time

there are so many tricks to time, how it speeds and slows in ways that drive you mad.

it runs out the door or washes down the drain before you know it’s gone. or it stands there, still and unmoving like your own body as you wait and try to breathe.

people who died when they were older than you will always seem that way, even when you yourself are old.

time will take your childhood and spread a fine film over it, so that everything is hazy but the feeling you get in your bones when you recall your old house, the corner store and the smell of it, how a pinecone from the park felt as you held it in your small hands and carried it home. you may recall exactly the doorbell on the house of your childhood best friend – reaching your arm up to press it, and the sign above her steps that said baruch spinoza stairs. time will mix the years together, jumble the sequence. but it will let you keep a few crystal clear pieces – ones you can’t quite fit together, that you’re not sure you can really trust.

time lays the world out before you like an endless field at twenty. at thirty-something, loss comes to visit you and it does not leave. time will not let it. it reminds you always of what is to come when before it mostly left you alone. you start listening harder, holding on longer.

time is said to soften the edges of cruelty. but sometimes it fails, and the cutting words someone spoke years ago harden into truths that live in your stomach til you die.

time takes people away, even if not in death. it suggests you move on, and you pretend not to hear until suggestions are commands. til it’s beating down your door and says this is it, right now, and you turn to face the finality of it all. time does not care for sadness or nostalgia, it marches on, and fast, like old men try to tell you when you are young and don’t care what they have to say; when you can see plain as day that time is a slow and lumbering beast while they insist it is a fox.

but you meet the fox later, it becomes a companion.

you will one day know it like old men do.

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2 thoughts on “time

  1. Wonderful! You’ve really captured how ones perception of time changes from childhood, to your twenties and beyond. Love the mentions of the old house, corner store, and friends doorbell (Anna’s?). I like this prose syle. Time does take people away. Sometimes that’s ok, and sometimes it’s not. But we all grapple with that and the relentless march of time. Keep writing 😊

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