There’s been a break in the time-space continuum. At least tonight there’s been a break. I’ve recently listened to Kurt Vonnegut’s “Timequake.” In the novel, Vonnegut writes about a break in the time-space continuum during 2001 causing the entire universe to rewind to 1991. During the 10 years of the timequake, everything is repeated exactly how it happened the first time. You know what’s going to happen, what’s going on, you lived it the first time, however there is nothing you can do to change it.
Tonight I’m experiencing my own timequake. Through a cruel twist of fate and some bad chicken scampi, I’ve found myself wide-awake at 5:11 a.m. on this fine Easter morning. Since there seems to be something inherently wrong in cleaning and/or doing anything productive at five o’clock in the morning, I set about to making some CDs for the sisters.
It was the making of these CDs that caused the timequake. They had all requested tunes dating back to my college years. My head is currently stuck in May of 1995. May 13th, to be exact.
I’m in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. I’m 22 and I’ve just arrived on the shores of Half-Moon Lake in Carson Park. I’m wearing shorts even though it’s raining and cold. It’s a graduation party for some of my closest friends. There are all sorts of people from the student newspaper there along with a heaping helping of the track and cross-country teams. It’s raining, I have a beer in my hand and I’m surrounded by friendly Blugolds (yes, our school mascot was the blugolds. I still don’t know what it is. We tried to find out once and do a story on it and all we discovered is that nobody knows quite what a blugold is).
The rain continues and so does the beer drinking. Finally, LaFrenz materializes. I’ve only had a crush on LaFrenz for the entirety of the second semester. He’s my pal, my friend and my lust object. Every time he smiles at me I cannot believe how incredibly good looking he is. It amazes me that someone so physically beautiful is my friend.
Whenever he speaks to me I can’t believe his voice. To this day I have yet to meet another man with a smoky, sexy voice like LaFrenz’s.
We stand in the rain talking to each other. LaFrenz and I. We are momentarily alone in the crowd of friends. I tell him how I had to skip EdgeFest to make it to the party. He’s happy I came. He tells me how he went to EdgeFest last year to see Material Issue. I LOVE Material Issue, I proclaim.
Then he grabs my hand (the one not holding the beer) and we start to dance. We dance in the rain singing, “Valerie Loves Me” to each other.
It’s such a shame not with me and all the pretty things and all the love my heart could bring I would give my whole life to her.
I am happy.
We stay there in the rain singing loudly and dancing, drawing a crowd. My evil friend Trish grabs my shoulder and tells me I’m making an ass out of myself. I tell her to go fuck herself.
Fast forward. . .
I’ve skipped climbing to the top of the ski-jump with Dave and Shelley to look at the stars in order to drink more with LaFrenz. It’s bartime and we begin to stumble home together. He’s wearing sunglasses though it’s 2:30 in the morning. I’m wearing red shorts and a straw cowboy hat. Suddenly we’re standing in front of his house and he’s crying. Sobbing and I’m holding him. Holding him in my arms and close to my heart.
We rock back and forth humming “Valerie Loves Me.”
Fast forward. . .
We’re back in 2002 now. It’s 5:30 in the morning and the timequake has come to an end. I don’t know where LaFrenz is. Last I heard he’s married with children and living in a house near Lake Harriet.
I’m not married without children and living in apartment near Prior Lake. Even though I’ve got tears drying on my face, I’m happy.