I’m a big gulp fan. I usually have one a night. Sometimes, though, if it’s a fresh bottle of a favorite pinot noir or red blend, I’ll have two big gulps, or even three.
Leaning back, he let loose with one drop, shifted to the other eye and let drop again, as he’d done every day for decades.
After a moment, he realized he’d dropped both into his mouth, and laughed. How silly he was getting as he got older.
It wasn’t so funny the next time he did it.
But the third time…well, the third time, it wasn’t even noticed.
A bathroom at last. Now he knew how his father felt, and his uncle, having to take a piss, asking with a fast, low voice almost everywhere they went, as soon as they arrived, “Excuse me, where’s the bathroom? Is it near? I need to go, like now.”
And now it was him, just like them. Had to be genetics. More than pissing, though, he had to do a dump. Sitting on the commode, he sighed relief as his body did its thing, and mourned what he was seeing of his future.
He’d forgotten his phone. “Fuck?” For real? Where the fuck? What the fuck? Where? When? Shaking his head, he farted and grunted and stared at the floor in concentration.
The floor…was kind of cool, like those photos NASA or someone put of nebulae on it. His uncle was always pointing things out to him about space, using an app on his phone to show him constellations and nebulae from the bubble telescope. “That’s the crab nebula. See how it looks like a crab?”
No, Dylan never saw how it looked like a crab, but the floor looked like it had nebulae. His uncle would love this fucking floor. One possible nebula looked like a friggin’ crow outlined with stars, and another —
Reaching for the T.P., he stared, eyes growing wider. That fucking thing looked like a dragon nebula, like a dragon flying through space, like a profile of a friggin’ giant dragon flyin’ through space on ginormous friggin’ wings.
Holy shit, the dragon nebula changed.
The dragon nebula was facing him.
The dragon nebula…was growing larger. He could see its wings flapping. In seconds, Dylan made out its heads, its teeth, its eyes.
“Fuck, fuck, fuck.” Dylan scrambled to wipe his ass, pull up his underwear and pants — and flush — all at the same time so that he could leave, leave, leave, because that friggin’ giant dragon nebula —
“Is here,” he said in a whimper, pants still down.
The dragon’s head burst up out of the floor. Falling back, Dylan said, “Fuck,” not noticing that his hand went into the toilet as he fell backward. The head was soon huge, breaking the walls out. A long fucking neck followed. As it rose, breaking through the roof, he heard people screaming. Then he was looking at the beast’s pale, scaly chest. He wanted to scream but he had no air in him. All he could do was gawp, except the smell was such a stench, like the bear’s slobber on his backpack once when the bear stole it when he was camping out. He wanted to puke but he didn’t want to move. He couldn’t move.
“Hey,” he heard.
The dragon was speaking to him.
“Hey,” he heard again. “Up here.”
Dylan looked further up. No, the dragon was looking down at him, but above the dragon’s head was a girl’s head, or maybe it was a dragon’s head, maybe the dragon had a second, human head, or some strange shit. Whatever the fuck?
The girl was smiling at him.
“Hey,” she said. “You okay?”
“Where’d you come from?” Dylan said.
“There.” She pointed at the floor. “Want to ride a dragon?”
Calmness washed through Dylan. “Sure,” he said. “Fuckin’ right.” He was going to ride a dragon. Fuckin’ right.
But first, he was going to wash his hand.
You ever see a cat or dog that you don’t know staring at you like, “I know him. Where do I know him from?”
I tell them, maybe you met my doppelganger in another dimension, or we know each other from a past life.
They’re always like, “Yeah. Maybe.”
But they always look like they’re suspicious, like I’m trying to hide something from them.
He had no sense of direction, she noticed, but then she observed other oddities. When he entered a room, if the door was closed on his arrival, he left it open. If the light was off, he turned it on and left it on, and if it was on, he turned it off.
As she realized these things, she also saw that he was always confused about which pull to use on the up/down blinds, lowering them when he meant to raise them, exclaiming, “I don’t know why I can’t remember which one of these to use. I’m always doing this.” Of course you are, she thought without telling him. When she asked him to look right, he looked left, and when he was told to turn right, he often began turning left. Sometimes, she heard him tell something that he’d said as something that she’d said, insisting that the false memory was true.
