Stumbling around in time

Marty McFly had his DeLorean powered by the flux capacitor with 1.21 gigawatts.  Theodore Logan and Bill S. Preston Esq. commandeered a magical phone booth, with George Carlin as their tour guide no less.  Hell, all Peggy Sue needed was a bump on the head.  Since the dawn of speculation, great thinkers and morons alike have contemplated the possibility of time travel.  Though we all make our best efforts to live a life without regret, it seems that everyone has at least one moment that, given a second chance, we would do differently.  And of course, there is always that partial criminal idiot in all of us that would do exactly what Biff did in the second installment of Back to the Future. 
 
And though we may never get a chance to adjust the past for a more lucrative future, we experience time warps on a daily basis.  Sometimes several times.  Honestly, how many of us guys hear the song "Beat It" and are suddenly seven years old again, making a fool out of themselves in some random relative’s living room with a batting glove on?  How many times have you walked through a mall food court, and the smell of a waffle cone instantly throws you back to the county fair in ’86?
 
Now some of you may be thinking, "no, what the hell are you talking about?"  But I will venture a guess that most of you know exactly what I’m talking about.  See, for those of us with even a sliver of imagination, the slightest scent or brief soundbite can send us hurtling through time and space to a different place.  Most days we can’t remember what we bought at the grocery store last week, yet the most random song can transport us back decades, to a moment so tangible it could have been yesterday.
 
These simple stimuli can induce memories that cover the spectrum of sensations and emotions.  Happy times, sad times, hard times, and embarrassing times alike.  The smallest whiff of Jack Daniels, and I am instantly thrown back in time, to a 6 a.m. flight home from Las Vegas.  Apparently, you haven’t lived until you have tried to contort your body into a position to yak into a toilet in a room no larger than a refrigerator.  Just a few bars of Sade’s "By Your Side," and suddenly I’m in the intensive care unit at Harborview Medical Center, scared and confused.  Third Eye Blind’s "Semi-Charmed Life" puts me behind my dad’s boat some random summer, humming the song as I wakeboard.  And what wrestler isn’t instantly thrust into the heat of battle upon hearing "Eye of the Tiger," by Survivor?
 
The best part of all, is that these little fits of deja vu seem to come from nowhere, taking us by complete surprise.  It’s almost like that weirdo from Quantum Leap, we never quite know where we are headed, or when.  So what do we do?  The only thing TO do, sit back and enjoy the ride.  Here’s to hoping you all have a great time as your memories take you by storm, and hopefully those of you my age are only rarely thrown back to that awkward high school dance in the late nineties by that hideous song from Titanic.  Happy traveling…

Comments

  1. I have the tendancy to remember odd things. Some songs/smells or the like make me remember super tiny details about an event, when I might forget the bigger things. My mom said I seemed to be one of those kids who would play with the box whenever given a nice gift. I like the simpler things. The big picture just seems that much better when you appreciate the simple stuff.Like a lot of people here, I still love your writing. I know you probably get tired of hearing that, but take this one to heart because I\’m a critic when it comes to writing, ideas, orginality, etc. Awesome job!

  2. To this day whenever I hear The Thompson Twins- Hold me Now I am taken back to my 6th grade dance, and the boy I had a crush on asked me to dance! I was so nervous! I love that song still. The smell of vanilla reminds me of my moms house, and Drakkar reminds me of my first love. Great posting today!

  3. I can never remember anything.What was I saying?B2theF was just on!!! I try to live so that I have no regrets. I think I just end up being hurt sooner rather than later though. Hmmph. Oh well.

  4. I know exaclty what your talking about and I own the Back to the Future Trilogy and Bill & Ted\’s Excellent Adventure. I love thought of time travel and intriqued intelectually at the possibilities of science and what could be. When I hear Mc Hammer I am totally back in 8-9th grade junior high dance with my hammer pants on tearing it up. Good thing some things stay in the past 🙂 Take care my friend!!

