CHAPTER 1

THE MAN WITH THE SOFT BROWN EYES

There is a novel I want to write. The hero is a man of fifty, which was my age when I began dreaming of this story. His life is in crisis, as was my own then, and through magic he is sent back in time to meet himself at the age of sixteen. The hero’s name is Eliot: Eliot Appleman. My name is Jacob: Jacob Needleman.

I speak of this as a fiction, but in my heart I don’t think of it that way. Doesn’t the sixteen-year-old Jacob (or Jerry, as I am called) still exist? And isn’t it possible to go back and be with him? Time? Surely, time is not what we think it is. We are wrong about so many lesser things; how could we imagine we understand the greatest of all mysteries, time?

The hero of my story, Eliot Appleman, ...

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