With these traits piling up, it didn’t surprise her to realize that he always thought that lies were the truth, and that truths were lies. It was, she decided, that he lived in a mirrored world. With that observation, she understood him much better, and could use words to get her way.
And she lived happily ever after…
Don’t knowboutchu, but I don’t look free pizza in the mouth. Mostly ‘cuz I’ve never been able to find the pizza’s mouth.
What about the speed of love? she asked.
Raising his eyebrows, he laughed. You can’t measure love’s speed.
Love is beyond classic physics and quantum mechanics. Love exists in a reality of its own. Time bends love, and love bends time, and if you try to understand that, you’ll bend your mind.
She said, The Rolling Stones said time is on our side.
The Rolling Stones were wrong. Time doesn’t take sides.
I’m returning to a favorite topic, the speed of time, because I’ve discovered more about about it.
The speed of time is not universal. As everyone knows, according to the School/Work Principle, time’s speed isn’t constant. When you’re waiting for the school or work day to end, time not only slows, but sometimes goes backward, forcing you to repeat several minutes. Some movies, are like that, too.
Learning of this, the NFL manages to employ this in their football games. The last two minutes of an NFL game often takes as long as most of the rest of the game. My wife can attest to that. She’s endured it. “When are we leaving?” she asks.
“As soon as this game is over.”
“How much is left?”
That waffling, of course, warns her. “How much time is left?” she asks.
“It’s the last two minutes of the fourth quarter.”
“Okay, I’m going to go bake some cookies.”
Using that as a basis for my research, I confirmed that traffic-jam time drags almost as slow as the final two minutes of an NFL game, or the last ten minutes of work or the school day. Shopping time remains the slowest of all, though. Even the NFL has not been able to slow time like shopping will do. Figuratively speaking, shopping time can literally last an eternity. I’ve endured several election cycles while I’ve been shopping. I found that having a Fitbit helps deal with shopping time. It doesn’t change the rate of speed, but I can get a couple of million steps in while I’m walking around, waiting.
Waiting in line time is almost as bad as shopping time. I’ve had clothes wear out while I’ve been standing in line to pay for my purchases, especially at Costco. Costco cashier lines exist in a weird time zone of their own where time gets very sluggish. I’ve spent hour-minutes in line, gazing at what others have bought and comparing them to our purchases.
On the other end of it, I’ve discovered some periods of time that pass quickly. Sleep time is very fast. I don’t know how many times I thought, I’ll just sleep for a few more minutes, and then close my eyes, and, snap, forty minutes have elapsed.
Writing time is frequently often as fast. I have three hours to write, I think, and a cuppa coffee. Then I begin, and the next thing I know, writing time is ended, and I still have coffee.
Which is sort of weird. Coffee time by itself seems to flow at an ideal pace. That’s not true for all beverages. I can tell you, beer time goes fast. Sit down to have a beer, and next thing you know, it’s hours later.
I watched some NFL wildcard weekend on Saturday and Sunday, then went to see Veep on Sunday, returned home, and watched the Golden Globes.
I think the Golden Globes can learn a few things from the NFL. When San Diego was beating Baltimore, I knew it was the fourth quarter, and so many minutes remained. As Baltimore drove and scored, tension grew because the score was getting close, and they were running out of time.
That’s not really germane.
What I want the Golden Globes to take from the NFL is how much time is left to the presentations. They could have a little clock counting down on a scroll on the bottom, along with what movies and stars have taken what awards so far.
Sure, the G2 could also break their broadcast into quarters, too. I wouldn’t have a problem with that. That would give the hosts some more talking points. I could imagine Oh saying last night, “That ended the first quarter, Adam, and we haven’t still heard anything about the big movies and stars.” Adam could reply, “Yes, but there’s still time, Sandra. There’s still a lot of presenting and awards remaining.”
Then we could have a decent halftime, with a recap by Variety and ET analysts about who won so far while we all go to the restroom and get something to eat and drink.
Just sayin’, y’know?