By Cat Weaver
Trason stood in bare feet on the chill kitchen tiles holding a glass of water. He thought, you should have had a plan. When you went to college. You could at least have had a plan. You never took anything seriously. He noticed the silvery winter sky, the clouds etched in black along the edges, center-lit by the moon tonight.
He went out to the living room to see it better. The doors to the deck were cold to the touch. Crossing his arms and staring out at the bold flat metallic face of the moon, Trason began again an experiment he’d been repeating a lot of late. He thought, where would I go back, how far, to correct my path, to make myself into someone I could rest with? Someone who could sleep at least.
You’d have to have been different somehow, he told himself. Just as he had many times in the past months.
Precocious, if you went back to childhood, guiding your mother away from the alcohol and the reckless friends. Supremely confident despite your poverty and your family shame— if you went back to those agonizing high school years. Unaffected by all that — undamaged, mature, and sensible, if you went back to your early 20s.
In any case you were never any of that.
Some one small thing would need to change. You couldn’t just go back in time; you’d have to find yourself in some altered circumstances — someone else would have to have done something: a mentor, perhaps. But there are no mentors in this story.
So, there you have it. Stop rolling the tape. You are who you are. You were where you were. They were who they were. You made the decisions you made and now you hate them. But moving forward is the only way to go. Because backward, no matter how far back doesn’t work out any differently.
Trason imagined a top spinning wildly on the tip of a needle.
If I weren’t a materialist. If I didn’t know that it’s all a matter of causes and effects, I could imagine a different outcome. But who would that be, then, in that story with the different outcome? Not a top spinning anyway?
Trason went back to bed, leaving his meditation spot, in front of the glass doors.
The virtual trace of his being lingers, in this story, facing the full moon in the icy winter light.