I stretched out on my couch Thursday morning, soaking in the beautiful winter sunlight, and journeyed into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination.
Yes, this was the Syfy Channel’s annual New Year’s Twilight Zone blitz and I was happily traveling to that fifth dimension beyond which is known to man.
I’ve seen most of the episodes scores of times, but that doesn’t prevent me from unlocking that door with the key of imagination.
Twilight Zone is my comfort zone.
I caught several of the classics, including “The Howling Man,” “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet,” and “A Game of Pool,” arguably my favorite show of the series. The episodes often feature such notable performers as Robert Redford, William Shatner, and Jonathan Winters early in their careers.
And on this particular morning I was enjoying another gem, “A Stop at Willoughby.”
It's the story of Gart Williams, a harried New York advertising executive who can’t handle the high-pressure corporate life. Gart seemingly spends his days going from his hard-hearted boss at work to his cold-hearted wife at home.
One night on his commute to Connecticut, Gart falls asleep and wakes up to find the train has stopped in an idyllic 19th Century town called Willoughby.
This is a "peaceful, restful place, where a man can slow down to a walk and live his life full measure.” It's a beautiful summer day, a band is playing, and kids are going off to fish.
As I sat in those warm, healing rays, I could see my reflection on the TV screen, as if I had melted into the episode and was free to walk around Willoughby myself.
Cue that famous theme music…
We can all sympathize with Gart’s situation—at least I know I sure as hell can, give my somewhat turbulent work history.
I often dream about my ideal spot in this world, ranging from Los Angeles to San Diego to Sydney, Australia, and several places in between. It seems to be pretty much anywhere but my current location.
It’s also impossible. Gart pays dearly when he tries to enter this Currier & Ives painting and we see that the road to Willoughby is quite literally a dead end.
Tomorrow I return to work after a four-day weekend that went by entirely too fast.
I’m also returning to my gym after a nearly two-month layoff due to medical issues that haven’t been entirely cleared up, and naturally the weather is expected to take a nasty turn.
And while I made a point of keeping my New Year’s Resolutions incredibly simple, I’m still feeling that early January pull to wipe out my to-do list before the end of the week.
Has anyone seen my fishing pole?
But that’s not the answer. I don’t intend on making any swan dives off my bus ride home. You have to work at making your dream real. Fantasy doesn’t count for much anywhere…except in the Twilight Zone.