Over some beers on a Sunday evening, I tell a friend a story for the first time or, perhaps, the thousandth time. I could not be sure. It could be that time is finicky and memory is irritating, or it could be the beers. As I go over the past with a fine-toothed comb and tell him the story, I face the fleeting nature of time again. I do not know if I ever lose track of it, but if I do, the reminder is not too far off. It occurs to me how April is almost over and how quickly this year seems to have started slipping off my grasp. Between acting my age and preserving the child I once was, my days have little gaps between them, and once again, these words have been ground between the burrs of time.
But these words, these words, enough about them! Why should I not waste a few days? What have I ever gotten for all my wasted time on them? If anything, I have lost lovers and, sometimes, friends, and the latter has hurt more. In the end, it would not matter. They call you prolific if you wrote a thousand pieces or a million. People measure writers by how much of them they cannot read or, more importantly, understand. When I realised this as I told whatever story I was telling for the first or the thousandth time, something shifted in my heart.
From then on, things are a blur, and I do not remember much of what I said or how. It is not that we had too much to drink, but sometimes, when the company is good and the day is banal enough to justify celebration, getting intoxicated is but an afterthought or, even better, a formality. Between tales of lost lovers and little nightmares that came true, I broke tempo and paused to catch my breath.
“Ah, let it all be as it is,” I said, “if it gets me to this bar, to this moment, to this pint of beer, to this friend—to you—why would I want it any different?
Tell me, how are things with you?”