Letâ€™s say youâ€™re a person who doesn’t buy the magazines at the grocery check out because you are the one in a million who doesn’t care who Jennifer Aniston is dating. You know you should care but you just can’t help it. You can’t find it in your heart to care. Plus their damn diets don’t work. And the â€œFifty New Ways to turn HIM onâ€ always turn out to be about taking a bubble bath surrounded by aromatherapy candles. How much more about Lindsay do you really need to know?. Sheâ€™s barely out of her teens. You have her whole life memorized.
But let’s say that one day you suddenly start seeing an endless parade of articles about someone you used to date twenty years ago. Letâ€™s call that person Ed. You donâ€™t really need any more information about Ed. You know more than enough about him. Even more than you do about Lindsey. These articles should be easy to ignore.
But what if the articles have salacious titles like “Inside Ed’s Secret World” and “What Ed Does to Lure Young Girls.” They cause you to say to yourself, “Wow.Whatâ€™s with all the â€œluringâ€?. I donâ€™t remember any luring back when I knew him. What does he do to lure them? Sticky wads of bills attached to invisible wire?”
So you open up the magazine, against your better judgment. And you slog your way past all those pictures of Jennifer Aniston. There she is in swimwear! Look! In leotards! At an award show! Why I didn’t know Jennifer Aniston did yoga! Well, I’ll be darned! She got a new haircut! Good for Jennifer! Oh no! She’s crying! Is she going to be okay?
And then suddenly where the luring article finally starts to get going you get a very weird surprise. There is a great big picture of you! Well, not just you.Its you with Ed from 25 years ago, taken at work by an L.A. Times photographer! But itâ€™s big! Its a full half page!
Youâ€™re so caught off guard by it that you drop the magazine and accidentally make a Three Stooges noise: that wide mouthed one that Curly makes before the clucking and the finger snapping. It is inadvertently loud enough that it causes the people behind you in line to look at you and worry. Should they should be afraid of you? In the space of a single instant, you feel like you have mistakenly pushed open the door of an occupied public restroom while also being the person who was interrupted inside of the stall.
But the other people in line are the least of your problems because for a minute you think you hear the theme music to the Twilight Zone. Is it possible you’ve entered some kind of a time warp? One of those other eight dimensions they always speak of in string theory? Think! Where are you? What do you know about all this? Have you stepped in to a tear in the fabric of time and are now connected to a secret world of luring? What if when you get home with your Windex and your diet cola, you look in the mirror and find that you are 25 years younger? Well, that wouldn’t be so bad would it? But..whoa, just a minute…What if it turns out that you are the young girl who is being lured!…”OMG!” you say, suddenly talking more like Lindsey and Jennifer than usual, “Are they telling me I was I lured?” Were you? Maybe you were! Think back! Think! What do you know about luring! Well, there was that first date at Barney’s Beanery playing air hockey. If that wasn’t luring, what the hell was it?. Although …wait a second… You weren’t all that young. In fact you were thirty in that fucking picture . But that L.A. Times photographer…was he part of the luring?
Then you get a grip.
To get grounded, on your way out of the store you decide to sneak a peak at a different one of those magazines. Just a return to reality. A little sorbet between courses, to regain your perspective .And also, quite frankly, to learn a little more about Jennifer Aniston. Maybe you have been wrong to ignore her all these years. Suddenly you have more empathy for the poor girl. Although it occurs to you that by ignoring her, maybe you’ve been doing her a nice favor.
And much to your horror, there you see that same 25 year old picture of you. Again. Only this time in an article about leading ‘a secret double life.” Really? The last time you checked you thought having even one life was more than you could handle. Or is it possible there is another version of you running around somewhere twenty five years ago over whom you have lost all control? That can’t happen, can it? That’s not the way reality works these days, does it?
You have to admit, an experience like that would definitely be very weird, would it not?