Time is often compared to thread. Ten year old Len finds out just how accurate this is when he takes up knitting.
It’s not just knitting, but knitting’s less embarrassing to say than crocheting and easier than fucking needlepoint (never again), so knitting it is. Len’s actually kind of allergic to wool, which he thinks should make it tricky except for the fact that apparently the cheap stuff is made of acrylics and even when he’s stealing it the cheap stuff is all he can afford.
He’s ten the first time he gives it a shot – Lisa’s been begging him for something to put on her baby doll and he’s been banned from the toy store, cops to be called on sight, so the only thing for it is try to slap something together himself.
He wakes up about two hours later with a stupid patchy square of fabric that he can just about call a scarf if he’s squinting real hard, a headache, and a vision of the future.
It freaks him right the fuck out, he ain’t gonna lie, and it freaks him out even more when the future actually happens just the way he saw in his knitting. He’s Jewish, he’s like, 90% sure they don’t believe in things like the Fates from Greek mythology, with their loom and scissors, but anyway it keeps happening.
He ends up keeping it a secret for the most part – he can’t tell Lise, she’s too young, and he’s sure as hell ain’t telling his dad – but when things are going bad, he can’t help himself but give the future a little looksie to make sure he’s on top of things. That’s how he knows he’ll meet Mick, for instance, and why he latches onto him so quick; it’s pretty nice sometimes.
Other times it’s not.
When he eventually tells Mick about it, Mick tells him real nice that he’s nuts – no worries, same bucket, he gets it – and it takes him almost all the way into a sweater before Mick finally believes him that he’s seeing things that really end up happening. He finishes the sweater and makes Mick wear it out of sheer spite, though that ends up backfiring because Mick loves the sweater. He says he’s wearing time.
“So, you’re, like, a prophet,” Mick says one day. “Is that ever gonna be relevant, you think?”
Len shakes his head. “I’m a thief. Who’d ever listen to me?”
“Can you, y’know, change time?”
“If I’m there, I guess? Does it matter?”
It ends up mattering kind of a lot, though mostly in the sense that he gets stuck in the temporal lock-up with a cool cat named Charlie and then she goes right up and forgets about him for months. It’s not until Mick’s asked her where she got her spare socks that she remembers to pass along Len’s message.
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