Response to this challenge.

With you, time is clearer than ever.

I’m acutely aware, always watching the clock – always waiting for the minutes and seconds to lapse, elude us as we try to outsmart them. Hours pass before us and I’m the only one of us who notices. You never did like to keep track.

Time stays in its fluid state, swirling around us, vortex-like as we try to keep a grip on it. It refuses to bend to wills, fleeing the faster we try to control it. You try to grip onto it; it’s gone before we can blink, melting into shadow and retreating behind my eyelids.

When I’m on my own, time slips faster than ever, a riot of colour and noise and stimuli – a contrast to the quiet, measured peace that you wreak. Alone, I’d forget my name if given the chance – alone, I would spill time as if it were water, scrabbling to clean up what little remains. Alone, I forget to monitor my minutes, preferring instead to flick off the clocks and meet the world with a blank slate. You are incapable of doing this, preferring every minute be regimented and planned, ready for maximum usefulness. It doesn’t matter though, as time always leaves us behind.

(it’s the thief taking away youth but leaving the other unscathed)

And one day, time catches us up. It knocks you out, pushes you out of the way for several days. During, I spin through the days peaceful as ever, a newer cycle unfolding and collapsing. Time is collapsing around us, has already caught you and is beginning to shadow me.

(it’s the lines at the corner of my eye, the centimetre of silver at my scalp that isn’t a trick of the light. it’s the music that goes unlistened and the art that goes unseen)

I begin the photos. They’re a journal, an old habit forgotten in the effort of remembering on my own – now they freeze me where I am, before the centimetre becomes an inch and the lines deepen.

And after, after is when there’s just me, still incongruous in my surroundings and you’re no longer at my side. Stress, they called it, exhaustion is why you packed a case and left in the shadows. Alone, I still forget to monitor my minutes –

alone, I last longer.


4 thoughts on “Outsmarted”

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