The Blurred Man
Have you ever heard the tale of the blurred man?
It's a lesser known story but it goes back
almost 200 years. All the way back to the early days
of photography. Have you ever flipped
through a history book and noticed a photo of an important
event, where everyone's face is clear and easy to view,
but in the crowd is one blurred face?
I'm sure you've just written it off as a fluke.
The man must have moved at the last second
and the photographer didn't notice.
But what if ?
What if it wasn't a fluke?
What if this man didn't want
his face to be seen. What if it was too dangerous
to reveal himself to history?
The crash of the Hindenburg.
Titanic survivors returning to New York.
The Civil War.
World War I.
World War II.
The assassination of JFK.
Has it ever occurred to you
that if time travel was ever invented
the past would be littered with travelers from
the future making trips to historical events?
Wouldn't we have seen these travelers?
Would they have stood out like most tourists do?
Unaware of customs during that time period?
How to dress and behave, so as not to direct attention?
Would we…or maybe not?
of letting the world know
that time travel is possible would most
certainly be dramatic, perhaps deadly,
I'm not saying every blurred face
in a dusty photograph is someone from the future
visiting history first-hand, but some
of these blurred strangers have
one thing in common.
You have to look closely,
at just the right angles,
magnified and sharpened,
and sometimes it can't be seen at all,
but every now and then you'll find it.
A dark ring on the middle finger
with a bright center, like a reflective stone,
or something mechanical
Now maybe this ring
acts as camouflage, or some such power.
Any photograph or video taken of the wearer will
distort so as to hide his face
Hidden in plane sight.
Maybe it's a coincidence.
Maybe I’m just mad.
The light from the ring could just be
the reflection of the flash. The blurred face
could just be a fidgety bystander.
But what if?
The question of whether
this is the result of some future
technology worn by a time traveler
doesn't make me nervous.
What makes me nervous is the possibility
that all these blurred men are really just
One lone time traveler who keeps popping up during
world-shaping historical events, and I can't help
but wonder if he's simply just a passive observer
or a prime mover.
Could this man be influencing the course of time?
Has he used his power strictly for academic
reasons, or something more sinister,
and to what end?
Perhaps it is madness, just in my head, but I’ve seen
the photographs, and I can't help but wonder
every time I see a blurred face
in the worn history books if I'm
not looking at just another face in the crowd
or a human god playing chess.