I have this recurring daydream running through my head.
Standing in the desert, wearing all white. A blue sky overhead, no clouds. Bright sun, but it’s shining in such a way that it casts no shadows. The warm brown/beige sand stretches on into infinity. My hands are cupped in front of me, full of sand. The sand is slowly leaking, dribbling away. Slowly at first, then faster, and faster, until there is almost no sand left. The leak cannot be stopped. The sand can not be refilled.
The daydream ends, everything fades to black, when the last grain of sand tumbles out of my hands.
It’s obvious what this is a metaphor for.
I suppose that it is normal for people my age to begin thinking about the passage of time. I’ve been obsessed with it for years, though. It probably stems from my deep abiding fear of death. I lack the comfort that is found in thoughts of an afterlife; I long ago disabused myself of the notion that heaven and hell exist. When you remove those constructs, life becomes at once more interesting, yet also more terrifying.
I had a hard time making the shift away from religion. I think I stopped believing in God around the time I was 14, although there were moments when I was around other people that I thought I might have a connection to God. So it wasn’t until I was in my 20’s that I realized that I was lying to myself: I wasn’t agnostic, I just didn’t believe that God was real. This revelation shaped the next few years of my life.
All of that is to say I was driving along this morning and saw a tire in the road. Instinctively I swerved to miss it. But I was immediately caught u p in the idea and notion of how that tire got to be there. I then spent the enxt few minutes contemplating why I didn’t pull over, stop, get out of my car, and remove it from the road. I had to watch myself, and at least 30 other people drive by the tire. Getting it out of the road would have been easy enough, and with minimal risk to life or limb.
But I didn’t. I drove past, and continued on my way to work. I can’t for the life of me tell you why.