Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Frozen in Time

Have you ever been frozen in time?

You may have been.  Have you ever gone to a high school reunion, expecting to find a room full of 17 and 18 year olds, and shocked, instead, to discover that everyone had aged - just like you? Or, visited a place you haven't been to in many years, to find how much it's changed?

I sometimes ride the subway in my native New York City, where I spent the first 21 years of my life.  Before I left, I used mass transit all the time - my family never owned a car. (Back in the 50's and 60's, non car owing families were common in the City.) I've visited New York City a number of times since I left, and sometimes I use mass transit. When I ride the subway, a art of me knows how the subways look, sound, smell nowadays - but a part of me expects to see token booths and does not expect Metro Cards and people listening to music on their phones. 

Another example:  I lived in Tampa, Florida for a couple of years back in the 1970's, and visited the Orlando area several times during that time.  I've been back to Tampa twice since then, the most recent visit being in March, and have been in the Orlando area three times.  A part of me knows that Orlando is a city of skyscrapers and theme park sprawl but I'm amazed when I'm there, because Orlando wasn't like that at all in the 1970's.  I-4 was not a superhighway, and Tampa's downtown was several sort of tallish buildings.  Today I would, and did, get so lost in downtown Tampa that it's amazing I'm still not wandering around looking for the exit.

Yes, at times I am frozen.  Frozen in time, suspended in a time that no longer exists, and not knowing what to make of it.

Has this happened to you?


  1. I've never had this happen but I guess at 25 not enough time as passed.

  2. Oh, yes! Even a few months change a lot in the commercial zone of my neighbourhood and the skyscrapers are multiplying as if by magic. :D

  3. I think this happens to all of us. I moved from PA in 1990 to Michigan and every now and then I go back home to visit.

    I'm amazed at how things have changed; buildings gone that were once considered historical monuments... parks look so different and the home I grew up in has changed colors (and got a complete facelift).

    It doesn't seem as if I really knew the place at all!

  4. Yesterday, I was frozen in a disabled woman's body, holding a passport photo of an old woman with a grumpy face. My husband took me to the nearby town of Radlett, UK, to get the photo I needed. The town is hilly with uneaven surfaces. I pushed my rollator up the ramp with my usual vigor. However, I'd forgotten my glasses. When my husband arrived from parking the car, he asked the post-office man to help with the automatic service. After much trouble, he set it all up for me. I needed to hunch down a bit to get my face in the right place, which wasn't the pose I wanted. After that shocker, I felt unsteady on my feet and didn't want to look around the shops as planned. Frozen in an unknown body. Sigh!


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