A Funny Thing Called Time

March 5, 2012
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Although it is only four letters long, time can be such a long and dwelling word. It can create feelings of uncertainty, and goes on and on and on. And the funny thing about time is, it is hardly ever on your side, and you can never have enough of it. Like a cold winter’s breeze, it steals off into the night when you sleep, entirely undetected. And when you rise in the morning, you claw your way through the day, snatching at every minute, in hopes of getting through every chore on your list. But, I’ve learned you are never safe from Time’s thievery.
When I think about time, I go back to what seems like an entirely different era; a time when every moment was joyous and light, for the heavy times like these. I remember a very specific night with my family, the family I used to know. Perhaps it wasn’t as sweet as I remember it to be, but Time has a funny way of warping your memories. When I think of this night, my surroundings blur away and I’m no longer tangled in the present’s unforgiving mess. I am a happy kind of lost.
On the edge of Lake Michigan is a town called Kenosha, Wisconsin. It’s neither big nor small, but it isn’t exactly on everyone’s radar. I grew up there; where the air felt hot and sticky on your skin; the vegetation thick on either side of the road, and where the only place to be on a summer’s night was at the drive-in. I can’t remember more than a handful of the countless number of movies I’ve seen there, because even when I was little, I always loved the hour or so before the previews rolled.
In my head, I can imagine the sunlight, casting warm, buttery glows on the faces of my brother and sister, and the smell of seaweed blowing off the lake. The sun had just begun its drop behind the giant white screen, and the green-yellow glow of fireflies began sparking in and out of view. Where the sun never quite reached, and where tall grass grew just in front of the screen, are all of the other children playing. From my purple fold out chair yards away, I watched them. Even then, I was ever the observer. Watching them felt like my own silent movie, despite the constant murmur of the crowd and cars in the giant dirt lot. I admit, sometimes I thought about asking to play, but something always kept me away; a problem that has followed me into the present. But, sitting and watching the sunset, and counting the fireflies with my brother and sister were always enough for me. Seeing whatever movie was playing was always more of an afterthought.
As that miniscule of a moment comes to an end, my orange comforter and the blue screen of my laptop all come into focus. “A Case Of You” by Joni Mitchell must have been playing softly, because I catch the last note of the tune. I feel every feeling my mind can come up with in that second.

It’s no surprise as to why this memory is one of my happiest. In the present, my family- like many – has become a victim of divorce and distance. And of course, that tricky thing called Time. In the present, I worry about work, school, college…and then I repeat the cycle. But, I know that memory, so much like a dream, was real, and that I can go back to it at any time. It’s my safe place, that will be with me anywhere I may find myself. But, of course, so will that thing called Time.

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