Hiding In Time
A Short Story
Written by -M. Taggart
Hiding In Time
“Who’s this?” He tapped his pointer finger on the photograph.
I knew who it was, but didn’t answer. I studied his large, red, bulbous nose. It was crooked. I wondered how long it took to create a nose like that.
He slid another image over the metal table. The photograph was of a 1968 Mustang Fastback GT. I scanned the description. It had an S-Code 390, just like mine. “You know, I once rode in one of those. That was a long time ago and you probably don’t even know what it is. A Heavy beast. With more torque than you could handle.”
I felt the same dull sensation I always feel when a man talking to me tells me about what I know rather than asks. “Does the sun rise differently for you than me?” I replied. The man shook his head. “There’s no need of that. Really.” He then placed another clipping on top of the photo of the Mustang. “Do you know who this is?”
“Right. I remember watching him step onto the moon. I wasn’t sure if what I was seeing was real. I’m still not sure if it was. You can’t believe anything is real unless you can touch it and you certainly can’t believe what another man says is real unless you’re with him and can justify his accuracy.”
“Do you believe he was in space?”
The old man dug through more clippings and placed another on top of Neil. “Were you alive when this happened?”
“I was. We watched it on TV in our classroom. We all saw it blow up just after it lifted. Our teacher cried and shut the TV off. I remember it was an old TV and they wheeled it in on a metal cart.”
“It was a shame to me that she never got to walk on the moon. I think everyone was watching because of her. It’s funny to me how close we can be to having everything we want and then it can be taken away. Either by our own choice, or by another way.”
What he said made sense to me. Much like knowing when something bad is about to happen and for some reason you didn’t change direction and then the bad thing happens and you know it could have been avoided.
“This, everyone knows what this is. I’ve been there and I can tell you when I stood on the edge I realized just how small I was. That canyon wasn’t a simple thing for me to understand, it changed me. Much like being here changes a person. It can be for the better, or worse. I guess it’s up to the individual.”
The mixed accents came back, along with the setting down of food trays and the slow shuffling of feet.
“See,” the old man leaned in and lowered his voice, “The thing is to not think of it by thinking of other things.”
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