Somebody once told me that the world was going to roll me. And that I wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed.
That was years ago. I remember what years ago used to feel like, but not as much as I used to. That whole idea seems to be slipping from me.
I think I remember her. She looked kind of dumb. She did the finger and thumb thing in the shape of an L on her forehead. She was a pretty girl, with dark brown hair – or was it black? – and she was about my age… But, again, that image fades. I have not seen her since then, and I doubt that I will again.
The years have stopped coming. They may never start coming again. It was July 18th, at 2:33 PM where I was, and where I am, and where I will continue to be. At that moment, at this moment, time stopped. Clocks refused to move, computers crashed, and the earth stopped rotating. It is the same time now as it was back then, according to my watch. But I know things have changed. My heart continues to beat. My feet continue to move, my hair continues to grow, my skin cracks under the constant mid-day sun, and my brain continues to tell me to go to sleep once I need to. My brain is smart, and my head is dumb.
It didn’t make sense not to live for fun, back then. As if I had all the time in the world, and why would I waste it worrying? I could always do things later, there was so much to do, and so much to see… What was wrong with taking the backstreets? Why waste it looking around, understanding things around me? Why appreciate all that time provided? I’ve always worn an analogue watch. For years, it ticked at every second. I managed to, at points, ignore the ticking. When I was sleeping, I’d lie in bed for hours – god, to feel what hours felt like again… – and I’d stop noticing the ticking. Eventually it turned to silence in my head.
But what I wouldn’t give to hear that ticking again.
The weather has not changed. The world has not moved. I have not been to the ocean since time stopped, but I have to assume it’s stopped as well. I don’t see many cars driving anymore. We can’t grow food, so we have to rely on what comes in, and I don’t know where they get that from. Communication as we knew it – the internet, the telephone – it’s been down ever since the years stopped coming. I assume the food will, at some point, stop coming as well. The ice upon which we skate is getting pretty thin in that regard. And the water itself remains warm, but I am hesitant to swim, as I don’t know where we can get more drinking water in the future.
The future. I still say that. The future. The past. It’s all the same now, it’s all the present. I have not broken that habit, but I need to. It is a holdover, perhaps a wishful lapse in lucidity now that the years have stopped coming. Every memory, every piece of that world that was stolen from us when the clocks stopped, I hold on to them. I remember, because that is all I can do when there is no future…
Somebody once asked “Could I spare some change for gas? I need to get myself away from this place.” That place was Reno, Nevada. That time was summer 2004. I was twenty four, I had a just finished college, I was looking to the future, I had dreams, I had hope, and belief in the world. I told him yes. I told him that I needed some myself.
And I told him that we all needed change.
Just not like this. I didn’t mean it like this.