Time, And How It is Saved


Years pass because it’s what they do, being insufficiently self-aware to notice that they are purely conceptual, and by “purely” of course we mean “absolutely essential to our material existence.” Like paper emanating from reliable printers, they emerge line by line with appropriate sound-effects (each line composed of words, each word of glyphs, et cetera) ― the printouts sometimes materializing so perceptibly and other times piling up in tens and elevenses without our noticement, until suddenly we become thirty-two and are astonished at the overflowing output tray, the overuse of trees ― thank goodness for recycling, which makes us feel a little better but not a minute is lost; every millisecond is held in things that remain even after time has passed: that ugly painting in reds and greens ― as much as thirty-nine minutes is encapsulated there, consumed, commemorated, beneath a webby window! A wine label with a squirrel and minimal text: one hour nineteen minutes. The space in the Royal Oak charcoal bag: three hours and twelve minutes in which salmon and salt were smoked. I must shut off the water, which is spending time as freely as hydrogen atoms. And wind? Too profound. Instead consider poems, dozens of people typing them all at once, making mockery of time management experts by explicitly nutshelling the same instants into multiple poems, the third stanza of “Richter Scale” concluding just as “Amber Windows In My Left Pinky” is committed to perpetuity (sort of) with CTRL + S. But that’s only the start: At the exact same time, 38 million Californians are making or else spending money, or resting against a pillow which took a machine a certain quantity of time to make, which machine was made by a person or another machine, and so on. In this way time is multiplied, and also saved (its soul twining pearly gates), many times over. And thus we have memories as well as literature, and also capitalism.