Her: Inspirational speeches are so easy to listen to, so easy to fall for. You hear ‘just be yourself’ ‘reach for your dreams’ over and over again, and it becomes like a mantra, but like most religious doggerel, it is never anything you actually practice. “life” gets in the way, you see.
People say that all the time, “Life gets in the way”, but what it means is too complex to really encapsulate in a sound bite. What it means is that a thousand tiny little cuts just work theirr way across your body and soul until what you have is a gash. Life, you understand, isn’t one big event, but a million little ones. Every little obligation , every little ‘must’ in life piles on top of your back until there is no more back to pile on.
That is when we do the soul searching, looking for the weakness inside ourselves. It has to be our fault, yous ee, that we didn’t reach for our dreams and touch the moon. Because we weren’t faithful enough, because we didn’t try hard enough, we have been judged and found wanting. Sentenced to a life doing menial labor and telling ourselves that we are happy with our lot, god, who would want to change it?
I truly believe that every jackass who says they wouldn’t use a time machine if it was gievn to them is filled to the brim with the new brand of bullshit, the ‘everything is fine’ hoax. Everything is NOT fine, because you didn’t get the movie, you didn’t walk off into the distance with the music playing. No one’s future looks good on you.
If I had a time machine, goddamned right I would change things. I’ve been called a creature of regret, but I feel like maybe I’m just a realist. I think I’d have a lot more fun, be MYSELF for once instead of trying to be who everyone else wanted me to be. And here’s where it gets stupid, because I believe in fate. I know that my husband and I will be together, no matter what I do with my time machine. But maybe, just maybe, I grow into myself more. Maybe I stop living in fear of the woman inside myself. Maybe I reach for my dreams for real, maybe I decide that it is ok to fail, and accept things when I do. If I do. Fuck, what was the question.
Him: I don’t remember now. It was probably irrelevant.
Her: Everything is ultimately irrelevant. Everyone’s lives are epic to themselves, but we all get mulched together to make the fabric of the world’s history. Only the truly exceptional get to be remembered. But here’s the joke..
Him: There’s a joke?
Her: The ultimate joke. No one’s stories are unique, and so everyone’s story will get told eventually. Just wait around long enough, and your great granchildren’s grandchildren will watch it on their holo vid implant screens.
Anyway, I am tired, and this wasn’t at all as profound as it sounded in my head.
Him: goodnight then. We can talk later.
Her: It won’t do any good. It’s all the same. We just go around in a circle, and so it never ends. I’m just tired.
Her: You know, when I was a girl, too stupid to really know better, I ended up locked away for a while. It wasn’t really as long as it seems, but it was long enough. I felt caged and angry, and so I lashed out with my intelligence and my fury. Believe me, I was so much smarter when I was young. Now, my mind is nothing but fog. But then..
anyway. Anyway, I ended up staying longer than I needed to because I pissed some people off. I used to stand staring out the window at the trees, and wish I was outside. I’d plan elaborate escape routes. I was told secretly by a nurse not to stand there and stare out the window, because then I looked antisocial. Well, I was. There was this boy. He was lovely. He was there because he’d beaten the man who’d raped his girlfriend.. beaten him quite badly.. he was there because he needed watching for a while. He and I used to play stupid games with the nurses. No touching, you see. No one was allowed to touch anyone else. We were to be social, you see, but not be human.
Anyway, we stood there, and poked each other, and giggled constantly. I guess I stopped giggling when he was moved. For a while, though, he was a breath of air. The only person vibrating on the same frequency, if you get my meaning.
I think the only thing I got out of that experience was ..
Well, I’m still standing there. Looking out the window. I’ve been standing there looking out the window and wishing I could leave for a very long time.
I’m the only one with the keys.. you understand. I’m just not allowed to go out, you see, it’s the rules, so… I look. My point, my point. I do have one, but it’s buried someplace in this fog. The point, the point is that everything is a circle. I’m still planning elaborate escape routes. If I want to leave I just need to turn my head, see the keys, and take them.