A Brief History of Time

Hey Gang!

I feel like it has been some time since I posted. I truly missed writing. My mentor, or former mentor, once told me something I live by.

“Chris, what did you write today?,” he asked.

“Nothing today. I have been crazy busy (excuse…excuse…excuse…),” I said, rambling on.

“You know, that means you are not a writer. At least not today. You must write every day to consider yourself a writer. Tomorrow, be a writer,” he said.

For the first time in quite a while, I am a writer.

I had to stop writing as my schooling was completely consuming my life. I would try to write but it was from darker places. When you have something that is all business, it becomes oppressive. This looming creature that contains you. My school work has consumed me as well as my thesis and teaching, but they were gratifying. I defended my thesis, which makes me the first person in the history of my university to graduate using documentary as thesis. This fact has yet to set in and people praise me but I still have the creature by my side. The oppressive feeling still looms.

I have never been one for office environments and such, so my internship is really my nightmare. The fluorescent lights, artificial and washing. They penetrate everything with their sterile white glow. The dry wall confines seem to close in and claustrophobia becomes my new home.

There the creature looms.

Fast forward months as I complete my defense with its ups and downs. I have a new outlook on everything.

Time is relative.

It seems so long of a time. One hundred hours-worth of time was devoted to editing, shooting, and writing my documentary. It seemed to go so slow, yet so fast at the same time. It was an amazing and nightmarish experience. However, it was an experience.

Time is relative.

The larger the mass of a body, the higher the gravitational pull. The higher the gravity of a body indicates a slowing of time. Time becomes relative to the gravity of each body.

The gravity here is the being, the creature. It slows time and creates a repetitive nature. Every day is exactly the same. It used to be at least. I am now incredibly happy with how things are going. I search for new jobs and the future is uncertain but I feel as if life is just about to begin. Those trials and tribulations are wanted. The vast emptiness of my internship made time relative to the vacuum of nothingness. Time simply stood still. My brain atrophied from excel spreadsheets and closed mindedness.

I regret nothing, however. Isn’t this this story we tell? The bridge to the chorus? The semi-colon of the sentence? The breath between speech? The blink between each sight the eye takes in?

Isn’t this the end of a beginning?

Time is relative to the task but it is fleeting. Time slows but never stops.

Time is relative and I am present.

I am present and look forward but it is prudent now to reflect on this brief history of time.

-Chris

Adventure Time!

https://i0.wp.com/st.houzz.com/simgs/3b41b84802444c60_4-7714/traditional-fireplaces.jpg

Hey Gang!

It has been entirely too long! I will not let this happen again. I have been writing a conference paper about postmodernism and jay-z which I hope turns out well. However, I have yearned to write which only reinforces how much I truly love writing and in an environment with every one of you that are so talented and creative. Thanks for being you and deciding to read everything I have written. Truly humbled, thanks!

***

It’s like that visceral tin taste in your mouth when someone asks if you have ever tasted a penny.

No.

It’s like when someone asks you what you did last week.

Yes.

You recall the week itself. The highs, the lows, and the mundane. You remember you laughed incredibly hard from a friend’s joke but you remember pouring a bowl of cereal for yourself in the morning. The sadness of unwanted news and the neutrality of tying your shoes. Yet, what is it that you recall?

Those spike. Those spikes in the midst of everything that imprint on your life. Emotion bleeds through everything. A raking scar of a memory. You sense it. It is palpable. Then it begins to leave. It begins to fade away. It becomes amorphous. The substance is there, that central message, but the structure is gone.

That penny taste. It lingers.

I say all of this because I recently had that feeling of a memory that was so paramount in my life until it drifted. It came back with a vengeance and I could not be happier.

My mother used to appease me when I was younger. As I have said before, we were not very well off. Feast or famine was quite regular. However, I never found it to be that way. 

On the way home from school each day, my mother would allow my six-year-old self to navigate our way home. Often we would get lost but I remember what she would say whenever I got us lost.

“Don’t worry, Chrissy. It’s just another adventure,” she’d say.

It’s funny to think about it now. I don’t even think she knows I remember that kind of stuff. So small. In a life so full of moments, how amazing is it that we are able to remember anything in particular.

I recall one time we were unable to afford heat for a week or so. So, we bought a couple blow-up mattresses and slept in the front room. We had this old, metal electric fireplace that we put right in front of us and turned it on. I remember how cold it was. Outside of those three comforters was what felt like subarctic temperatures. I remember laying on my side and my mother making me laugh which made me grow warmer.

“It’s like camping, kiddo,” my mother said. “Just another adventure.”

What is funny is that I do not have heat at my new apartment but, off in the corner of my room, I have a small electric fireplace that makes me feel warm and a little more at home.

These things that should have been terrible were more like sailing on an ocean. You knew that the storms caused the boat to rock but they would eventually subside.

When I was at my lowest just a year ago, I was laying on the ground, wallowing in my own sorrow. I voiced how scared I was about the future. About the past. About the now. About everything.

“What do we say?”

I did not want to hear it. I stayed silent.

“What do we say?”

“Who knows, we say a lot,” I said with too much resentment.

“It’s just another adventure,” she said, having paid no mind to my projected attitude.

Funny thing, it subsided. I got up figuratively and literally.

Just a week ago, I contemplated why i was doing all of this. I had no life. My friends were moving on and I was here learning about the fragmentation of the subject.

What the hell was I doing here?

Then, somewhere, deep down, I hear a voice. Not my mother’s but my own. It came from somewhere other. Some time other. Some time ago.

“What do we say?”

 

-Chris

 

*You’re the best, Linda*

 

 

A Life Less Ordinary Part I: The Shadowboxer

Dim lights hang in the large gymnasium. Shadows creep in the corners of the darkened building where boxing bags and a boxing ring are the only things that occupy the space between the light and darkness. A man walks slowly through the open space and heads toward a wall. The light reveals, against the wall, a darkened figure. The individual’s dark doppelganger stands before him. The shadow faces him, waiting to mock his movements.

The man rounds out his shoulders and lifts his arms; fists clenched.

He reflects on what has been going on his life as everything around him fades.

His feet begin to shift from heel to toe as he bounces from left foot to right.

He thinks of how powerless he has felt as the winds of life sweep through his concrete platform which he builds up.

Jab.

He thinks of what was, what is, and the uncertainty of what will be.

Uppercut.

His doppelganger mocks every movement.

He thinks about the loss of the support system he had and what will come. What will come?

He dips below as his shadow throws a right cross, mirroring his.

He thinks about his own isolation as he begins to curl up in an all too familiar cocoon of solitude. The quiet depths of solitude that echo strange sounds of the living person high above. The person who calls out for the one who journeyed so deep into the canyon as not to be seen. The search exhausts him.

He begins a flurry of uppercuts at his opponent who reflects his.

He thinks of his mother as she suffers from physical and emotion pain. He hears her cries of exasperation as she regrets not doing more and seeing more. He hears her worries of the future. He hears her. It seeps into his thoughts and changes his view as it skews to where her pain flows.

Jab.

Left.

Left.

Right.

Uppercut.

Uppercut.

Left.

Left.

Right.

Left.

Right.

He lets those thoughts fade away as he comes to the realization that this is not something he can control. He realizes that there is only one way that this will all fade. It is the combination of time and faith. It is a time of waiting for movement. Waiting for the chance to live a life that is the one he shapes and not the one he is thrust into by the ever changing winds of fate. The chance to live a life less ordinary. Waiting for chance.

He stops his assault on his doppelganger as he breaths the stinging needles from his lungs and his chest rises and falls rapidly. He looks at the shadow figure and realizes that his opponent is what he always feared it was.

The inevitable.

-Chris

Clocks

three-people-with-clocks

 

Hey Gang!

The other day I was driving around, as I do quite often. I enjoy driving down backroads and through the city because it gives me a chance to think. I have had writer’s block in regards to a story I am trying to put together, so I thought a bit of fresh air would help. It did not.

The rest of the day I kept obsessing about the story and characters. I just couldn’t let it go.

Later that night, I was laying in my bed, trying to go to sleep but failing. I tried to listen to my iPod but then became saddened by the fact that I have officially run out of good music. I took my headphones out and looked to the darkened ceiling, hoping for sleep to stop eluding me.

