The Oracle

by Steve, January 30th, 2009

I was a lesser incarnation of myself when I stumbled upon the Oracle. But this was not clear at the time, obviously.

We were in a labyrinth, we being me and some other, whose identity also was not clear at the time, when we came across him.

“You could have left when you were fifteen,” said the Oracle to me.

My companion gave me a puzzled look. “Left?” he said.

“Died. I could have died,” I said, knowing what he meant, but not recalling any particularly harrowing incidents from my youth.

“But you did something to the control panel,” continued the Oracle. “We have photographic evidence.”

“When did I do this?” I asked.

“When you were 42.”

My companion was even more confused. “But he’s 41 now. How could he be 42 when he changed something for when he was 15?”

I looked at him and explained: “I changed the time stream. It’s infinitely variable, you know.”

“But how does he know all this?”

“He is me, he is us,” I explained somehow. Maybe I didn’t say it. Maybe I just thought it. My companion couldn’t understand. I understood myself, but just barely.

I tried to puzzle through it as my companion was addressing the Oracle. “When can I see you?” he asked. “Can I see you in my dreams? Am I dreaming now?”

The Oracle ignored him, and kept his gaze fixed on mine. I was thinking of why I would have chosen to stay on this level of existence, evidently 27 years longer than I needed to.

Suddenly I spoke, without forethought. “I’m addicted to the pleasures of the flesh, ” I said, as if to justify having overstayed my time. Images of women flashed through my head.

“Of course,” scoffed the Oracle. He turned and faded from view.

Soon all that was left of him was a hazy, flickering mist, which suddenly compressed on itself with a pop and disappeared completely.

My companion eyed me suspiciously. “Who are we?” He asked. “What was that? What the hell was he talking about?”

I smiled as the line of an old song went through my head: “I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.”

He’d understand sometime, but not today. I turned and left.

3 Responses to “The Oracle”

  1. Comment from Terry:

    Now John Lennon (and the Beatles of course) I can really, really dig.

    On the other hand, Pink Martini… :)

  2. Comment from marcia:

    did you say too many martinis?

  3. Comment from Steve:

    …and that’s another thing… I love a dry vodka martini. Don’t go puttin’ any kinda pink shit in it.

    Vodka (or gin) and a hint of vermouth — how hard can this be, people?