  5. TexasGirlJen says:

    Ok, smalls… been meaning to post since, since it\’s "out" and all…When I first read this I thought…. "Haven\’t I seen or heard this somewhere before, and coming from him?"BUT, be the nice, polite (ahem) Texas/southern girl that I am, I posted my own memories to go along with the blog and just thought maybe I was losing it.I knew it all along, smalls…. Good idea though…. When I get to me 50th post and my millionth (is that a word) comment, I think I\’ll do the same!j.

  6. TexasGirlJen says:

    omg, check out the typos in my last posti can\’t type or write anymore as I did so all day long at work.can i have a pass?

  7. Hope you get this in the next day or two. You should check out the http://www.nanowrimo.org site and maybe give it a try. You write well and you might like the challenge. Check it out, anyway, just to see.

  8. I love these trips through time and space…. some are happy memories, some are sad, but all are welcome.smiles,~Molly~

  9. Heather Niccole says:

    Ay yes, That song was truly hideous wasn\’t it. I never did understand why it caught on like wildfire. I suppose music nowadays might not be considered much better. I totally understand how songs can transport you back in time to another time, to a fond moment from your memory. I have that happen alot. It never ceases to amaze me. I enjoyed your blog. Take care,Heather Niccole

  10. hey Kenny,I\’m back from the hospital. I\’m still feeling pretty shitty but with free health care here in Canada I guess I shouldn\’t be surprised that they kick you out the door prematurely, huh?Hope all is well.mt

  11. Good luck to you Kenny Smalls. Please have a happy life, on me.

  12. Quite simply…an amazing post. How often do I travel through the moments of my book of life on the wings of song.

  13. »Ќαŧέ« says:

    So, I\’ve tried a bazillion times to comment between yesterday and today. OK maybe not a bazillion, but several and MSN keeps crapping out on me, by saying there\’s been this big ol\’ problem. Anyway, I had some really great comment several times in fact but this time I decided heck since it isn\’t going to post anyway I am not gonna type anything except silliness. (reverse psychology—shh…don\’t tell MSN though) -Kate (crossing fingers please no crapped out message this time–lol)

  14. »Ќαŧέ« says:

    OMG reverse psychology worked. Ha, who\’d ever thunk? -kate (again)

  15. I didn\’t mean Eye of the tiger actually you know what I was thinking of was an older than that song that I swear is and was around forever – I don\’t know about in WA but that song "We will rock you…" was sung at every wrestling match I ever went too – please tell me they don\’t do this anymore -i thought about it later and realized Eye of the Tiger nah, that is a different one. You probably have no idea what i am talking about. I\’m rambling. Hope you are having an excellent day. We got our first snow here yesterday! it was really beautiful and warmer than all the rainy days we;ve been having. my best, patti

  16. I was just wondering why you don\’t have any recent pictures of you up. I enjoy reading your space.

  17. First time commentor, long time reader! Song is Mr. Brightside by The Killers. What it reminds me of is . . . YOU! Yes, You Kenny!I don\’t know why. I guess I started reading your blog at the same time I first heard that song. I love the song and think of you more often than I care to admit on this public forum.

  18. I had to do an independent project for a design class which i titled "Anatomy of A Memory". It was the idea that a tast a touch a smell could take me back to a single moment in time. It wasn\’t always the first time but it was always a signifigant time. Anatomy is defined not only as the "human body" but also "a detailed examination or analysis" My thought were that it was a play on the idea that it is you body that makes you remember things as well as it was an examination into the the memories of the loss of a family friend (who was so close he might as well have been my little brother) and the things that reminded me of him. How for a brief moment i was taken back to a specific time.

  19. Random thought…I was telling someone this story at work today!Remember at the fair when I got run down by the woman in the rascal?!?

