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Prism Book Alliance
Outside the Margins for May, 2015
Though I couldn’t find it, I distinctly remember a poem beginning “Backwards, turn backwards, oh time in thy flight….” (Some credit it to a woman named Elizabeth Akers Allen, of whom I’d otherwise not heard.)
I had a dream the other night where time had begun running backwards. I emerged backwards from sleep one evening and began moving backward through the day. And with each moment I moved backward, my memory of what then became the future disappeared. I had full memory of the past, of course, and was aware of what was happening.
Dreams being what they are, I accepted this as perfectly natural. I knew that I would eventually move backward through my cancer recovery, treatment, and symptoms until I emerged from that period able to eat again: to actually eat and chew and taste and swallow and take a huge bite out of a Big Mac, and look up at a passing airplane, and be totally oblivious to what lie ahead. I would continue to move backwards from Pence to Los Angeles, to my mom’s dying in the hospital to her cancer disappearing to my dad’s being alive again, to my original years in Chicago, to graduating from college, go back into the navy, enlist in the Navcads, graduate from high school…well, you get the idea.
It was really a most interesting dream, but it reminded me that, as much time as I spend dwelling on the past in these blogs and elsewhere, for all the wonderful things I would re-experience while moving back through time, there would also be an incredible amount of pain. The fact that it would be experienced backward would be of some comfort (if I were still aware what was happening) since whatever heartache or physical pain I was going through would always get better and eventually disappear completely. But pain is pain no matter in which direction you’re moving through it.
Things would get easier and easier as time regressed. Fewer and fewer major problems. More and more reliance on the love and protection of parents and family. And eventually, in moving backward in time, would come to the point of reentering that place where babies go before they are born. It is exactly the same place, I believe with all my heart, that we go when, moving forward through time, we however reluctantly reach the end of our allotted time on earth. And I think that I have never really been afraid of death. We came from nothing, we return to nothing. And how can one fear nothing?
I’m not quite sure why I seem to take so much pleasure—which I must or I wouldn’t be doing it—in speculating on the impossible. But I find “what if?” to be among the most fascinating of phrases. I suppose it is another reflection of the fact that I really have never been satisfied with the way things are, and always want…and often truly ache for…what I cannot have.
So I spend endless hours in the attic of my mind, sitting cross-legged on the dusty floor, opening boxes of long-sealed memories and watching tiny spiders in the rafters spin dreams. Each provide me with an endless supply of “never was” and “never could be” to contemplate and play with. But while I fully realize that I can never have all those things that I so desperately want, it certainly doesn’t stand in the way of my wanting them.
And so contemplating having time move backward is just another exercise in the game of “what if?” But it’s a fun game.
I’d be happy to hear your thoughts/comments. email@example.com
About Dorien Grey
If it is possible to have a split personality without being schizophrenic, Dorien Grey qualifies. When long-time book and magazine editor Roger Margason chose the pseudonym “Dorien Grey” for his first book, it set off a chain of circumstances which has led to the comfortable division of labor and responsibility. Roger has charge of day-to-day existence, freeing Dorien—with the help of Roger’s fingers—to write. It has reached the point where Roger merely sits back and reads the stories Dorien brings forth on the computer screen.
It’s not as though Roger has not had an uninteresting life of his own. Two years into college, he left to join the Naval Aviation Cadet program. Washing out after a year, he spent the rest of his brief military career on an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean at the height of the cold war. The journal he kept of his time in the military, in the form of letters home, honed his writing skills and provided him with a wealth of experiences to draw from in his future writing. These letters will be appearing in book form shortly.
Returning to Northern Illinois University after service, he graduated with a B.A. in English, and embarked on a series of jobs which worked him into the editing field. While working for a Los Angeles publishing house, he was instrumental in establishing a division exclusively for the publication of gay paperbacks and magazines, of which he became editor. He moved on to edit a leading L.A. based international gay men’s magazine.
Tiring of earthquakes, brush fires, mud slides, and riots, he returned to the Midwest, where Dorien emerged, full-blown, like Venus from the sea. They’ve been inseparable (and interchangeable) ever since.
He . . . and Dorien of course…moved back to Chicago in 2006, where they now devote full time to writing. Author of the popular Dick Hardesty Mystery series, the Elliott Smith (paranormal) Mystery, the stand-alone western/romance/adventure novel, Calico, plus the non fiction A World Ago: A Navy Man’s Letters Home, 1954-1956; Short Circuits: A Life in Blogs, and a book of poems (Dreams of a Calico Mouse), Dorien is in the process of having all his books done as audiobooks.
But for a greater insight into the “”real person”” behind Dorien Grey, the curious are invited to check out his website (http://www.doriengrey.com), which includes the first chapter of any or all of his books for free, and his various blogs: Dorien Grey and Me (http://www.doriengreyandme.com) and A Life in Photos (http://www.doriengreyphotolife.blogspot.com) among them.
There is nothing Dorien loves more than hearing from a reader…or potential reader. If you’d like to contact him, just drop him a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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