Saturday, November 7, 2009

Where does the time go?

Here's one theory. Let's say you have stored time in a folder of old work emails loaded onto a 4 GB flash drive, including those ones called "Pupdates" that captured your son's first sentences and steps and other milestones; and let's say you'd been carrying around that little plug of memories in a shirt pocket and you forgot to check in all the pockets when you threw your laundry into the washing machine (see where this is going?). And let's say that later that day, after the laundry had spun to a rest, you lifted the lid of the washing machine to move the wet clothes into a bin, and there you saw it: that little metal plug lying on the floor of the washing machine. Well, now you know where time went: it took one hell of a combined waterslide and tilt-a-whirl ride, then it went down the drain into the Mystic River watershed and out to sea, like Thursday's floating pumpkin.

Okay, I know, that drowned device wasn't time exactly. History, maybe: time recorded, reported,and examined, like these almanac postings. And maybe time doesn't go anywhere. Maybe time is just the ticket to the events, entitling the bearer to spend time eating, sleeping, writing, etc. But it seems like the events are going somewhere in their relentless journey from now to just to yesterday.

This started as a wry thing, a consolation prize for losing Matthew's childhood ("It's a minor thing," he assured me after lecturing me on not backing up my files), and now I seem to be seriously trying to answer the above question, which effort will now be suspended, except to repeat it while looking at my watch and seeing that once again I've managed to stay up till one a.m.
Where does the time go?

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