Suddenly the Invisible Man is besieged by old snapshots.
Snapshots on the walls of his daughter’s empty apartment when he drops off something.
Including one of his wife wearing fairy wings and waving a magic wand while his daughter, as a child, regards the camera with a sober expression.
Snapshots in frames on his desk, or taped to the walls.
Including one of his wife smiling in a blue swimming pool, holding his daughter as a toddler, also smiling.
So much sunshine and smiling.
There are more. In one he carries his daughter on his shoulders. It is from before he became invisible. It is underexposed and he has black hair and a black beard and looks scary. His daughter is hugging his head. They are surrounded by flowers.
(It is the older daughter in most of the pictures, because the pictures of the younger daughter are mostly digital, and lost forever, or somewhere hard to recover).
Looking at all these pictures would be bad enough for the Invisible Man for the nostalgia alone but it’s worse.
The Invisible Man thought being invisible was bad, but it was just the tip of the iceberg. The snapshots goof up time and the Invisible Man becomes unstuck and encounters all his past selves, and the past selves of those he loves.
If you think being invisible is bad – and listen, it is, robbing banks is fun only so long – becoming unstuck in time and encountering all your past selves really sucks.
Because it turns out every single one is a stranger.
Those past selves you remember don’t even exist.
Memory is funny that way.
And in many cases, not every single one of these past selves is someone you’d care to remember.
There is a reason memory does that.
This is why forgiveness is so important.
Because sometime the snapshots add up and time dissolves and then what?
He calls his wife and apologizes.
Water under the bridge, she says.