Helping History

I was relaxing in my living room when my sofa and home disappeared. I was free-falling through time.

I heard snippets of phrases fly by, like, “Joan, I don’t care for this melted slurpee…” “Look, this is no place for an elephant!” Time travel is like flipping through the pages in a book without having time to notice what’s on them, but every once in a while you glimpse some words or catch a face in a photo.

Suddenly I landed in Appomattox Court House, April 9, 1865. Confederate General Robert E. Lee was surrendering to Union General US Grant. I sensed it was an awkward moment. When someone surrenders to you, they are basically saying they are sorry. You want to point at them and say, “In your face!” or skip around the room singing Hooray! But you also want to prevent the other person from getting angry and starting up their craziness all over again.

After the surrender I went up to General Lee and offered my condolences.

General Lee said, “I appreciate your kind words, but I worry how the future shall see me. Will I be a cur and a viper in my children’s children’s children’s eyes?”

I said, “Yours is not to worry. I am from the future and I triumphantly and respectfully play you in my second grade’s school play about the Civil War.”

General Lee said, “You man, this news soothes my aching and broken soul.”

I didn’t tell General Lee that I forgot my lines, peed my pants, and was booed off stage.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *