You casually walk around in your apartment, wearing a t-shirt and a pair of shorts, an empty cup in your hands. You’re heading to the kitchen to get a refill—another coffee. Just then, as you pass the cabinet that always hits your toe, you realise how many years have passed. There you stand, paralysed by this realisation, three steps from the kitchen; you stand still, remembering. Just like a puppy that happens to find itself in front of the mirror stays still, considering the mystery of reflection only to forget about it in a minute, you, too, snap out of it. Then, you finish your quest to get your coffee. In that moment, that temporary suspension, there is a question. How did I get here? I was ten years old yesterday.
Just like a puppy’s brain ignores mirrors, for it cannot comprehend them fully, we forget time. We do not think of time, of years passed until we sit down and reflect, or sometimes when it hits us as we get up to get coffee. But then, we forget again. On countless funerals you attend, on numerous news stories about people passing, you tell yourself I will live better. Then you ask yourself: what does better even mean? Am I wasting time writing these words, and if yes, how will I know? We cannot know we have wasted time until the time has passed. All time that has passed appears to have been wasted, despite how much you laughed, and cried, and lived. Time is not something a human being must know at all times. I wish we knew it before we invented the clock. But even the clock, and how it came to be, speaks of only one thing: our obsession with holding time.
When we learned we could not hold time, when we could not control it, we decided to capture it in sixty seconds, in sixty minutes, and twenty-four hours, thinking we could find some semblance of control. But then, all the clock and the calendar do is tell us how much time has passed, nothing more, nothing less. We check them, only to forget about them. Before we know it, we are in an apartment, getting a refill of coffee, and we seem to have lost track of how we got there.