I found a global community of believers building an archive of temporal turbulences from the present.
As with the déjà vu mantra, the experience was short-lived, and time was restored. According to the detective-like blogger’s report, Cripps was “later identified” as a trading company in the 1950s. In response to Frank’s voucher, the posters told their own or related accounts they had heard from others: “This happened to my ex-boss, Glenn Jackson in London, England,” one begins. “Glenn’s story is so believable that Glenn is someone so lacking in imagination on this scale that he couldn’t put together a first-grade English story to save his life.” And on that it goes.
I never appreciated the stories about the passage of time. I’m upset that I will never get back the hours of my life that Richard Linklater stole with his “Boyhood” – his two-and-a-half-hour movie, shot over 12 years where time is the force that overpowers everything, not least an idea Our actions drive our life stories. There is a lot of unwanted depth out there.
The time slip tales, though made out of the surrounding fear of living with the ticking of the clock, are childlike in their sense of amazement. It’s light, playful and irrational, frivolous and kind as a ghost story if told by the confused ghost rather than the people you’re stalking. One poster, as a girl, sees a woman in a blue bathrobe in her room: “Her hair was long and messy, reddish-brown in color. I didn’t see her face because she was usually distracted. I used to think it was my mom.” Years later, grown up, the poster’s daughter slept in her former bedroom. The mother wrote: “One day I realized… I was wearing the same blue bathrobe.” Aside from the supernatural trappings, this story speaks to the feeling battered by the passage of time.
Slipping can be important, as any Freud will tell you, and these accounts are mysteries whose answers may tell us about our relationship with time. I began to think of message boards exchanged as narrow but important release valves, allowing posters to talk about the feelings that arise from being tied to time: depression, midlife crises, the dysfunction of life in the human body. What upset Miss Smith, whose car slid into a ditch after a cocktail party, which saw “groups of Pictish warriors in the late seventh century, ca. 685 CE,” if not an understanding of their small size in the vast expanse of history? Why did two academics, famous in the time-slip society for writing a book on the discovery of Marie Antoinette in the lands of Versailles, happened to have trees that seemed lifeless, “like wood worked in a tapestry”? Perhaps at that moment, like the last Queen of France, Ancien Régime, they felt radically out of touch with their present moment.