How to fight the past

Sweat pours from my forehead and soaks my eyebrows. I stare through the close metal weave of the fencing mask as my opponent lunges forward and scores a hit. I drag myself back to starting positions while my opponent strides back to face me; I recognise and remember his movement, he is my past self and we have been fighting for a very long time.

In the crowd around us, and cheering for the past, are millions of potential future selves all dressed in fencing gear ready to fight me.

We start again and shuffle back and forth, foils raised, looking for an opening. Then I realize something; my past self is fighting only because I am. I disengage from the fight and stand still. My past self stops looking for an opening and sits down; the crowd goes silent and disappears. I take off my helmet and wipe away the sweat. The silence is deafening and the now empty sports hall is oppressive; yet I drop my fencing helmet and unplug myself from the scoring equipment. I step off the fencing piste and start to explore my surroundingsā€¦

dr jonny