“The waves of time wash us all clean.”
Time. Washing its crystalline waves against the quartz sand, lapping at my hesitant curled toes, receding back into the vast inky darkness of the hyperspace sea. Behold the limitless great ocean of time, and the many beasts and creatures that live within its chasmic abyss, hungry for youth, hungry for experiences, always starving and eager to search for a prey, for memories to wither and waste away.
Years, fluttering like a pure white candle in the blustering wind; fragility trembling, luminosity quivering, conflagration dwindling, wanting in faith of its own stability. Its radiating warmth and incandescent brightness giving you a guiding light in soft hues of lambent hope, before a final gust of tempestuous breeze cruelly snuffs it out, leaving only a burnt wick and melted waxen tears of a lost castaway, congealing within the blinding darkness.
Months, thawing like polar ice caps on a desolate mountain, melting sluggishly and painstakingly, falling like liquidated diamonds as they slide down the slippery slope of porphyry, too enticed by the mysterious allure of gravitational forces to stop; drop by drop, shard by shard, tear by tear, little by little, then faster still, until it gets more gargantuan, mass constellating and collapsing downwards into one hollow rumble of a melancholy howl, mourning and bereft.
Weeks, like seven cups of various tea, flavours diverse and varying depending on your mood. Clashing soft seasons in your mouth; minty, citrussy, milky, zesty, sour, bland, diluted, an overall bittersweet affair, oiling rusty old bones and rejuvenating that sanguine blush in one’s cheeks. Yet when the teapot is empty and all the china cups are drained to the very last umber drop, your stomach feels faintly ill, bitter the only aftertaste in your tongue, and you can neither drink nor take no more.
Days, hurtling back and forth expeditiously, whistling past your ears like a frisbee. Thrown with quick reflexes, launched in a directionless manner, tossed around carelessly with none so much an earnest thought but an insouciant laugh, thinking its all in jubilant fun, as it spins and spins, making you feel dizzy, giving your mind vertigo, as you watch and wait patiently for its ineluctable return, just so you can throw it away again.
Hours, jumping and bounding past like frenetic mercurial creatures, never in a singular place, always everywhere, dancing the stars away as though nothing else matters. One moment they might be flitting by your tiring bruised ankles in a taunting tarantella, in a callous attempt to make you trip, yet they might be spiralling into the open Stavanger horizon, in a woeful waltz of dissolving resignation, the next.
Minutes, in a clever coveted Janus-faced deceit, tricking and ticking, masticating and muttering, revolving and relocating, elongating and elevating, faltering and fading, they’re but ruled ramshackle beings trying to stretch those measly seconds into a nuanced artifice of further longevity, eddying such curious naïvetés as you or I to believe that we have all the time in the world.
And the seconds, by god, those measly scintilla of a moment, a speck of a fairy tale caught in a jiffy, those shortest pauses that feel like a lifetime’s worth of disconnected reminisces, as breaths hitch, pulses halt, hairs raise, and the planet ceases it continuous revolution, taut gravity loosening for the briefest moments, allowing souls to soar. A blink of an eye always costs a bereavement of grand eloquences.
Milliseconds. Seconds. Minutes. Hours. Days. Weeks. Years. Decades. Centuries. Aeons. Eternity. Everyone’s wasting time counting time, trying to stop the flow of the inevitable by catching it in an aquarium, and when the pressure is too much, the thin sheet of fragile glass succumbs to the pressing force, and begins to crack and shatter, water pouring out in raging torrents, desperate to escape. We douse ourselves in pneumonic coldness, trying to grasp what’s already slipping from our fingers, trying to save what’s already long gone. But in the end, we get another glass jar and try again and again, much like the innocent hopeful fools we perceive ourselves to be.
A hundred years is what it will take for my living monument to erode away and crumble into clouds of dust and ashes, precipitating pieces of my soul to the weeping planet, yet it will invariably take less than the smallest measure of time to do so, if I stand out into the open salty air and allow myself to be devoured whole by the mistress of the universe.
The waves of time recede in a tranquil stillness, then emerge once again, crashing in a quiet tantrum. The water rises. The tide grows higher. It is up to me whether to bravely swim against the current, or simply drown away in the undertow.