I had been invited to a picnic lunch being thrown by the aunt of a co-worker I had never met. I remember thinking, "I don't know who this woman is or why she wants to eat with me." Unable to foresee the incredible consequences of accepting the invitation, I agreed to attend.
Once the guests were assembled, our host beckoned us into an abandoned, ramshackle barn that could barely bear its own weight. Afternoon sunlight streaming through the cracks in the wood illuminated the barn's only contents: the mock-up of a 1930's pickup truck fashioned entirely of thin wooden slats of the sort used to make palettes. The pickup was braced up on stilts at a 45-degree angle to the floor, as if it were ready for imminent take-off. Once inside the barn, the aunt gruffly ordered us to climb into the bed of the pickup. We obeyed, terrified, as she seated herself behind the wheel.
The aunt began to make ridiculous engine sounds in the back of her mouth, or somewhere deep in her throat. She was spinning the steering wheel recklessly between her hands, scaring us all. We had just begun to look at each other in horror, when suddenly the pickup wrenched itself off its stilts and took off flying around inside the barn. We were skimming the walls and ceiling at 100mph, doing barrel rolls, loop-de-loops, barely in control.
Eventually, the aunt started to shift gears which didn't even exist, made her mouth sounds louder, and headed straight for the upper corner of the barn. We blasted through the crippled wood at breakneck speed... both our vehicle and the barn were destroyed upon impact. It was a great relief to be out of the barn, but now we were stuck in freefall. We floated slowly through the air, watching the wooden planks from the destroyed barn and pickup rotate slowly beside us as we fell gently to the ground like leaves.
Once I had landed safely, I picked myself up and looked around. Directly before me sat my own family on the grass, but it was a family from 27 years ago. My newly married mother and father, my baby brother, and myself at age three all gazed up toward me from where they sat in the grass. I looked at them in astonishment, waiting to see who would speak first. Finally my father piped up: "Well, you've finally arrived. You realize it cost 500 channels to get you here, don't you?'" But I wasn't paying attention to him. Instead, I knelt down and looked into the eyes of my three-year-old self and asked "Well, what do you think? Here I am in 30 years... How did I turn out?" In response, the toddler me plucked an imaginary sitar from the air and began to strum an improvised raga while accompanying myself in mock-Hindii.
Dreamed by: Scot Hacker