Wednesday, September 30, 2015
One thing that stuck, though, as I wrote notes and planned my underage drinking excursions for the weekend, was the spiel about changes. You know, some substances undergo changes that aren't able to be undone, and some just change into other things that you can switch easily back from. If I recall correctly (and I will, because I'll google that shit just to be sure), it's the physical changes that can sometimes be reversed and don't really change the makeup of the original substance. Paper is still paper if you chop it up, and wood is still wood once you hack down the tree. A broken fingernail will grow back, hair will regrow...and what they ARE never varies, no matter how different they might look on the surface.
The chemical changes, though--there's the rub. You can't just undo that beautiful mess that gets created. Just ask Peter Parker. Some changes, just like a radioactive spider bite, alter the core at the center of the substance, and that is not something that's easily undone. Photosynthesis, digestion, burning...they all result in some new thing, some important thing, but some different thing that isn't going back to the way it was, no matter what you do to it.
Peter Parker sometimes tries to go back to the ordinary guy he was. He tries to shed his costume and pretend that things are hunky dory and he's normal. But he's not, and he never will be again. He can't change back to what he was. Most of us don't have a spider to blame (not even that little guy that crawled into my shirt to his death last night), nor are the changes quite so drastic as slinging webs and climbing walls (at least not literally) but it doesn't change the fact that we change.
In the interest of winding this up before I turn into a pumpkin, change is inevitable. As Jay Asher wrote in the excellent young adult novel Thirteen Reasons Why, "You can't stop the future, you can't rewind the past. The only way to learn the secret...is to press play." And true change never changes back, it just is. So press PLAY.