Microsoft Word, Stop it With that Red Zigzag Under the Word Timescape, Because It’s Real, Because We Imagined It, Watch:

Your Timeline is plotted as coordinates through an interface, so you can travel through it like the city.

You are always being born on the South side. You are always going off to college in Midtown. Your mother is always handing you a sack lunch on the corner of 22nd and Harrison. You are always rolling your eyes. Your uncle is always chasing you around Grandma’s, down a few blocks, with a hair brush, and the hair brush is always yanking tangles that are there because you are always rubbing a purple balloon on your head and lifting it up, and always learning static electricity, and showing your family how your hair can defy gravity.

How long will it take you to walk from post-collegiate adolescence, too much to do and none of it will pay—all the way back to high school theatre rehearsal breaks, piling into Marco’s car, laying across laps in the backseat, listening to Copeland or Death Cab and knowing every word?

And this you who is walking through the interface—is this a you who is watching another you be born always, and another you who is auditioning for Les Miserables, and another you who is making the decision to try her first cigarette?

And this you who is walking—is this a you who is always walking, and always watching another you who is always being born, and who is always getting the part of Fantine, and who is always making the decision to blame the pack of cigarettes on someone else? Could there be another you who is walking to that time you walked through the interface, watching this you, as you watch other yous?

And the you who is walking, is this a you who can stop watching, and can get back in Marco’s car, and lay across your old friends’ laps, and sing, not because you love the song (though you do) but because you love to sing?

And if this you who has stopped watching can get back in the car, then might this you forget the words? Can this you get in first and let Justin lay across the laps, and feel the weight of his head on your leg? Will you now be both always laying across laps, and always feeling Justin’s head in your leg? Will you create a new lifetime of coordinates that you can later walk to at some point, when you have unlocked the travel constraints of a timeline that moves only from past to future?

And this you who is listening, whose past I have seriously misrepresented, I’m sorry, but I only have my own past to draw from as examples. But if there are interfaces that turn timelines into cities, would you show me yours? Could we walk together? Would you walk through mine? What if we had all the time in the world?

Published in Sparkle & Blink 60 by Quiet Lightning


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