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Where I completely rewrite Stephen King’s latest book

by John on March 20th, 2012

The idea of a vacation is a splendid one . . . get away, let the mind reset, let the body rest. In a perfect world, a vacation means turning the stress dial from 11 to 0, and then allowing yourself to enjoy that sensation while you heal. In my mind, I can say that my first day of vacation would be little more than me, sitting around, doing nothing. Then, slowly, I’d add activities to my day . . . things I enjoy, but things that can’t be broken, don’t need to be watched after, and have no deadlines. I’d write, I’d compose, I’d run (I’d drink, too, but, well, that’s me). Sure, there’s some stress involved with each & every of those, but it’s stress I enjoy, and, heck, it’s stress I long for.

The thing is, a vacation can’t ever deliver all of that. Sure, I can get away from work1, but work is only one of the things in my life. And, well, sometimes you need a vacation from life, itself. I love my kids — but they require near constant supervision, lest they find a way to pick up knives, or matches, or (as scary as this might sound) Jane Austen novels. And, did you know you had to feed children? Rarely do they actually want to eat whatever you make for yourself2. Beyond the kids, there’s the lawn that always needs to have something done to it, that damn cabinet door that just will not stay fixed, and bills never stop coming in. In other words, there’s always something. Escape is far out of the realm of possibility.

Well, fine, escape is possible – but only for very, very limited amounts of time. Which is why I’m completely lost in the world of Stephen King’s 11-22-63. Here, the owner of a diner discovers what he calls a “rabbit hole.” If he walks just the right way, he ends up in a small town in Maine in 1958. From there, he lives, in 1958. When he heads back up the “rabbit hole,” it’s two minutes later than when he left. His body has aged for however long he stayed there . . . but, in the world left behind, time has advanced only two minutes.

Of course, in the book, the main character heads back in time to stop the Kennedy assassination, and I’m trying to take the most selfish route imaginable: chartering a flight to Havana for a month-long vacation on the beach. But, seriously, isn’t the concept of a vacation from your current life tempting?

I’m thinking, if you give me a day’s worth of “real time,” I’d come back as a virtuoso pianist, have written several novels, have the body I’ve always wanted, and I wouldn’t worry about having to fake a smile for quite some time.

What would be on your agenda? If you could choose a time to escape to, if only temporarily, when would you travel to?

1 Last year, I took a marvelous two weeks off. The first week, I spent at the beach, and while there was a wireless connection provided by the house we rented, it was so very slow that I couldn’t effectively work. Then, the next week, I bicycled through Iowa — camping along the way, so it wasn’t a “laptop friendly” trip. I can honestly say that this was the first time, ever that I had gone more than 2-3 days without work, and I did it for 10 days in a row.
2 I am not modest, though I have many insecurities about myself, outwardly, I’m the epitome of confidence. However, when I say that “I am a good cook,” I mean that with all sincerity. I enjoy cooking, and I’m damn good at what I do. But there is no greater slap to the face than cooking something, cooking it well, and then having a toddler refuse to even look at it twice.
  1. Great question! I think I’d like to visit the idyllic ways of the late 60’s/early 70’s for my temporary vacation. For completely selfish reasons, of course!

    • I actually think the late 50’s / early 60’s would win it for me . . . despite the need to wear a tie everywhere.

      But, really, just “getting away” would be wonderful enough.

      • Ohhhh. Conjuring up images of “Mad Men”-esque lifestyles. Perfection.

  2. I downloaded that book the other day. It’s audio so I can multitask. Kinda defeats the purpose of getting away from everyday life huh. Just add something else to the plate. I can’t wait to start it though. Maybe tonight while I get lost in my bubble bath paradise

    • I’m “reading” this on audio, so we’re sharing that experience. I don’t have too much time in the car these days when I’m not on a phone call with work, but when I’m working out, I’m listening to it.

      Because it’s Stephen King, well, it’s not quite as “not-a-horror-story” as it comes across.

  3. I’d go back, find something I’ve seen on Antiques Roadshow worth a ridiculous amount, come home and do all those things in my time.

  4. Antiques Roadshow? Sorry, Duffy made me chuckle.
    I think I’d go back to 2001, Grand Caymans…. my own life.

    • The whole thing about this is that the you of 2001 would be there, too . . . meaning that you’d present yourself as your own long-lost sister. Knowing your Grand-Cayman story, though, something tells me that the stories would be even steamier ;-p

  5. I’d read. And read. And read.

    • And read and read and read some more. Yeah, I hear you — the “I can’t believe 5 hours have passed, I only meant to sit down to read a few pages” problem would become an item of the past.

  6. Feeding kids is such a drag. But not Stephen King, no siree. Love the worlds he creates.

    And Paris. I would most definitely go to Paris. And you say I won’t gain weight on my travels either?

    • I could see myself learning French, and then heading to Paris, as well . . . my only time there was mostly in a hotel near the airport, and because I didn’t speak the language, was quite difficult (and I was travel weary).

      As far as weight gain, all of the characters who head down the rabbit hole seem to have an issue with losing weight . . . though not in entirely healthy manners.

  7. I want to travel to a time when you cook me dinner.

    (And Stephen King can come, too.)

  8. I’d give just about anything for a real vacation. One without kids, without responsibilities and demands.
    Mike and I had one a year ago when we took a long weekend trip to an all inclusive resort in Cancun, Mexico. I don’t think I have ever felt so relaxed and at ease with life then I did during those 4 days.
    Unfortunately, we did not pay for the trip (Mike won it from work) and so taking one again is so completely outside our budget that going back is impossible for us.
    Either way if I could I would snag my hubby and head back there for a good 5-7 days.

  9. So it’s a good book? I haven’t decided if I’m buying it yet, but if you love it I will. I’ve bought all his others. don’t know why I’m hesitating on this one!

  10. I have heard only great things about this book! It’s on my list! Did I see you are audio booking it? Do you think a paper book or one for my nook would be better?

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