Live as Another Person

The past is a different country,” said the old man. “It has a different set of rules.”

“If it had the same rules, we wouldn’t be here,” replied the boy.





The old man had heard this line before, and he knew it wasn’t true. The past was made by men like him, men who worked with words and ideas and books, and these things are always determined by men, in terms of time and space and cause and effect. But he let the boy have his say, because that was what the boy wanted to hear.


He didn’t want to hear about the past being immutable, immutable as gravity or electromagnetism, unchanging in its essence from one generation to the next; instead he wanted to hear about how you could get to a different country from the one you were born into. And so he let him talk, because it was all he could do for now; all that was within his power to do for now.


The boy said that if you changed your name, lived a different life for just one day, you could go back in time and live again as another person.

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