time and space
time and space
There's a store tucked away in the corner of the mall. It's now a Suncoast Video, but was a craft store before that and a Christmas store before that. And before that, for many years, it was a restaurant.
I worked in that restaurant for a couple of years. First as a waitress, then a waitress/hostess/bartender and then as the manager. I made good friends there, often hanging out after hours, drinking and sharing stories. I went through the toughest time of my life there, made easier and better through the fun and laughter that work brought me. That place was my home. When the owner (whom I had known since high school when I befriended his daughter) said it was time to retire and close down the restaurant, I cried for days.
I've avoided that part of the mall since. I never went in the craft store or the Christmas store. When I went to the mall, I came in the back entrance so as to avoid the melancholy feeling that welled up in my stomach every time I thought of the restaurant.
Suncoast Video moved into that spot two weeks ago. I didn't know this until Saturday morning when we went to the mall to, among other things, get some DVDs.
I walked hesitantly into the video store. It's hard to describe the feeling that came over me when I saw that the glass block wall was still standing. The structure of the store had not changed at all. The had not knocked down any walls. The cash register counter stood at an angle in the same place the bar used to stand. I walked around the store, almost in a daze. Time and space had collided for me.
See, I believe that every thing, living or inanimate, has an energy to it. A store, a car, a person. And when that person or object moves from one place to another, they leave some of that energy behind. So as I stood there I looked around me and saw not racks of DVDs and action figures, but tables and chairs and the people I used to work with. I could almost hear my name being called from the kitchen. It's as if little ghosts of all the people who passed through the restaurant were still in that place, eating and drinking and cooking.
I've always felt like this. When I stood at the place where Paul Revere once rode his horse or where Walt Whitman wrote a poem or where Mickey Mantle hefted a bat over his shoulder on his way to the plate, I would get a sense of that time, that person. As if parts of the energy from every moment in the history of this planet leaves some cosmic dust trail that never goes away. So if you are in tune to it, you can sense it. You can feel it. You can sit in your mother's living room and feel your dead grandmother sitting next to you, knitting and complaining about the chill in the house. You can walk through your elementary school and almost see your old classmates, like spirits, roaming through the halls. You can stand in the same place you stood in as a child and grab that energy and be that child for a fleeting instant.
Every path I take was walked by someone before me. Every road I drive, every seat I take in a restaurant, everywhere I go, people have been before. People who have left little fragments of their energy scattered about, so that you sometimes get that chill down your spine for no apparent reason, so that you feel like you aren't alone in a room when you are.
If you take the time to be in tune to it, you can soak in it. You can live in the moment and sense the feelings and hear Paul Revere calling out his warning. You can go where you have been before and not even know it, and be overwhelmed by a sudden memory as your own energy grabs onto you.
It's not a theory, it's not a scientfic fact. It's my own way of connecting time and space. It's what I feel connects us with the past, because the past never leaves us. It's here, we just have to look for it.