time will tell
Home sweet home Latest site info Poetic stuff Serious stuff Funny stuff Topical stuff Alternative stuff Shakespearian stuff Musical stuff
  click here for a "printer friendly" version

Loads of fun and cocktails on the night. By Martin Friel.


I spend most of my time alone, in my flat, doing nothing. Just devouring time. I assume people think I am sad or feel sorry for me but I don’t actually know as I don’t talk to anyone. I do as little as I possibly can, day in day out, not because I am lazy or because there is something wrong with me but because I am engaged in a battle with time. I’m not sure that I can win but I will fight. I’d rather do that than succumb to time’s demands like all of you.

I used to be like you, well as much as any one person can be like another anyway. What I mean is that I used to ‘do’ stuff, fill my time with work, hobbies, holidays – the usual. At the time I didn’t really think about why I did that. I was just following the herd and behaving in the way that everyone else does. I was no different, nothing special about me.

But I’m not like you anymore. Now I AM different and that is not to suggest I am better than you, just different. The change came 7 years ago. I was sitting in the park, a late afternoon in late summer, just gazing at the sky, lost in nothing. I was admiring the beautiful blue when I noticed the moon. I’d seen this many times before but on this occasion, for some reason, I saw it as I had done as a child.

It was odd, out of place and certainly not normal. I have no idea where the thought came from but it suddenly struck me that the moon had missed its cue, it had blown the whole charade. Seeing the moon hanging there in the sky during the day made me realise that the daytime as merely a special effect designed to divert attention from the fact we are, at all times, clinging on to the edge of a vast, dark expanse of nothing.

We get used to the shifts in time from day to night and they are so normal that we stop questioning them. We see the day as just that, daytime, not thinking really that it is merely the happy outcome of the sun’s rays refracting through the atmosphere that cocoons us.

Same with night. We see it not as a window into the infinity that surrounds us, the uncertainty of nothingness in which we float, but as an event in itself.

Seeing the moon that day made me think that daytime acts as distraction – it allows us to forget our true situation. We don’t know what we exist in; the best description we have is space but that is totally unsatisfying. The truth is that we exist in a realm, dimension, call it what you will, of uncertainty and fear, emptiness and nothing.

I was once like you but I can now I take a more detached view of things. You have conditioned yourselves to look up at the night sky and the stars it holds and think this beautiful. It’s not, you are kidding yourselves. It is utterly terrifying and I think every one of you would, considering it properly, agree. So you choose not to think about it. When the sun shines on us, you think how beautiful the blue sky is and how lucky you are. But it is a hoodwink, a lie, a temporary distraction from our true state of existence.

And during that period you busy yourselves enjoying the respite from the aggressive truth. You kill time as they say.

Time is killed, as you say, because it is a terrifying beast yet you continue to feed it by offering more and more of yourself to it in a desperate attempt to fill it.

In an attempt to sate an ancient, vengeful god you offer up the sacrifice of your existence to it, not knowing why or if it will make any difference but hoping that if you give enough, sacrifice enough, that the god will look upon you benevolently. It won’t – it never has and it never will.

Only when people finally reach the end, when they run out of time, do they realise that they cannot and will not win and that the feeding of time is pointless – they have nothing to show for it, can’t do anything with it. The only winner is time itself – it continues to be fed and it devours us and our petty activities remorselessly, laughing as we increase the frantic pace of our lives desperately trying to keep that monster happy, sated and still.

But it will always win and nothing you do can ever alter that for it is only time that controls the arrival and departure of the sun from our world. Sunlight is time’s greatest ruse, for time dictates when that happy veil of daylight is lifted and the darkness within which we exist is exposed.

At night, you understand, albeit briefly, your predicament and you retreat, stop ‘doing’ and rest, lie still and hide from this terrifying glimpse of reality. When the darkness is revealed, your need to feed time is gone as the activity is suddenly exposed for what it is – a pointless attempt to hide from the vast darkness of our existence. For those short hours, you can defeat time until it allows the sun to return in tandem with your frantic activity. And time continues to gorge itself on you.

Which is why I live the way I do – complete inactivity wherever possible. Of course I have to eat but as much as possible I have it made for me and delivered. An inheritance means I don’t have to work. I don’t have to see friends as I don’t have any. All I really have is my solitary, silent battle with time. Whenever I am doing nothing, I am beating time for I am not feeding it with my fear. I am facing it down, refusing to bow to its demands for action.

Why should I feel compelled to do stuff just to fill the day, this blue-hued lie? Why shouldn’t I just lie here, still, ignoring the passing of day into night and back into day? Regardless of ‘day’ or ‘night’ our predicament remains unchanged.

I won’t take part in the charade, becoming just another one to be consumed. My lone stance against this tyranny of time may seem mad but your desire, your need to do stuff to satisfy this arbitrary force, seems mad to me.

I don’t accept the lie and I am certainly not complicit in it. It is you who are perpetuating this, the greatest lie of all and every time you look up on a sunny day and admire it, you are nourishing that lie. Every time you DO stuff to keep yourself busy, to avoid the nagging of time, you are denying the knowledge that sits deep within you, a knowledge that you cannot bear to face - that we live a dark, lonely existence and that the ‘space’ we live in is an endless void of deep, deep darkness punctuated with a few pinpricks of light straining pointlessly to break the hold of that darkness.

Yours may be a more enjoyable existence but at least mine is honest.



Rate this story.

Copyright is reserved by the author. Please do not reproduce any part of this article without consent.


© Winamop 2013