  20. I just came by your site by way of Rose\’s link. I read your profile and was floored, then read your blog. what\’s more than floored? I don\’t know. Really inspiring of you to blog after what happened, you are trying to find purpose, I think you have found at least one of them. I\’ll be back and back and…Jay 🙂

  21. Time traveller with the ability to transmogrify myself … Gotta love it!Nae :o)

  22. mmm, the titanic song*grabs bucket and throws up*yeah, um, i just love that song, reminds me of my 8th grade bf*throws up again*god how i wish i was little again

  23. yeah i know that feeling when u hear something and it brings back memories.. like mary j blige.. i think its called shackles.. every time i hear it.. memories of my year 10 formal afterparty come flooding back

  24. Hi ya, how are you? I hope you are not doing too bad.. I just read your profile, sorry to read that…… Well, now it\’s time to get busy and find out why you are on this planet… I think the journey for that would be to show love to yourself, for it is only when you love yourself, you can really find out why you are here on this planet.. Big kiss to you.. And pls stay strong.. One love…. x Cindy x..

  25. Please have a happy life

  26. I smiled as I read this because, frankly, you couldn\’t have gotten any more right. The mention of Marty and I knew what you were talking about and to end it on such a sweet note…Titanic. For me, it is "Locomotion." I listened to it every week on my way to Kokomo, IN for gymnastics and we did all of our routines to it. I also fall into vast memories of my first high school boyfrined when I hear "Truly, Madly, Deeply…" Oh, those were the times…I hope you have a great weekend. 🙂

  27. …only you could get 109 comments on a recycled post. Just stopping by to see what\’s up.

  28. Hey there – stop by my site later… I mentioned you in an entry!

  29. Ahh great post…:)Junior High was a nightmare eh…and the gay slow tunes they played made it even worse. At our school, they would play Enter Sandman or Ride the Lightning (and we would all be happily hangbanging away) and then all of a sudden, Extreme or Mr. Big would come on (or, like you said, they put on the most embarrassing Canuck ever…Celine Dion). Talk about mega suck. To add SERIOUS insult to injury, I was like 5 inches taller then all the other dudes and would always be hanging out in the corner with all the other junior high chick rejects(the irony is these are the same chicks who turned into uber-career women or models in their later years!) Thats ok though….my little height issue payed off during dodgeball in gym class heh heh heh! They may not have wanted to dance with my tall ass but they sure as hell would pick me first for their D-ball teams lol!My favorite is the smell flashback….ya never know if its gonna be a good memory or a bad one. There are certain mens colognes I wont even walk past in department stores for fear it may bring back all the emotions felt when my longest relationship ended…but then theres this Glade candle that I buy every week at the grocery store bc it reminds me of my dads crisp clean smell and gives me comfort being so far away from home…..Its all bc of an area called the Limbic system in our brains…its responsible for attaching emotion to such things…(the NS is kinda my thing)PS–About BDS…its my hangover/ sushi movie…I can quote the bitch Ive seen it so much. Truly a classic. Again..great post 🙂 KD

  30. May you always have an Angel to watch over you. Im sure you have many. Have a wonderful weekend. *hugs* Steph

  31. I love when that happens.Especially those who takes me back to my childhood.Things that otherwise would be forgotten.Great way to travel in time when you dont have a magical phone booth!Though I did have a pair of magical boots once! ..but thats another story..!!;)

  32. HAHAHA. I didn\’t realize just how easy it was to time travel. And I almost have the same memory transport for "Beat It" and waffle cones as you! For me, the smell of hot chocolate always brings back sled riding adventure days, "Material Girl" has me remembering how I naively thought she was good at sewing (hey, I was a kid, kids interpret in weird ways), and fudgsicles remind me of an awful joke from middle school. Thanks!

  33. i love those waffle cones,mmmmmmmmmmmm.Eye of the Tiger reminds me of " Rocky 3"and Quantum Leap what a wierd show.Songs that remind us of a time not so long ago.

