Namo amitabha Buddhaya, y'all.
This here's a religious establishment. Act respectable.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Talk Thursday: Time Has Come Today

Well, it seems my hyperfertility is at an end. It always ends; that's the trouble with hyperfertility. It ends, and then I look back on the 70-odd pages I wrote when it was in full swing and ask myself what the f____ I thought I was doing. Obviously they're crap and need to be thrown out. (True? Probably not, but I'm mopey now so that's the first thought.) Whether or not they get thrown out, though, time has resumed its normal speed. Which is to say, time has come today. Or so the Talk Thursday topic-o-meter tells me.

The song, by the way, is by the Chambers Brothers, redone by the Ramones and the lyrics can be found here. I don't get it. I don't get lots of songs, so this doesn't particularly bother me, but I try to actually get Talk Thursday topics so I can write about them in a way that makes sense. I do get time travel, though. It has to do with space travel. It was good old Einstein who figured out that the passage of time depends entirely on where you are standing. Toss a ball on a moving train, for example, and it will take much less time to travel 100 feet than the same tossed ball on a stationary train platform. Toss the same ball on a rocket ship moving at near the speed of light, and the ball doesn't take any time at all to travel the hundred feet. In short, the ball travels back in time and arrives before it was tossed. Yep. I get that, no problem.

Where the whole time travel thing starts breaking down for me is in movies that use it for a plot device. This is where I need my sister, who always pinpoints the plot holes. Take, for example, the Christopher Reeve movie Time After Time. (Please.) Christopher Reeve's character receives a watch as a present from an old woman, which he then takes back in time and gives to the woman when she was young. My sister pointed out that the watch could never have in fact existed, because if she didn't get it before Christopher Reeve gave it to her when she was young, and he didn't get it before she gave it to him when she was old, then where, pray tell, did it actually come from? The watch is trapped in a Schroedinger's riddle of existence. One of these days the movie director will open the box and find out the watch was dead the whole time.

Perception of time also varies from person to person. One minute means very different things in, say, a football game versus waiting for the results of a home pregnancy test. Yesterday our server went down at work (nice servers shouldn't go down) and the afternoon was a lot longer than our afternoons normally get. In fact, by three o'clock I'm sure it was normally at least four-thirty on any other day. Once I'd done all my filing and boxed up the old files and cleaned off my desk and done some professional reading, what else was there, you know? Rearrange the file cabinet, I guess. By which time it was still only four. Time stood still. I needed Christopher Reeve's watch.

When I'm hyperfertile, time gallops forward at a ridiculous pace, and the only way to keep up is to run alongside as fast as possible. Everything's faster. I even type faster. Then it ends and everything slows back down to a normal pace, which is like a crawl in comparison. Kind of like going 90 mph on the freeway (which I'm sure none of you would ever, ever do) and then slowing back down to the speed limit. Yeah, you're still traveling at an insane pace, faster than any of our ancestors ever dreamed possible, but it feels so slow.

And so, slowly, I am wrapping my brain around my work-in-progress and figuring out that A. the last 70 pages may or may not be crap (is that cat alive or dead?), B. I have no idea how to end this thing, C. I probably need to do another draft and maybe more than one, and D. Caesar the Cat makes a great editor, but a human being might be needed as well. Which is not much comfort at seven in the morning. Time has come today. Time!


Cele said...

I loved Somewhere in Time so romantic, but if it hadn't been for the darn penny there wouldn't have really been a story... just a missing playwrite.

Schrodinger's Cat on the other hand (thank you very much Sheldon) is... well a riddle of a thought, and now quite dead as Christopher Reeves at the end of the movie... or crap bad analogy.

I do love the thought of time travel but I know I will go zipping back in time when I visit a past faux pas and trip the time travel paradox, it'll be the fastest my ass has ever moved.

Jen said...

As a thought exercise, Schroedinger's Cat is a fascinating one, but it pales in comparison to Reeve's Watch, if you ask me. Think about that one too long and you'll give yourself a migraine.