPhone to Molly Gibson or Lucy Snowe and making their day. Which, I realize, would be combining the classics with science fiction or, rather, science fact. And Molly and Lucy may be fictional characters but that wouldn't stop me..

I won't be visiting any of my beloved book characters any time soon but I have done some time traveling.

For our date last week Greg and I went to a little cafe for some cake. Afterward, the romantic part of our date was a visit to a large, German chain drugstore that just opened in our town. Oh how I love Rossman.

They have everything there. Everything I tell you, as this story will show. Wandering down the aisles, staring in wonder at the variety of everything they had, I rounded a corner and saw a wall full of chapstick. More chapstick than I've seen in one store in Poland ever. And one entire row was Carmex. Carmex!! I haven't seen that stuff in forEVER!! (not to be confused with "I have never seen that stuff").

I grabbed a tube and took it to show Greg. "Throughout high school I wore Carmex all day every day and I haven't seen it in forever! I think it's addicting because once you start wearing it you have to keep wearing it. Really, I think I read somewhere that it is addicting. Carmex! Honey! I'm buying Carmex!"

As we walked to the parking lot I took the package out of the bag and started reading it. We got to the car, settled in and started driving through the night toward home. I twisted off the lid and applied the goo to my lips.

Oh. My. Gosh.

Suddenly I was in a car full of friends on our way to a tri-stake dance. The Cure was playing and I had the familiar butterflies in my stomach from anticipation of one of my favorite social activities. I had visions of what the cultural hall would look like and who would be there.

Whoa. After a few minutes I was back in the car with Greg on our way home from our date. The Cure was still playing, it was still night and I still had that vague sense I was back in high school, but I knew I really wasn't.

It was weird. Not just deja vu. I actually travelled in time.

Then a few days later I bought some chocolate covered Digestive cookies. One night we sat around the kitchen table and I opened the cookies for dessert. I took one bite and

Holy. Hannah.

Evie and David were 3 and 5 years old and the warm summer sun was streaming in through the windows of our 9th story apartment. We were having a snack as part of our structured day in our tidy living room. I was an awesome mother with darling kids again! Pass the Digestives!! I could go for more of that and, again, it was so real.

Now I don't want to go all Bella and seek out this kind of thrill by buying up some of everything I've ever eaten or used in the past that has memories tied to it. I also don't want to be obsessed with the perks of the next life like Aaron who tells me many times a day, "I'm gonna get bigger and bigger and then I'm gonna die. Then when I'm a scary ghost I'm gonna FLY!!!" with all sorts of excitement. I'll wait patiently for death and its benefits to come in its proper season. For now I'll just keep building memories knowing that some day I'll love coming back here, like when I am transported upon opening a box of the kind of soap we're using right now, or something.

I found this post that I started months ago unfinished in my drafts but I think it's interesting that I mention the time travel thing after we die, just like I sort of did about being able to revisit the days of nursing babies.

13 comments:

MelancholySmile said...

That first line could be the opener for a book!

I hope you bought a whole bag of that Carmex stuff....

Lauren Kay said...

I love this! If I use a certain shampoo it makes me think of my semester abroad in Vienna because that's what I used there. And sometimes if I smell a weird combination of BO, smoke and old people I'm taken back to tracting in old klatkas in Katowice. It's like I'm 21 all over and stressing about the door approach. PS. I don't think I've ever commented before. I love your blog. I love your writing style and hearing about your adorable kids and your wonderful insights.

Carolyn V said...

I go back in time whenever I smell a rancid sponge (I know it sounds weird), but I use to clean houses when I was 12 and void I'd never have rancid sponges in my kitchen sink. I always throw them away now. =)

Heidi said...

This made me smile from ear to ear from beginning to end. What a trip! I think smells and tastes bring the past back to us better than sight and sound. How fun! And I can see that my verification words is "rednesks" and I have to ask myself, do rednecks wear Carmex? Because I don't know what it is (so don't know what it isn't) and I find that the verification word is always applicable is some way. :)

Melanie Jacobson said...

They say smell is the sense most closely associated to memory and I know it's true for me. The smell of a wood fire or candy corn or Drakkar Noir all take me back to very specific times and places.

Barbaloot said...

I so wish I could time travel backwards sometimes. I met up with some old friends last night and I couldn't stop thinking how fun it would be to go back in time for a little bit and relive our awesome days together. I can't think of a smell that defines my college years or I'd go out and buy it right now:)

Liz said...

Haha - so glad you have a Rossmans. Carmex IS totally addictive in my opinion. And I loved hearing aobut how chocolate digestives took you back to when Evie and David were smaller. So glad that things can remind us of past blessings and pleasures.
Oh and how funny that Aaron thinks that he will turn into a Scary ghost and then be able to fly. Have you been watching Casper?

Joel said...

Such a cool post. I loved the beginning...I thought, how did I miss that Lisa has died before????

There are totally certain smells that just transport me. And I do love it, it's a happiness recaptured.

Alison Wonderland said...

I think that all the time about dying except then I have to remind myself that I won't have to go back I'll just remember it, I did watch the American Revolution after all, I just can't remember it.

I also know just what you're saying about your time traveling my fear is always that if I try for it it will eventually go away, maybe next time you put on carmex you'll be in your car driving home from your date...

GrumpyGratefulMom said...

Love your blog! I'd also love to go back to American Revolution times. I just put on Carmex as I am writing this in honor of you. Happy I found your blog! Janae

King of Heaven said...

@grumpygratefullmom great to see you..........

King of Heaven said...

good to see lisaway confidence!!

Kazzy said...

I like your wandering in this post. So cool.