When I was barely into my 20s I went on a bike ride with my best friends. It was something we hadn’t done in a long time, having graduated from bikes to our own cars years before. We rode around our old neighborhood, then expanded into other neighborhoods nearby. I remember the day clearly, not least of all because I had a nagging thought throughout the adventure that it would be one of the last times the three of us would do something like that.
More recently, there has been a meme going around Facebook about going outside to play with your friends for the last time and not knowing it. It’s corny, but it’s true.
These feelings got me thinking about appreciation. About how, without the benefit of hindsight, impossible it is to fully appreciate the moment you’re in or the people you’re with. We’re not built to have that perspective. But what if there was a way?
Time travel has always fascinated me. In a sense, time travel is the ultimate form of control. If you make a mistake but have access to a time machine, that mistake can be corrected. And if you remember the last moments you had with someone, you can relive it to better appreciate it at the time.
Both of these concepts–nostalgia and time travel–are core concepts in some of Ray Bradbury’s work. You may sense some of his influence in the story. I don’t try to ape his style (anymore), but for this story I wanted to hit the same tone he might. Use some of the same language. Especially for Barry. He strikes me as a Bradbury-type character.
Most of all, I hope that this story makes you consider being a bit more present. Reflect on the moments you have with the ones you love with no distraction.