I’ve decided to go back to Heidelberg.
I was there before; it was October 1998 through July 1999.
The hardest part will be looping back in time and reinhabiting my 20/21-year-old body/brain while keeping all the knowledge and skills I currently possess. I’m also not sure how to get the blueprint of the first time I was there. And, now that I think of it, the hardest part might be a slight health improvement I’ll make to myself (undeviate my septum), the larger one I’ll make for a girl I meet there (undo her tendency towards cancer), and notice and make minor and large improvements to the flow of history, all the while mostly goofing off. I’m not sure where to begin with the technology, really. Well, I know where to begin: I’ll do an internet search. I guess the only practicable plan is to dedicate a weekend to the math and science and just see how far I get.
I’m gonna go back to Heidelberg. I’m not going to let the Supreme Court steal the election for Bush, but that’s for later. In fact, I may loop around Heidelberg over and over again for a decade. I tell you what, I’m gonna do a lot of touching up, and if I make a mistake, I’m gonna rewind and redo. But mostly–and this is key to my whole argument: mostly I’m going to be hanging out.
Think of it this way: I can’t get up with tea and cigarettes nowadays; I can’t spend a couple nights a week dissipating with cigarettes and Hefeweisen in a smoke-clouded basement dorm bar; I can’t pass hours smoking and drinking tea in college coffee shops in beautiful medieval buildings: I can’t spend most of my time goofing off, and I cannot handle any nicotine or caffeine, nor can I handle nearly as much alcohol as I feel like handling. That’s the problem. Also, there’s a hopelessness in time’s arrow that just keeps sinking in deeper and deeper and bumming me out further and further. No, I clearly can’t stay here; I have to go back to Heidelberg.
I’ll have the same friends. I’ll pursue the Spanish girl who said I was so dreamy looking – I’ll be up for it this time. I’ll be friends with the French girls but will otherwise leave them alone. I’ll drink and smoke, but more moderately and with more enjoyment. I’ll do the November weekend trip to Amsterdam, but with way less weed. I’ll have a nice time. I’ll be young for real this time.
When my grandfather – God rest his soul – and his poor addled brother would sit together in a giant, low-slung offwhite Cadillac less and less expertly-steered by my grandfather, his brother would invariably make some sleepy, sticky-mouthed, galumphing, blurry-eyed comment along the lines of, for example, how he should’ve planted more peaches and less apples. My grandfather never said, “yeah, but the real problem was that you were never a competent businessman”, but rather: “too soon old, too late wise!”
A related insight: “Youth is wasted on the young.” It really is. Even on the basically sane young, and even more so on those of us straight outta la la land.
Some may see this current resolution of mine as a radical move. However, I believe that upon closer inspection, returning to 1998/9 Heidelberg’s simply the natural evolution of my general, lifelong project of always doing whatever I feel like doing. It turns out that as time goes by my body/mind ages and the world gets heavier and heavier with some Evil that’s tarred with many names, perhaps all our names, but in any case definitely with my name. This hampers my freedom; this skews my stride; this confuses my passion; this isn’t working out. And so I’ll have to return to Heidelberg, as discussed.
Duder G. Duudalo