I heard a noise in the dark room that was unmistakably the ticking of my clock. It was louder than I ever remember hearing it. It didn’t bother me at first but then it continued TICK….TICK….TICK

I tried to think some more about my story but my thoughts became muddled by the sounds of the clock above head. TICK…TICK…TICK

I couldn’t help but curse the clock. I began blaming it for why I couldn’t sleep. I contemplated ripping it off the wall and placing it violently into the trash can. TICK …TICK…TICK

I realized that that was not going to be an option as I had come down with a severe case of laziness. So, I lay there and began wishing that I could stop obsessing over the story.  I turned back over as the ticking continued and closed my eyes. I felt like I was never going to sleep although my eyes grew heavy and stung from wanton sleep, I just couldn’t rest my mind. Suddenly, I hear something a bit off.

TICKTICK…..TICKTICK…..TICKTICK….

At first, I couldn’t believe my bad luck. I thought, “This terrible metronomic device has gotten worse,” but I realized that it was the clock in the living room trying hard to work in tandem with the clock in my room.

TICKTICK……TICKTICK……TICKTICK….

It sounded like they would be out of synch and then back in synch. This yo-yo around each other’s auditory process became mesmerizing.

TICKTICK….TICK…TICK…TICKTICK

I couldn’t help but think about their nature. These two devices made for the same sole purpose, telling time, are not in synch. The wooden clock in the front ro0m gave its loud, hollow tick just before my metallic clock gave its sharp, tin-like tick.

I thought about how one or both of these clocks are lying. I thought about how they are wired and the way they worked. I couldn’t tell you how long I lay there thinking about clocks which is actually ironic but I enjoyed it. Finally, I began to see people as clocks. I thought of myself as a clock and the way I tick.

Have you ever looked inward and thought, “Welp, that’s a flaw. Better fix that,”?

I thought about it that night and realized some things about myself that I need to correct. I have the uncanny ability to write people off. If someone doesn’t fit into the idea of what I believe they are, then I write them off and push them away. I think it’s easier that way because of my nature.

I always think about the story of the scorpion and the toad whenever I talk about nature. It’s an old story that I will paraphrase:

A scorpion is sitting morosely at the bank of a river that he can’t cross. A toad swims up and asks what’s wrong and the scorpion tells him that he has to get across the river and that it is extremely important that he makes it there. He asks the toad if he can get on his back and then the toad can swim him across safely. The toad says no at first because he fears that the scorpion will sting him and kill him. The scorpion reassures the toad that he won’t and the toad agrees. They make it safely across the rushing water and to the other side. As the scorpion hops off the toad’s back, he stings him. As the toad lay dying, he asks the scorpion why he did it. The scorpion simply replies, “it’s in my nature.”

I realized that I am both the scorpion and the toad. That’s just how I am. How I work. How I tick. I have been looking out for myself for such a long time that when it comes to meeting people, friends or women, I have this idea of how it should be. If they don’t fit the model, then I distance myself. In my head, these pieces don’t fit. The clock isn’t ticking the way it should be.

The parts that I think make the perfect sentient timepiece just aren’t there.

I lay in bed and mentally kick my own ass for that thinking. It’s an exclusive way of thinking. I had to really make myself realize that that isn’t the beauty of people. I think the beauty of humanity and relationships is not how their pieces and your pieces form a whole clock. No, I think it’s about your clock and theirs complimenting one another. You tick together; in unison.

The beauty of a clock is limited by how well it works.

That’s when I realized more about me. I just want to find a clock like that. Where there is only one ticking sound as we synch. One beat between two clocks. That’s all I want, now. It makes me happy because, since then, I have been looking at my relationships. Some I can keep but others, our clocks don’t read the same time anymore and it is time to say goodbye. This is a good thing because in the end, how great would it be to have a room full of clocks that simultaneously tick.

I can’t help but want to see how other people tick and if their time reads mine.

I finally drifted off to sleep with the sounds of the clocks fading.

TICKTICK…TICKTICK…TICKTICK….TICK

-Chris