  34. Best post this side of Hill Valley

  35. lol…when my ex and I broke up, it was the smell of his cologne…everwhere I went I seemed to smell it…
     
    Backstreet Boys and N*SYNC are the demons in my head…I am instantly transported to grade 10…sad and depressed over some dude who didn\’t deserve me but who I wanted anyway…yeah. Pathetic. Yet soooo funny now 🙂
     
    Every time you write…it\’s just awesome. If you wrote novels, or even an autobiography or anything…yeah, I\’d be buying it up like there was no tomorrow!

  36. Kenny,
    You are so right on: Titanic — and by association, the song (or is it the other way around) — was so inane that, by the end, I was rooting… no, shouting!… for Billy Zane. Kill the lovers, kill the lovers, kill the macabre, beaked, self-centered singer!
    It was only satisfying because you knew their couldn\’t be a sequel.
    Abe Munder

  37. THis was amazing — just amazing ~

  38. It\’s funny that you mentioned Quantum Leap at the end of this entry, bc I have always equated that show to how it feels whena certain smell \’transports\’ me back!  I have a thing about smells and how they \’enhance\’ my memory.  Another funny thing is that I\’ve been trying to \’read back\’ from the beginning of your blog, and I read the entry about your voice recognition software and how it can be a challenge at times….which I sort of understand since I tested voice recognition software at my last job….but I would never compare it to your use and knowledge of the software…..anyway, the funny part is that I REALLY REALLY tried to fix that error in my first sentence (whena…and I wanted to put a space between when and a but I COULD NOT do it!  Everytime I tried either the whole sentence would be highlighted or part of the sentence and no matter what I did, I could not just put that damn space there without deleting something!!) How weird is that! 
     
    You have an amazing gift in your writing…but that gift was in you before anything happened to you…it definitely isn\’t a result of anything, but just a part of who you are and who you have always been….but I believe it takes all of us some time to realize who we are and what are gifts are.   Those who realize it at all are the lucky ones, bc there are many souls that leave us with so much left unsaid, undid, and unlearned and those are the souls I mourn……bc they left without realizing their worth…

  39. Oh…another thing that occurred to me is that my friends have always liked getting letters and cards from me, and they make a point to say that I write just as I talk, so it\’s like I\’m in the letter talking to them.  You obviously have the ability to express yourself in words that are so absolutely true, believeable, and moving…..and I hope you will not be insulted by my next question…were you able to do that before the accident?  What I mean is…could you type the words that would actually come out of your mouth…in the manner they would come out of your mouth?…or do you believe the voice recognition software may have helped in that way?  I hope you will not be offended by my question, bc I ask it in a truly sincere manner.  I just have not met many men who could communicate as you do in writing…..verbally, most men are at a disadvantage anyway, IMO….but even in writing, true expressions of feelings are few and far between in my experience…..so I ask you Kenny, were you always able to express yourself so truly and honestly on paper, per se, or verbally?  Even before your accident?  I was just curious…thanks…kim

  40. Kenny,  You  are  very inspirational.   You are also an incredible writer really.
    You know we live in the Florida Keys and the weather and water are always
    quite beautiful here.   Alot of people who have had injuries like yours come to
    the Keys to swim at a facility called Dolphins plus  where you get to swim with the
    dolphins.  They have all the equipment to get you in and out of the water and there
    are physical therapist and dolphin trainers that all help out.  Hundreds of people come to
    the Keys (Key Largo to be exact) to participate.  You would have fun I think.  Also there
    are Charter Fishing boats down here that are specially rigged for wheelchair access that
    take you out fishing.  There is one famous DJ guy (a radio station out in Calif. I think) that
    comes down and fishes.  He is in your situation but they strap the fishing rod to him and
    they use and electric reel and he catches big fish.  I mean lots of people use electric reels
    for fishing that aren\’t paralyzed as well it is a common thing.  Our  family has a boat that
    is wide as well and if you ever come here we would take your out as well Contact me
    if you like you seem like a great guy I will give my sons (14 and 18) your site as well.
     

  41. psst.. wow.. are you going to check out the dophin facility? I\’ll be very jealous if you,  do you think you could ask that gentleman if you could bring a friend? 🙂 Hope you have a good day!

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