They’re coming faster now. When they first started, it could be weeks between them. When they’d come, they’d come all in a row, but I’d have some reprieve. I’d get a break now and then.
Now I’m just broken.
My junior year, they’ll start coming for a while so close togetherr it’ll keep me home from school.
“Honey, are you all right?” asks my mother. Do we need to take you to a doctor? She’s waited a few days to ask, ‘cause I’m such a good kid.
“It’s okay,” I lie to my mother. “It’s just migraines, it’ll go away.”
The irony of having blinding visions of the future is, they don’t always tell you when they’re going to stop. The information is selective.
At least I know that I’ll graduate. Someday.
at first, the real problem is the future. I wake up one day and find my niece in her high-chair. It hits me—why is my niece in her high chair? She’s four!
Except she isn’t four yet, is she?
One day, I’m twenty-seven. Did I say twenty-seven? I meant twenty-five. How did I get back home? I find myself thinking. I’m supposed to be at the… at the…
The vision does not extend to all locations.
I say the wrong thing to my mother. “Don’t you have that thing to get to?”
The meeting that I’m thinking of won’t happen for another four months, hasn’t even been scheduled yet.
At first, the problem is the future, but before long, the problem is the past. I’ve had so many disorienting and almost lucid visions, it’s getting harder to tell the difference between future and past, between past and present. I overcompensate.
“Did Jasper get that promotion yet?”
“Jasper was promoted months ago!” my mother reminds me. “We talked about this!”
“Oh, right.” That much I can pass off as just my brother’s detachment from the rest of us.
But then I forget whether Trevor has come out yet. He starts talking about his love-life. Frustration that he hasn’t had sex. I get confused. Has he come out to me? Or was that just a vision that hasn’t happened yet? If I mention he needs to get a boyfriend, I might be outing him too soon. But if he has come out to me and I mention him needing a girlfriend, that might be worse off for our friendship.
This is stupid. We’ve always known Trevor was gay. Right?
Finally, he uses the world girlfriend and I notice that he’s looking right at me when he says it. He does that thing with his eyes where they flick down and then back up again and I realize… But that isn’t possible, is it? What does he want from me? To grow him a beard? How does Trevor come out to me? I have had a vision of this, haven’t I?
“What do you mean, ‘girlfriend’?” I ask.
He flushes. I’ve embarrassed him. But how, why?
“Look, forget it, it’s… I don’t know.”
That day, in the library, he leaves without saying another word and I am completely unprepared.
“Trevor is gay, though, isn’t he?” I ask Lucy.
“Is he?” she says. “I don’t know. I just always thought of him as, I don’t know, non-sexual? Maybe he just never did it for me.”
“So he hasn’t come out to you?”
The question troubles her deeply. “No… Why would he?”
Have we just been having this conversation? Or am I imagining having had it in the future?
Not all of my visions are crystal clear and not all of them stay with me. Sometimes I’m left with an impression, straight knowledge of a situation. Was that what happened with Trevor? Sometimes my memories of my visions of the future as as treacherous as memories of the past, have they deceived me?
“Are you gay?” I finally work up the courage to ask him.
The question hits him like a slap in the face. “No!” he insists.
“Are you sure?”
“Yes.” And there’s a kind of desperation in his voice. It makes me realize things, makes me feel things I’d never even really suspected…
It isn’t my first time. My first time, I’d let visions guide me to a bad part of town where there was a tagger and no cops around. I brought the condom and showed it to him. Sometimes I like to imagine my blood is still there on the wall, part of his artistic expression. I don’t want to go back there, in case I’m wrong and it’s been covered up.
With Trevor, though, it’s different. It isn’t something I’ve planned. It’s spontaneous. It makes me wonder, is this one of those soft spots in the future where I’m allowed to be free, or am I breaking all the rules?
Am I allowed to break the rules if they broke me first?
But for now, just a brief ecstatic moment, I allow myself to think maybe this is just my imagination. Maybe nothing is set in stone.
And then I stop thinking at all.