Oh, Linda me-Linda, where have you gone?
I'm an absent-minded guy, Linda, I never claimed not to be. I love my ol' machines more than a lot o' other things on this earth, but, Linda, I loved you so much.
Our sweet daughter's sittin' home alone now, and I'm in the shed workin' on my time machine, just like ol' times- but Linda, you ain't in your rocking-chair by the fire anymore, are you? No, you're up there lookin' down on us, and perhaps you can hear me, so listen, sweetheart. Because I'm gonna talk to you again just like we used to.
Do you remember the day we first met, Linda? I was fresh outta school, one of the most prissy educated folk 'round here, and you, you were like a newly bloomed red rose. We met outside your house, do you remember, when my oversized glasses slid right down my nose onto your feet, as I looked down on your face? Oh, how you laughed, girl, as I fumbled for them dinged lenses... and how I laughed, when I saw the pools of merriment in your pretty black eyes.
Then you were my friend, Linda, and we went together places- and your friends thought I was a-courtin' you, though I was much too shy, as we both knew. One day you talked to me about it, and I finally stuttered that yes, I was trying to work up the courage to court you proper- and you laughed, Linda, that laugh I'd come to love. Then you kissed my cheek and went home; and I never forgot those lips again. I came back to you like a loving dog to its master. I called you an angel once, and you looked at me with those shining eyes. And one day I popped the big question... when you said yes, you'd have me, I became the happiest man in the world.
We had so many sweet years together, Linda my girl. The day we were wed, when you finally looked up at me and I knew what I meant to you; the day our sweet little baby was born; the days we walked as a family behind our house, and I felt like the luckiest man in the world. I held you close a few nights when your momma passed away, and you went to the funeral and came back with a blue ribbon. Your mother's, you said, and you always wore it, even when I used to tease you that it clashed with your fiery hair. Later when you'd gone I saw it on our daughter's red head, and though I couldn't say a word, I hoped she knew that I thought she looked beautiful.
Yes, it changed, didn't it, Linda? The cursed sickness came; my parents died close to each other, and I grieved. But I envied them later when you took to your bed, too- for if you passed, I would be left to suffer alone, and they hadn't had that grief. Lord, those days still turn my heart, because while I worked like a madman around the house, my thoughts hovered always around my darling wife's plight. I thought I would go crazy, and crazy I might have gone if our daughter hadn't stepped in and directed me on what to do. She suffered as much as I did, I know, for I heard her crying nights, and I would go in and hold her sometimes if I felt like I could carry her pain too; but mostly I worried over you. One day the doctor came out of your room, his face ashen like your gravestone; and my heart broke right then, although I kept going for the sake of our little angel. How we wept, Linda, when the shock finally sank in, the night after your funeral. How the rain seemed to pour in sheets around the house, to berate us for not lovin' you enough to keep you with us.
Some days later I threw myself into my machine-work, the one thing that seemed constant and comforting to me all my life, and our daughter stayed home alone. I put on them oversized glasses that I'd dropped on your feet, and I worked. One day I told her I'd invented a time machine, so I could go into the past and into the future. She didn't believe me; I saw it in her eyes, and I saw how much she grieved also that I wouldn't talk to her about other things than my work; but I couldn't, Linda. My work was everything to me, after her, after you.
I went back into the past, Linda. It was a bittersweet moment when I arrived into my childhood years; and I found my papa's old banjo and brought it back to our daughter. Then she believed me, and she was awestruck. She carries that ol' banjo with her everywhere now, Linda, I wish you could see...
So now I'm makin' ready to go to the future, Linda. I'm mighty content with my life, but I've gotta make it a better one for our daughter. That's why I'm going, Linda, that's why I'm going. I'm gonna make sure our daughter grows up to be as fine a woman as her momma, before we've passed. It's the least I can do for her, don't you think, sweetheart? I haven't been the best parent, and I won't ever be; but this I can do for her. I've got to give her a good life.
I might not even return alive, though, and she's gotta be cared for while I'm gone; so I'm askin' you now, Linda, to watch over our baby. She'll be fine, she will, with such a good guardian. And I know you'll do it, Linda. I know she'll sit there strummin' that ol' banjo, waitin' for me to come back, and she'll be fine with her sweet momma- for no one guards an angel better than an angel herself. Take care o' her, Linda- and if I come floatin' up there to join you, well then we'll be together again.