So. I was at Key Foods, stocking up on cereal and Greek yogurt, when I saw a Man. Now, living in the city I see a lot of these, but this one was different. Subtly so, however. Perhaps it was his Gandalf-style beard, WWII combat helmet, or giant rain boots that set him apart. Yes, I am sure it had something to do with that. I saw him in the cereal isle, pushing his cart along. I could not stare for long, for that would be rude, and I am fairly confidant he had some sort of firearm. But I did see his face. I saw his old eyes, almost hidden behind his bushy white eyebrows. There was something about his gaze. It was the gaze of a man long misunderstood, a man who knew the world would not, nay, could not comprehend the complex machinations that whirled like dervishes in his mind. He passed me by, as my eyes followed in his wake, resting on his red camping backpack and army trenchcoat. Now, most men would write him off as an eccentric, weird old man, perhaps homeless. But I am not most men. My long years dwelling in fantasy realms of my own creation have endowed me with a keen sense for when something exciting is afoot. It was this feeling I had then. The feeling that there was more to the old man than met the eye. So I texted Ian.
Used to such scenarios, Ian immediately understood, and we embarked on a discussion as to the true nature of The Man with the Beard and Strange Hat. All the while, something was nagging at the corner of my brain. Only when I ceased to focus on it did it become clear.
Yes. It was so simple.
What do time travelers do when embarking on a mission to the past? As any fool or fan of Dr. Who could tell you, the time traveler attempts to blend in with the dress and customs of the day. However, when viewed through the lens of time, such things can get slightly jumbled. Thus there is usually something off about his or her appearance. Perhaps it is the tutu worn over the buisness suit. Or perhaps the doughboy helmet worn with plaid shirt and rain boots while food shopping.
Even more bizarre, just that morning I had received an email from my brother Greg of an advertisement in the paper, "jokingly" seeking a time traveling partner. Coincidence? I think not.
Immediately I recognized the ramifications. Why else would a time traveler be visiting the year 2009 unless unless something major was about to happen? Something that would change the time stream forever! The development of true artificial intelligence, triggering a robot uprising hundreds of years hence? Invasion of hostile alien empires? Terrorists shot the professor causing me to travel back in time so I can unite my future parents with the power of rock and roll? Your guess is as good as mine. But you can be damn sure that I will be picking apart the news with a fine tooth comb in subsequent weeks. Now I must be off to replenish my apocalypse stockpile and begin construction on more tin foil hats. Also, I must learn more about this "Chuck Berry"...
ps- It has just occurred to me that this man could also be a poorly disguised wizard, unused to the garb of our Muggle world. Either way, I just cannot lose.