Lynnfield/Reading MA, 05/27/1980

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May 27, 1980

Today was strange, even given everything I’ve been through these past 6 months, today was bizarre!

I got up early, and got ready.  Since I got my job in the deli, I’ve had to remain clean shaven, which has actually managed to make me more approachable to the people of this time.  I guess with the beard I looked more transient.  So I shaved perfectly clean, got dressed and left the house.

I headed to Reading, to a house that I had been to a million times before.  I went to my Grandfather’s house, but here in 1980, it’s my Grandparent’s house.  I circled the block, probably ten times getting my nerve up.  Finally, I pulled up in front of the house, walked up the walkway, and rang the doorbell.

After the longest moment of my life, my Grandmother, answered the door.  She looks like every picture I’ve ever seen of her.  She kept the screen door closed, and stood behind it.

“Can I help you?” she asked, not knowing what I was selling or there for.

“Um… I have to tell you something, and you’ll think I’m crazy, but then I’ll leave.  Ok?”

Naturally she looked at me as if I were a lunatic.  She nodded and took a step back.  I did as well to make her more comfortable.

“I’m not here to do anything but tell you this, then I’ll leave.  I’m a time-traveler from the future.”

She lets out a laugh and her eyes go back and forth looking around the neighborhood.

“I’m not joking, and I’m not crazy.  I want to tell you a few things that are going to happen, things that I couldn’t possibly know.  You watch the news for them ok?  Next week, on June 3rd… a series of tornadoes is going to hit Nebraska.  5 people will die from those.  June 9th, Richard Pryor is going to light himself on fire while doing cocaine.  Watch the news for those two things, please.  Don’t tell anyone about it, just watch for those two things. If they don’t happen, I’ll never come back here.  Ok?”

She looked at me still completely in shock.  After a moment she nodded.

“June 3rd tornado in Nebraska, 5 dead.  June 9th Richard Pryor lights himself on fire.” I repeat hoping she’ll remember.  I take 5 steps back and say, “please don’t tell anyone.  If those two things happen, I’ll explain everything.  Ok?”

She nodded, it wasn’t a look of terror on her face, which made me feel better.  The look was just utter confusion.

I gave her a polite smile and wave, and get in my car and drive away.


It’s now been a couple of hours, and no one has come to speak from the police station, even though she had to have seen my license plate.  I think that’s a good sign.


After stopping there, I went to a high school, and signed up for the SAT’s which I’ll be taking at the end of the summer.  That might be the thing I’m least anticipating about starting over here.  Once I was done with the SATs in 2002, I had been so relieved.  I’m a good test taker, but they’re stressful for everyone I think.  But if I’m going to get into a college, I need to take the test.

I got a letter from Destiny today.


Dear Darren,

I read The Old Man and the Sea, (I had told her about it when she had mentioned that she hated Hemingway.  She had not ceased to surprise me through our letters, and had mentioned that she loved reading, and we had been having quite a literary discussion for about a month now.) …you were right, it’s much better than some of the longer stuffier novels.


She then proceeded to spend a page explaining why I should read The Bell Jar.  I made a mental note, and decided I would go to Waldenbooks tomorrow before work.


I hope everything is going well for you in Massachusetts, I do hope to visit someday, but I don’t know when.  I hope that you meet someone there, someone who makes you break your rule about relationships.  Life can be lonely enough without determining never to give love a try.




Destiny has implied in her letters that she thinks I’m gay.  She seems convinced that’s the reason why I’ve decided not to let myself love.  But she seems to think I’m closeted, or that perhaps I don’t realize I’m gay.  I haven’t corrected her, because it seems to be a better explanation than the truth.


I am going to head into work early today.  It’s Tuesday, and I always head to work early on Tuesdays, because it’s the day Dad delivers to the store.

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