LOS ANGELES – A 40-year-old single man who had been reported missing for a week emerged from his bedroom closet this morning and announced to concerned family, friends and members of his online community that he has safely returned from an epic trip through time during which he witnessed his favorite bands play live over the course of decades.
Marshall Melvin, whose friends described interchangeably as ‘lonely,’ ‘nostalgic’ and a ‘huge’ Rock ‘n’ Roll fan, said he was admiring old photos stuffed in a shoe box in his closet last Saturday while listening to Pandora, when he came across a photograph of him embracing Nicole McKenzie, his first sweetheart, while they were attending a high school dance together.
Melvin said he also found a pad lock in the shoe box that he once used to secure his P.E. clothes. He began to fidget with the combination and entered the digits of the year he believed the photo with McKenzie was taken – 1-9-8-9.
“I was instantly teleported to the gymnasium of Lincoln-Way East High School in Frankfort, Ill., where I found myself pressed up against Nicole, my hands resting firmly on her rear, the stench of sweat and cheap perfume wafting in the air, my lips locked on hers,” said Melvin. “We were in the throes of teenage love, enraptured by each other and ‘our song’ at the time, ‘I Remember You’ by Skid Row, which pounded from the loudspeakers into my ears.”
While Melvin admitted he was ‘amazed’ to be blasted to the past through such an unlikely series of events, he was also ‘grossed out’ at the same time.
“My tongue was flapping around inside Nicole’s mouth, rubbing against her braces, and suddenly it occurred to me that I wanted to escape this period of my life and never return again,” said Melvin. “I was no longer that yearning youth of yesteryear, but a grown man prying into matters best left buried in adolescence. I felt like a perv, and I needed to get the hell out of there.”
“However, I did like this new power of time travel given to me, and I intended to use it properly.”
Melvin reached into his pocket and discovered he still had his P.E. lock. He entered the digits 1-9-6-9 and imagined himself at the Woodstock music festival, where he promptly appeared.
“But I left early, because it was muddy and rainy and there was piss and feces everywhere,” said Melvin. “I guess for the hippies on acid, it must have been a big deal — that was their moment — but for a guy like me, it was just a shit show.”
Melvin said he spent the next several days ‘hopping’ from one major concert to the next from the 1960s into the current decade, a list of his favorite bands that included Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, as well as acts in more recent times such as The Ramones, The Clash, Talking Heads, Genesis, and Guns ‘n’ Roses.
While watching Janes Addiction and Nine Inch Nails perform during the first Lollapalooza in 1991, Melvin decided to invite a friend to the next concert he attended.
“I didn’t want to jeopardize the fabric of the space-time continuum, but I was getting a little lonesome and wanted to hang with a buddy — so I dropped an anonymous letter into the mail,” said Melvin. “Duke Hardrest must have gotten the message, because he showed up at this house party I knew was happening in Long Beach later that year. We had the pleasure of watching Sublime play in a backyard just before they exploded on the airwaves — a lot cooler than Woodstock.”
After the show, Melvin said he began to feel fatigued, since it had been almost a week his time since he had had a good night’s sleep. “I skipped most of the concerts for the rest of the 1990s and early 2000s – I didn’t think I was missing much anyway, except maybe Radiohead in 1997 at Glastonbury – but I wasn’t quite ready to return to the doldrums of daily life yet, so I decided to make one last stop at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles in July 2014 to see New Order live. I missed them the first time they came through town because I was too busy working, and I didn’t want to miss them again. Really glad I rallied.”
Video footage taken the night of the New Order show when Melvin met Cue.
Melvin said that night he met a woman, Sheila Cue, as they both swayed back and forth in the center of the amphitheater immersed in a canopy of magnificent blue light, singing songs side by side that they both knew by heart.
“’One of my favorite bands of all time,’ Cue whispered to me,” Melvin said. “’All that’s missing now is a kiss.’”
“So, I obliged,” said Melvin, and they didn’t stop kissing, singing and dancing until the end of the concert, when they exchanged phone numbers and set a tentative date to regroup the last week of May 2017.
“Sheila didn’t seem phased by my time-hopping talk — she said it was romantic — and she promised she would wait a few years for me, since she’s already waited her whole adult life for the right guy, so what was a few more?” Melvin claimed she said to him. “Unless, of course, a righter guy comes along between now and then … in that case, she told me I was on my own.'”
Melvin said he laughed, said goodbye and set his P.E lock to 2-0-1-7.
He imagined the inside of his closet, where he reappeared little more than a week after he vanished.
“I immediately contacted my family and friends and posted my tales of time travel onto the Internet, assuring anyone who cared that I was okay,” said Melvin.
Soon the press was involved, and Hardrest was contacted to comment on Melvin’s alleged trip.
Instead, he focused on his friend’s mental state.
“Frankly, a lot of people have been worried about Marshall’s well-being for years,” said Hardrest. “He’s been hung-up on old girlfriends his whole adult life, it seems. I’m glad he’s finally freed himself from the time warp he’s been stuck in.”
Melvin agreed that it was nice to be looking forward to the future for a change.
“Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to take this call,” he said, reaching for his ringing phone. “Hi, Sheila! Yes, it’s Marshall. How could I forget? Feels like yesterday, of course I remember you …”
Teresa Ropa, May 24, 2017