Friday, June 9, 2017

Living In A Better Time

"I'm sick of the news," said Hal in frustration. "It's always bad. I wish I could live in a better time like my grandparents did."

The next morning, Hal awoke to find himself in a strange place. It was in his same apartment but in the year 1945.

As he looked around his apartment, his TV was gone, and so was his computer, his microwave and his dishwasher. His refrigerator was an icebox.

Hal knocked on the door of his neighbor. "I'm Hal," he said. "Your new neighbor." "And I'm Nick," came the reply.

"Nick, my TV, my computer, my microwave, and my dishwasher are gone. So is my cellphone."

"What are those things," Nick replied, looking quizzically at Hal. Just then, Nick lit a cigarette.

"You want a cigarette, " Nick asked. "I smoke Camels, but almost everyone here smokes Lucky Strike."

"No thanks," Hal answered, as he noticed the smell of cigarette smoke was all around him.

"Could you take me to a supermarket so I can buy groceries," he asked Nick. "What's a supermarket," Nick replied.

"That's okay," said Hal. "Any grocery store will do."

As they got into Nick's car, Hal saw there were no seat belts and it had a metal dash and a plate glass windshield. "This car is a death trap," he thought.

"Could we play some music on the radio," Hal asked. "I like rock music." "What is rock music," Nick answered.

"When Hal finished buying his groceries, he gave the clerk his credit card. "What is this," asked the clerk. Hal then quickly paid in cash.

As the clerk made change, Hal thought, "Most of what I wanted to buy I guess hasn't been invented yet."

When they got back to Hal's apartment, Nick asked, "Who are you and where did you come from?"

Hal told Nick the truth about his time-travel, and about the future problems confronting the world.

"Let me tell you about what we face in 1945," Nick replied.

"We just finished World War 2, and so many people were killed or maimed, tears are being shed in nearly every household."

"Now we may go to war with the Communists, and everyone's scared. We may also go back into The Great Depression, which was horrible."

"And Negroes are demanding equal rights. We're not about to let them live in our neighborhoods or go to our schools or take our jobs."

"Same thing with the Japs [Japanese Americans], now that they are out of the camps we locked them in during the War."

"Also, many women who worked during the War don't want to quit their jobs. They want careers and to attend college. We won't allow that either. A woman's place is in the home."

"It's like the world is going to Hell," Nick added. "And the Atom-Bomb may send us there."

That night, Hal passionately prayed to return to his time.

When he awoke, he was back in today. "What a nightmare," he proclaimed. "From a distance in time, the past seemed far better than what it turned out to be."

"I guess the past looks better to us as we try to escape our problems, but only through solving those problems can we grow."

"I would rather be here, dealing with today's issues, and by doing so, make this a better world for generations to come, who like every generation, will have their own problems to solve."

With Love To All - Dick

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