What if?: It wasn't a crime yet

Monday, April 10, 2006

It wasn't a crime yet

It wasn't a crime yet. No one had enacted a law against it. Not sure if anyone will. Not sure if anyone is really harmed by it. But that is the way of unintended consequences. You see I have a way of just reaching back and curing people. A real to goodness chiropractor. But a chiropractor that actually works. Yeah I know there are some out there who know how to touch one so, how to adjust, how to make good recommendations. And some that are really good at convincing you, giving you a placebo in place of a pain killer, tricking the mind into helping itself. That is actually a good thing. I once knew an ancient Japanese man who was many levels advanced into some form of Budo that it achieved mysticism in all those who knew him. He could stop you with a finger; cure a sprain with a touch. Yeah that is how powerful he made you believe. But I am not like that at all. I'm different.

It all began when young. Time seemed to go so slow. And sometimes I could stop it, even reverse it. The adults all laughed when I said time was slow, they told me to be patient, that you will get patience when you grow up. They didn't know what I meant. No one did. It is like that great thought experiment where the ball appears to be just bouncing up and down for the boy on the train, but for the boy on the station platform the ball arced up and down as the train passed. It was all in your perspective. Mine was that time didn't flow just one direction. It flowed in many directions. To me the ball bounced up and down and side to side and off the walls. I could make the ball do what I wanted it to.

The first time I realized I could slip into time was when I was walking to school and Jimmy McGovern would stop me and ask for my lunch money. Jimmy was older and at least a head taller. I'd give him my lunch money and then the world would blur and stop, grind to halt. Except for me. I could still move, still breath, still experience. And the experience I would have would be to take my lunch money back out of Jimmy McGovern's pocket and put it back in mine. It was easy. To this day I wonder what went through Jimmy's mind when he found his stash of money light my contribution everyday. Maybe nothing, Jimmy wasn't that bright.

So now as a grown man, time goes in many directions. You see my cures for patients are not so much cures as preventions. When someone comes into my office complaining of a sore wrist I follow them back in time from my office to when they first hurt their wrist, preventing the injury in the first place. Yeah, I know, then why would they be in my office to begin with if they had no injury? Good question, but time doesn't work like that, it has a way of pushing things on even if you don't know why. And somehow my patients remember the pain, not the injury, but the pain. And then they pay me for the cure, praising my skill as a chiropractor, and of course telling all their friends.

I could do all sorts of things with time. I prefer this. The money is good.


Blogger Bud said...

I love this. I used to have the same type of fantasy, actually. I think things like that tended to keep me hopeful and positive when they generally sucked. In the end everything worked out perfectly for me.

11:50 AM  
Blogger Nunzia said...

wow i really loved how that was written.

2:05 PM  
Blogger Giovanna said...


First of all, I'd love to know what the headline was that spurred the story.

What I liked was how you built it up. I felt like you did create a measure of suspense and tension for the reader, wondering what it is he (I assume the narrator is he because you are) does that is so special. As we get the story of how he came to move through time, we kind of get away from the fact we were talking about a chiropractor—which is good for building the suspense, but could take away from the original intent of the story.

I like the voice, however some of the short fragmented sentences in the beginning of the first paragraph get distracting. I think you could achieve the affect with some creative punctuation. It will still sound like an informal dialog, but look better to the eye. Such as:

It wasn't a crime yet. No one had enacted a law against it. Not sure if anyone will. Not sure if anyone is really harmed by it. But that is the way of unintended consequences.


It wasn't a crime, yet. No one had enacted a law against it—not sure if anyone will. I'm not sure anyone is really harmed by it. But that is the way with unintended consequenses.

Is it the way with unintended consequences? That sentence is a little awkward. I almost want to hear it as a rhetorical: "But isn't that the way with unintended consequences?"

The ball visual metaphor is great.

If you wanted to rework this and turn it into something, I think the end could be stronger. I think the story to move toward some sort of reveal.

Great job!

9:28 AM  
Blogger Leesa said...


I was thinking of the same thing. I want to read the real article - what wasn't a crime yet?

7:40 AM  
Blogger Nancy Dancehall said...

Ha! I love it. You could go all sorts of directions with this one. I like the way the patients remember the now 'phantom' pain.

10:53 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I love it! I have always been rather enamored of bending time, myself. I love this take on it.

10:24 AM  

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