Wake up. Look at the alarm clock. Decide begrudgingly to not hit the snooze alarm (again). Stumble out of bed, somehow weaving through your house to find clothes for the new day. At some point decide not to call in sick to work so as to take a hooky day.
Go out to lunch, bring my lunch?
Tackle Task 1 on the To Do List or tackle Task 747 (the Goddess must be appeased!)
Take the interstate home? Take the back roads?
Go to the gym?
Watch TV when I get home? Write? Play a game? Go to bed?
Start all over again.
This is your life through your eyes. This is your world, shaped by your decisions and desires.
Time and decisions and more time and less time…
Why does the Old Guy speak his mind so readily when the rest of us struggle to say what we actually mean? Could it be he doesn’t have the time left in front of him to pussy-foot around or spare your feelings? Could it be he has shit to do, and more than anything else, you are actually killing him very slowly?
More than money, more than love, more than hate, more than anything – Time is that thing you, me, everyone just doesn’t have enough of. Even if we had more of it, what good would it do me? I still perceive the world through these same eyes. Through the colored lens of my own experiences and memories. I might chose to do something different the next time a similar situation comes up, but only because I know more about what the outcomes are.
Maybe that’s why time travel fascinates me so much. Those long forgotten decisions shaping today. What would it be like to take a glimpse at some event from our past as an outside bystander? What would we see that we couldn’t see in the moment?
But so many of the books and movies and tv shows (because they need to sell you on the storyline) make it where they are going to change things that went wrong. Or maybe they are going to right something and save lives.
Or they are probably going to try and kill Hitler at some point.
Today as I left the gym I saw the front desk girl talking with some guy, and she was clearly into the guy. And maybe, maybe he knows. Maybe they are already dating. Or maybe they’re still in that dance where she’s putting out the signals, and he’s hoping she’s into him, but he doesn’t want to put himself out there?
But the point is, as the outsider, I could see some aspect of what’s going on. I was the time traveler of their moment that is already gone as I type these words.
If I was the Old Guy, I might have gone up to them and said, “Look, she likes you. You like her. Get together and see what happens.
(Well if I were the Old Guy and also very ballsy.)
School is starting/has started/or is about to start for kids everywhere. And much like the graduation signs in the Spring, this time of year has me looking back to my own high school days. Days when I was completely clueless about everything and everyone. How I was convinced no girl would ever want to go out with me.
The standard types of things.
But it makes me wonder, if I could go back in time to those moments and just observe. And see if the world was actually the way I perceived it, or maybe it wasn’t quite as big and scary. Maybe things were much more apparent than even I was seeing, but I lacked the 4th dimensional view of things.
This isn’t that old standard of “if I only knew then, what I know now”. This is more being able to actually get outside of yourself for a little while. Take in your surroundings. Understand why the events are happening.
Those days where going to school meant that you somehow had to force yourself through the door. Force yourself to smile when all you might have wanted to do was scream. Maybe the highlight of your days were in 5 minute doses, talking with the few friends who seemed to instinctively understand… IT.
They say that those who do not know their history are destined to repeat it.
They also say that history repeats itself.
But I like Mark Twain’s quote:
Never the exact same, but enough of the same sounds to maybe let us understand things a bit better?
High School never ends…
We still have to do things we don’t want to do. And there will be days that you can’t get out bed. But… just maybe we can hear that old song in a new way?
Maybe we can find a way to make that new rhyme…
John McGuire is the author of the supernatural thriller The Dark That Follows, the steampunk comic The Gilded Age, and the novella There’s Something About Mac through the Amazon Kindle Worlds program.
He also has a short story in the Beyond the Gate anthology, which is free on most platforms!
And has two shorts in the Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows anthology! Check it out!
He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com.