I can still remember the first time I watched Back to the Future 2. It was summer, my grandmother was still alive, and I was still close with my relatives. The room had a strange odor to it. A scent, if I came across it now, that would remind me of home.
I can still see my hands, barely scarred, holding the VHS tape and wondering what this movie was about. Confused and excited. Caught between an electric feeling in my bones and a bored one in my head.
As soon as my brother, or cousin, popped the tape in. I was hooked. I loved watching it. We spent most of our summers watching the movie. Then acting out our favorite scenes.
But almost 30 years later. I'm sitting here in front of a computer screen engulfed by feelings of dread and despair. Back to the Future 2 (and all the movies, really) has always held a special part in my chest. It was something -- like Star Wars before it -- that I could look at and say that it defined my childhood.
I never wanted to be Marty McFly, though. I never wanted to be any of the characters. All I wanted was to live in that world. A world of flying cars and weird shiny plastic hats. But it's obvious that we aren't in that version of reality. Our cars are still stuck to the streets and my clothes don't dry themselves off.
I'm not entirely sure if that's where my negative feelings come from because I'd keep trying to understand what exactly is wrong with me if I really wanted to live in a world where there are hover boards. I don't want to become a person that lives in the past. Even if that past has some really good ideas about the future.
I don't know if I even want to write, talk, or think about what the movie "got right or wrong" about the real 2015. Mainly because I don't think the filmmakers set out to predict the future. I don't think anyone does. As Back to the Future Day rolls on, I'm sure everyone and their brother will be thinking about how this movie got a lot wrong.
But I'll be thinking about my actual brother and how we both sat in awe when McFly got on the hover board to try and fly over that pond or something. I'll think of all the times we spent together watching movies together just because the two main characters were brothers.
I'll look at my shoes and laugh when I realize that they're perpetually untied and those self-tying shoes would be really good but also would take all the risk out of walking around. I'll think about all the movies I fell in love with as a kid. I'll fall into nostalgia.
I'll take a walk alone. Down a block I've been a thousand times before. I'll look at the buildings and think of all the things they could've seen provided buildings weren't buildings and they were living things that could actually see. I'll think about all the changes my neighborhood has gone through over the years.
I'll smoke a cigarette and remember when I didn't have to pay over ten bucks for them. I'll laugh at the fact that I'm killing myself. I'll think about movies today and how I haven't been grabbed by one like Back to the Future in what feels like forever.
I'll remember what it was like to be a kid. To be full of positive thought and imagination. I'll wonder where it went. I'll light another cigarette. I'll wonder where it went. I'll light another cigarette. I'll call my brother, "Hey Kuya, remember when..."