A Real-Life Episode of the Twilight Zone

Jason Gutierrez
3 min readApr 21
Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash

It was Tuesday morning and I was sitting at my new, yet oddly familiar cubicle desk with my eyes bouncing back and forth between my two monitors.

On one, I was watching a 20-minute video on cybersecurity for the second time this year (mandatory training for all new-hires). On the other, I was chatting on Microsoft Teams with a few co-workers who I hadn’t talked to in a couple of years. They were excited that I was back after a relatively short stint with another company.

As I leaned back in my chair with both hands behind my head, I heard a woman yell out in a raspy Southern accent, “I don’t believe it. My little buddy!”

It was my old friend Susan. She was now 50-something years old. She’s your typical sweet, 5-foot-1-ish Southern lady, a smoker (which I scold her about often), and the best damn project buyer in the place.

I stood up, gave her a big hug, and we spent the next little bit getting caught up on all of life’s latest happenings. In just 2 years’ time, she became a grandma. I became a papa. A lot of others had left the company, but many stayed and, for the most part, it was business as usual.

She looked like she hadn’t aged a second. I felt like time had simply skipped 2 years and there we were.

I texted my girlfriend Nicole:

“I swear it’s like I hopped in a time machine this week.”

But as the day dragged on and I reunited with more of my old colleagues, I realized that Susan was one of the few who still looked mostly the same. The majority looked like they had aged 5+ years over that 2-year span!

It was like I blinked and even though I was in the same place I had worked before, my colleagues were now older, grayer, wrinklier, but hopefully wiser versions of themselves. I was in a real-life episode of the Twilight Zone.

I began to wonder what I looked like to these people. I felt like, if anything, my face might have aged a couple of years, but the rest of me has gotten thinner, firmer, and fitter (a side effect of becoming obsessed with health and longevity as of late).

But who knows? Maybe I’ve aged more than I think.

Jason Gutierrez

Full-Time Engineer / Part-Time Writer | Stories to entertain, educate, and help you live better | Newsletter: https://parttimewriting.beehiiv.com/subscribe