“If I could save time in a bottle/The first thing that I’d like to do/Is to save every day ’til eternity passes away/Just to spend them with you.” Jim Croce
You know how things come in threes? After attending the funeral of my friend last month, I got to attend another a few weeks later for a former co-worker’s son, a relatively young man, who died of COVID. The family, of course, is devastated. Then the mother of one of my chosen sisters passed away unexpectedly last week. It’s a different kind of devastation, but devastation nonetheless, and this time one I am familiar with. It doesn’t make it any easier for me to help her as I’m not really good in these situations. Fortunately, our other chosen sister is.
(As an aside, if anyone has any pull with the universe, I would love and greatly appreciate if we could leave off with the dying for a bit in my world. I have enough of it going on right now and need to focus on those close to me who are in the throes of grief. Thanks.)
I also have a birthday coming up, and no, I’m not fishing for birthday wishes. It’s not a milestone birthday, just one that puts me back on even numbers. One of my oldest friends – we met in first grade – had his birthday yesterday. Or the day before depending on what part of the world you are in. As he lives in Singapore, I was able to wish him a happy birthday – thanks internet! – on what was his birthday in his time zone while it still being the day before in mine.
(Someday that sentence will make sense to me. I am still a little sketchy about the whole international date line thing.)
We chatted back and forth for a bit on the app that lets us talk when we want, and I said something about not understanding how I could have a nearly 22 year old son. He responded that it makes sense given that we are almost sixty.
Now, to me ‘almost sixty’ makes it sound like we have days or months before that happens, not a handful of years. But, I guess as we get older, time seems to move faster. It sure seems to for me. I am still trying to figure out where this year has gone.
I didn’t tell him that.
What I did say was that at least he would turns sixty before me. He told me that was a technicality and I should enjoy gloating for two whole days. I replied that, as a lawyer, he should appreciate technicalities, and I would, thank you very much. Then we shared pictures of our pets. Because what is long-distance communication on the internet for if not posting cute pictures of furry and fuzzy animals? Am I right?
He was one of the first people I told about my divorce when it happened in my previous life. Even though we hadn’t seen each other in years, it was important to me that he know right away. And without hesitation, he offered to fly my son and I to Singapore for a change of scenery if we needed it. I could have cried. In all honesty, I probably did. (I cried a lot around that time.) I told him we were fine and thanked him, and he left the offer open. Which was good as eventually, I needed to get away, and we went.
And it was amazing.
That was eight years ago. I haven’t seen my friend in person since then and have no idea when I will get the opportunity to again.
I have decided that what I need in my life is some kind of bottle where I can store the days I want to relive – and the people I want to spend more time with – so I can go back whenever I want to experience those times. Memories, even the best of them, fade with time, so this would be a way to preserve them and get the details right.
But I know that isn’t likely to happen, so I am instead pinning my hopes on someone inventing a time machine instead, like a TARDIS (it’s a Doctor Who reference; click the link for the explanation). Or maybe a Quantum Leap device. With better controls so there is no memory loss. And I am still myself. (Yes, I am ridiculously excited about the reboot. Can you tell?)
Would it be sad visiting those I have loved and lost? Yes. But in the present, I have those I also love. And want to spend more time with than work and chores and life presently allow. Either of these devices would allow for that.
But maybe it’s the fact that memories and moments are fleeting that makes them more precious. Maybe having the ability to revisit them would make them less special.
I don’t know, but since I am in no way, shape, or form a scientist, it is also highly unlikely I will ever find out as I will not be the one inventing the devices.
Or altering a DeLorean as mechanics are also not my thing.
For now, I will just need to spend more time with my people and bottle up the memories in my mind to recall when I need them.