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The Weekend That Wasn't

Updated on December 21, 2014

The "Pitt"

photo of the Turnagain Arm Pitt BBQ
photo of the Turnagain Arm Pitt BBQ

The Weekend That Wasn’t

Call it what you may, a time shift, a dual dream, a flawed memory, but it happened, sure as I am standing here. My memory of that event is so crystal clear it’s like a movie I can play over and over again in my mind. I know that yours is the same because we’ve compared details and they are inexplicably identical, as close as we can tell anyway.

Have you ever wanted a do-over in life? Ever bought a car you just had to have only to find it hasn’t got enough room to carry your luggage? Ever said something you wish you hadn’t or done something really stupid? Yes, I’ve wanted one or two of those in my life but I never expected to actually get one, especially one I didn’t actually ask for.

We are in the car, on a Friday afternoon in early May in Anchorage headed south along the Seward highway. Turnagain Arm was to our right, vast and chalky gray with a few late season icebergs on the shore. The wind is blowing and pounding silty waves against the rocky shoreline as we zipped along the road. When we started off in Anchorage it was lightly raining. Our destination was, my favorite BBQ joint, The Turnagain Arm Pitt BBQ in Indian Alaska. We have the road mostly to ourselves but the further we travel the more what should be a mid- spring rain turns to one last snow spitting winter hiccup.

His warm hand is on my leg as always as we drive, jazz humming over the speakers from your Ipod. We laugh and talk and hum along with the music as white patches of stubborn snow cling to the road to remind us winter’s not done yet. By the time we roll around the last corner of the highway several inches of snow have fallen. A white blanket cocoons the parking lot and no tire tracks are visible. Somebody forgot to plow for all those hungry pulled pork customers.

We ease the car to a stop, hopes fading, as I exit and go press my cold nose against the glass door wanting to hear the piped music from within and place my order off the chalk board menu. I know someone is there from the light casting a glow from the back kitchen area. We drove all this way for fall-off-the- bones smoked baby backs, or St Louie ribs, perfect baked beans with three kinds of sauce on the side and a healthy helping of funky down home décor. I walk around the other side of the building to the drive-up window and rap on the glass. The pitt master, Jack, wipes his hands on his apron and slides the window open. Please Jack, we drove all this way for the finest BBQ in Alaska and you’re not open?

“Not till this weekend, sorry, he says. I am here stoking the smoker, come back tomorrow!” Alas, other plans await us for the weekend and we know we will have to make the drive to Indian on some other fine day later this summer.

So we hop back in the car and head north with the waters of Turnagain Arm on our left this time. But for some reason we both only remember driving halfway home. The memory literally stops cold. Cut off like someone slammed the door closed.

What do you suppose happened? We were recanting the story months later, each of us telling the tale in a rather tandem style to another friend when we realized that we couldn’t pinpoint exactly which weekend this little car trip occurred. We knew it was sometime in early May because we knew that The Turnigan Armpit opened from May thought October. We just didn’t realize that it wasn’t open only on Saturdays and Sundays until after Memorial Day. Well, we have plenty of resources we thought. Airline tickets, calendar references, texts, photos, etc but after an exhaustive search we both came up empty handed. There was no evidence that I was in Anchorage at all in May. But I remember it all so clearly and so does my friend. We remember it the same way too. How very odd!

I believe we experienced what is called a “time line shift”. What we remember is quite real except it happened in a different time line than the one we are currently in. I’ve had many vivid dreams in my days but the details fade and drift away. This is more like a memory, as it remains so sharp and clear that even months later I can recall every detail like watching a movie or a TV show.

Science has been searching for the origin of what we call consciousness for a long time. We know that our brains act as sort of receiver for our consciousness. Damage our brain and we go unconscious…sometimes. Many people have reported that their consciousness has drifted out of their bodies during near death experiences, trauma and even when sleeping at night. Time as we perceive it is fixed and linear but is that an absolute? Can our observer consciousness skip around time and time lines? Is it like picking up the tone arm on a phonograph turntable mid-song and placing the needle on another track? What controls this process or is it a completely random event?

I don’t know the answers to these complex questions but I do know that I’ve got this little weekend trip that isn’t connected to my life as it is now and I would have dismissed it entirely but for one thing. That one thing is that someone else remembers it just the way I do and it was only when we were trying to pinpoint this very ordinary event to a specific date that the whole thing unraveled and became unstuck in time, our weekend that never was.

what do you think?

Has This Ever Happened To You?

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© 2013 writinginalaska


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  • writinginalaska profile image

    writinginalaska 4 years ago from southeast Alaska

    As always I love to get feed back especially from you Silver. This is a particularly interesting topic to me. Thanks for weighing in. :)

  • profile image

    SilverGenes 4 years ago

    Every so often something happens that we just can't explain. I enjoy exploring the idea of time shifts in writing and have no doubt they are possible - too many people have experienced them. The only thing linear is our concept and measurement of time - existence is not constrained by any such thing. You are a natural story-teller! Bravo!

  • writinginalaska profile image

    writinginalaska 4 years ago from southeast Alaska

    Thank you Tony for you kind comments, it was an incredible experience, it's with me to this day!

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    Tony 4 years ago

    I have had something like that, but it was like a dream shattered, but I love the way you describe everything, makes you hear the jazz, feel the heat, etc...

    I might have to follow you ;)

  • writinginalaska profile image

    writinginalaska 4 years ago from southeast Alaska

    well that is the strange thing, i am always taking photos, that time i didn't. Really too weird. Thank you for commenting Carla!

  • Creekhiker47 profile image

    Carla Eldridge 4 years ago from Juneau, AK

    Next time take pictures to PROVE you were there, it really does sound like a shared dream memory :D