Combat Zone

Senior sees his past self during Discover Puget Sound weekend

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Transcript from an exclusive interview with Puget Sound senior Josh Johnson. Interview conducted by representative from Non-governmental Organization (NGO) “House of Past Lives.”


J: Shhhhhhhh, you’re thinking too loud. You’re staring too loud. Stop! Don’t do that! Will you promise to believe me? Please? No one has believed me. Sorry. Sorry. God. I’m a mess. I haven’t slept in a week. Maybe months.


HPL: Josh, it is going to be okay. Can someone please dim the lighting and grab a Powerade for him? Okay, can you please start from the beginning? Wherever you feel the beginning is.


J: Some time ago … days … weeks … years … Does it even matter? I was out on Todd Field playing Grill Tennis. I felt powerful that day. With every swing of my arm I felt my muscles tense up in a brawny way. I was IN my body. The sun was shining. And, to be honest I felt like the king of the campus. People walking down Commencement saw me and they liked it. The girls’ eyes lingered on me. The boys exuded jealousy. I was the picture of a senior at the top of his game.

Then, as I was watching the ball travel toward the grill, my eyes focused on a kid across the way. He was between scrawny and swole. I could tell –– no, I knew –– he’d just gotten into whey protein powder the month before. His football coach had recently given him the Most Improved award. His mom had just told him, “Son, represent our little town just outside San Francisco well.” Do … do you follow me? Most people start questioning me about here.


HPL: Yes, Josh, I follow. If you need a moment, please take one. I’m ready to hear the rest when you are prepared.


J: This kid … this kid … I … he was laying eyes on this other prospective student. She was … is … my girlfriend and has been for three years. But, it was her — GOD I can’t explain it. It was her from the past. She was still wearing those tall, knee-high riding boots –– she didn’t yet know that slightly-above-the-ankle was the only boot-height allowed in the Pacific Northwest. I saw him –– I mean ME –– look at her and try to play it cool. He raised his hand to give her a little wave, got shy and put his hand through his hair. Embarrassing, but I remember it. Aw, little man, he didn’t know anything yet.

I was watching myself and my girlfriend. I was watching us … but I was there. I was watching us from the past.


HPL: Josh, you look ill. Do you need anything?


J: No …. no …. I think that I can go on. Despite the fact that I was owning the Grill Tennis arena, I stopped and decided to discreetly follow us. Their tour guide was my buddy Joe. Joe seemed a little dazed; we’ve been friends since our first year, and he was really craning to look at my girlfriend and me from the past. We walked into the S.U.B. and me from the past ordered my classic egg salad sandwich. Then, my past self saw present me, walked toward me and said, “Good luck finishing your econ thesis.”


HPL: You are doing great. Please continue.


J: The strength I’ve gained from my four years of drinking at least two Core Powers per day left my body in that moment. I collapsed on the ground and woke up in the library archives. A copy of a Puget Sound yearbook from each year since the school’s founding was open in front of me. I was in every. Single. Yearbook. My friends were in every. Single. Yearbook. You’ve made it this far, but you’ll leave too, I’m sure. I beg of you though, please stay.


HPL: Nobody is going anywhere, Josh. You are believed here at House of Past Lives. Someone, please put a cold towel on his forehead! Josh, go on.


J: Since this moment I’ve begun to lose my mind. Whenever … whenever … I try and show the yearbooks to my friends the images are different. I’ve tried to find Joe, but he went missing after the tour. I have no idea where he is. This school is in a f—- time warp. But I guess I should’ve known since … you know what they say … once a logger, always a logger. Once … a … Logger … always …. a …. Logger. Once ……………… a ………….. Logger …………. Always ………. A ………. Logger.