Light Up Time

The past and the future are none other than imaginations. Only through the context of language can we ever suggest the past and the future. But there is much more that what language can do. The sound of old cupboards and closet doors closing, wood on wood, toilet flushes, all of those sounds are wordless, yet still meshed together. The cables taped to doorways that I used to run over with a skateboard, the tape crinkling each time. The tap of the metal heater, dirtied by footsteps to the balcony. There should be a past, there has to be. Or else why have I remembered all these details, these insignificant yet overwhelming sounds? Yet as much as there should be a past, I feel the time slipping by, each passing second lost forever.

How much of our lives is spent on recollecting the past and dreaming of the future? Perhaps all sounds seem sweeter in reminiscence, for they cannot be relived. It is always that longing for the dead, the yearning for the impossible, that we continue to dream. That mismatch of senses of the past almost seems too bizarre to have ever happened. They shape into an unbelievable existence, fragments of it dangling by the thread of lost time. I can remember the sound of the microwave three years ago than the one three weeks ago. That one three weeks ago is gone too. Somehow I feel a surge of pity and lament for these two microwaves, those sounds I’ll never hear again.

If time is like empty space why do I feel the desire to fill it? Vast oceans, open seas, if they were filled there’d be no space, no vast vistas that can embrace my existence. Fill all that empty space so there’s no room left for misery. Do not fill that empty space and I will regret it. Fill that empty space and I will also regret it. Do not fill it or fill it, I will regret them both. So I fill it with endless songs of passion, of voices carried from the past. I fill this empty space with sound, organized waves soothing my ears. Yet there is a guilt of indulgence, of being too in touch with passion. Passion is dangerous, I’ve been told, so they say, don’t let the lion bite your hand. Has passion been made all the better from human intellect? If more that wails and screams we use music instead, the sobs from the chest becomes the rhythm of the song, what good does that do? For isn’t it all an attempt, a forever unsatisfied yearning to grasp something unattainable? Capture emotion through words, through notes, yet they fade away like a memory. Those words, those notes are poor stirring spoons lifting a languid drop of emotion and letting it fall. Fall back indistinguishable from the sea of darkness. It is a sea no doubt, a sea with no bounds, too deep and turbulent for the simple spoon.

Imaginations of the future mesh with the past. A memory is like blue stones in clear water. The current lifting the blue stream up in grace, swirling and searching. Then I must choose to turn away, for the longer I stay, the more the bowl will turn blue entirely. The streams of blue will fade and disappear within the water, all the water in its contained universe. But I turn away and the image is forever etched. If that’s what I try to remember, then why bother trying? I might as well imagine the past as I imagine the future. Some minor changes in detail matters not, as long as I know that experience was real, that I once existed in some space and time. That smile of hers is bright in memory, whether it was actually or it wasn’t matters not. In my mind she radiates warmth. Either I fool myself or I don’t, I’d rather be fooled by a pretty picture than face the bitter truth. Perhaps the truth is not always bitter, but certainly not as pretty as my imagined story. In it I could have lights, I could distort time at will, the fragments of time joining together in beautiful choreography. Then it’s not only the imagined past I can use, but also the imagined future, the light of her happiness pulsing with pleasure, shining wherever I choose to point, in the blank space of a page, on the canvas of imagined time.

Do not discredit the power of the human imagination, it brings to me unattainable joys. Yet how long would it be until I mistook reality for fiction? The danger of imagined extravagances is how comparatively dull reality is. Then I should decide to make the mundane reality grand! There should be a spectacle on the folding and changing of bed sheets. But does reading stories help in living more exciting lives? Wherefore must life be exciting? Then it is neither of the two, neither to mull in placidity nor to yearn for some far-fetched extravagance. Perhaps it is to offer a comparison, and just that, a comparison, a spectrum on which I can find myself, in relation to all the other stories of the universe. Even if I’m not in any other story, I can find myself in this spectrum. Yet what is beautiful is that I am, I am indeed part of other stories. Perhaps sometimes a plus one on a list, or something more than that I cannot fathom what, but the truth is in whatever imagined past or future, there will always be other people. In whatever world I create or one which is created by all of us, society I mean, all the stories are connected. For some reason they are, is there a reason why? Perhaps the simple answer is, we won’t be ourselves without the people around us. Existence comes from parents, influences come from friends, behaviour come from everything. Now and then I’ll have to remind myself I have free will, that I can add a few words here or there in space already crowded by insubstantial heyhowareyoudoings.

I hear the voices of two marble love birds. They are perched on the corner of my desk, wings lifted, perhaps taking flight. Yet they are trapped in that space, bounded by the hands of the sculptor. Two beaks are about to brush by one another, yet they remain separated by a fraction of empty space. To them, this space seems to stretch without end. They are forever bound to this space, beaks apart. That space between those two love birds like a fissure across time, tearing apart their imagined future, all while in the eyes of the other. Those white wings will get tired.

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