Two time machines: one travels forward only; the other, backward. I’m allowed to take one. Only one.
But which to choose?
To me, this is a no-brainer. Why in the world wouldn’t I choose the one that takes me back? Most days I don’t feel I was made for the present, the world as it is now. I certainly don’t feel like the future is getting any brighter, either. The world is in chaos, leaderless, scattered. And maybe the past was too, but there’s just so many wicked awesome aspects of it that I’d love to go see, famous people I’d love to meet and talk to. And if I have a time machine that takes me back, I get to go witness it all firsthand, rather than only read about it.
So I’d pack up my bitchin’ machine with modern medical supplies (something positive from the present, and should come in pretty handy) and just go back, back, back and see and meet:
1. The Beatles
Because I’d love to see the Fab Four live. They’re my favorite band of all time (yes, beating out Green Day), and it’s one of the heartbreaking aspects of my life that I have never–or will ever–see them live. Seeing McCartney is the closest, but my favorite Beatle (George) passed away years ago.
2. Mahatma Gandhi
A figure of peace, freedom and love, just standing in his presence would be enough to inspire and move me, language-barrier be damned.
3. A young J.D. Salinger
Before he became a recluse, I’d hunt down my favorite American author from a time before he wrote Catcher. What I’d really like to do is just walk up to him, kiss his hand, and disappear in my time machine before he could even say a word.
4. Have lunch with James Dean
Provided he actually would sit and chat with me. I have a suave plan of pulling up in my rocking time travel transporter and impressing him in a blaze of awesome glory. I feel that might impress him. But what I’d really like to do is just discuss The Little Prince with him. It was one of his favorite books.
5. Go see The Clash live
Because they’re The Clash. That’s enough.
6. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
The creator of the Prince, the fox, the rose, and the pilot. I want to hug him and not let go. I’d say something to him, but I don’t know I’d be able to express what his book means to me.
Will always mean to me.
7. Jane Austen
Gosh, I’d love to meet her, see her writing at that small table in her family cottage.
8. William Shakespeare
Does this remotely require any kind of reason? Let’s go to The Globe and see something–anything at all–written by The Bard.
9. Napoleon Bonaparte
My historical crush. No, his height or the fact that he’s a moody man does not bother me. Have you ever read one of his love letters to Josephine? Oh my. The man was a romantic. Personally, I’d like to throw my hat into the ring and see if I could whisk him away from his adulterous wife.
10. Nathan Hale
“I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country.”
One of my favorite American heroes.
11. Jesus Christ
Whether or not you believe Christ was the Son of God, historical documents show that there was a Jesus of Nazareth. Why not go and see for myself what went on? Who knows–I may see a miracle.
12. The Buddha
For good measure.
13. Ancient Egypt
King Tut. Nefertiti. Cleopatra. Pyramids.
Seriously… how could you NOT want to see these guys?!?!
Gosh, the possibilities are endless. I want to see all of this so bad. So many historical moments I would want to witness–not change, but just be a bystander–giving context to all of those history lessons throughout the years. To meet the authors (Tolkien! Lewis!), the artists (Van Gogh! Monet! Renoir!), presidents (Roosevelt! Lincoln! Washington! Jackson!).
So, one day… if I’m suddenly not here anymore… it’s because I’m in the past.
And man, am I having a blast!