Author's note: Inspired by "Earthsick" by Hoobastank. You know … one of these days I'll move past exploring Helga. But that will just depend on my inspirations. Sooner or later it'll happen. There's so much more to explore!

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Why can't life be like a VCR? Why can't you press pause and enjoy the frame? Why does the tape of your life keep on spinning through the system? Why is the rewind button broken? Why can't I stop the world around me, for just a moment?

No, my life just keeps on going, the world just keeps on spinning, I keep getting forced to stumble along while I look back and hope. I can desperately punch at a metaphorical remote control all I want, but it doesn't do a thing. I guess I could never find the proper batteries.

The world just keeps on spinning. I think it's making me earthsick.

I suppose you could say it's my own idiocy, since I stand here in an abandoned field of concrete that once held bright little kids with bright little minds and bright little futures to live out. Or so it seemed then. I've been spinning in little circles, looking around me, just thinking while I feel the movement of my own rotation. I'm sure you'd tell me to stop moving and then I wouldn't feel sick any more, wouldn't you? Well, I meant I was earthsick on the figurative level, doi!

I guess that didn't change, at least. I was a bright little sarcastic girl on this once-vibrant playground. Now I'm a sarcastic woman pining after lost memories and the inability to live them out again on this once-vibrant playground. Do you have any idea what I could do with that power? Can you guess at what I could change? Or even just enjoy again?

So look around this drab, dusty gray scene. You see the equipment left abandoned for years? Do you remember when this all looked so cheerful when it was filled with young children? I do. I used to play here. Me, and you, and dozens of others. There were other kid-generations that played here too, but they don't matter much to my mind.

It didn't seem so wonderful at the time. I had my own issues to worry about and they kept it all seeming fairly bland. But looking back now at the emptiness the memories of those times are all so beautiful. But that was back in the day. Boy, I feel like such an old person, saying that: "back in the day".

Anyway, time took it all away. The world's a thief like that. It lets you live out your moments but it will never let you repeat anything. It teases you by giving you something exquisite that you don't quite appreciate enough in the moment you have it. It's when the moment is long gone that you see it for its beauty, and by then it's been stolen away from you. The moment will only live on in your memories, and there it's only an echo of the reality.

Damn cheap, isn't it? I think my metaphor's pretty good. It's like a cheap VCR you bought at a discount place on clearance and when you get it home you find out why it was so cheap since half the controls don't work. But did you really expect them to? You probably had your suspicions but it was your optimism that spurred you to try it anyway. You were always into the optimism philosophy.

You know what's funny? This lot that used to be so beautiful with the little lives of our child-selves will probably be replaced with one of those stupid discount stores. It'd be so ironic if I went and bought a VCR here, when it opens, don't you think? It would be like a trophy, to show off my cleverness.

So this wonderful place of memories, now coated in dust, will soon be bulldozed and torn down and built up again as something new. Something commercial. Such is progress. Why would the neighborhood want to keep around the traditional and sacred when the new and trendy will bring in more cash? It's all about the cash nowadays. That's capitalism for you. Now that doesn't mean I'm going around preaching about how Commies are great, but you have to admit capitalism has its fallacies.

I mean, doesn't it make your head spin to realize what's being lost? Our childhood is lost in the flow of time and then the sacred locations of that past will be lost too. It's a losing situation. It is all so inevitable, however much you may have fought it.

I hardly recognize the place as I remembered it. I moved back here and nearly cried at how changed it's all become. I wonder if you would recognize it if you ever came back. Would you feel the same way? Would you believe we could connect like that?

I brush the dirt off of my pants as I stand up from the concrete. It's time for me to go on now. I have the real world to get back to. It's quite sad, how I have to substitute this progress for the more cherished past. Then again, we can't go on living in a memory. They lock people away in asylums for doing that.

Isn't the world so weird in its ever-changing patterns? Doesn't it ever make you sick? Do you ever want to make it all stop, and step off for awhile?

You know, Arnold, as much as I enjoy reflecting on the past that we shared, I would really like to find you again, wherever you may have moved to. As shocking as the return may be, I wish you would come back so I could run into you, as tradition goes, as we round a corner. I want you to know I've changed, just like the neighborhood. I want you to know that I think we could be in agreement for once. I want someone to hold my hair back when I get earthsick, and I want you to know that I still want that someone to be you.