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Casey Jones

Time is weird.

Life just kind of marches on at strange intervals, bits of you that you'd like to keep get left in the dust, but the parts you don't want seem to latch onto you like train cars, trailing behind you, moving in your same direction, each successive car making you less and less responsive to changes in direction and requiring more and more fire and steam to move forward. What is time's ultimate destination? When are you experiencing and not just going toward or away from experience? How can you tell? When you filter your life through the vagueries of time it becomes a surrealist nightmare, An Andalusian Dog waiting to slice your eyeball with a straight razor. Despite all our attempts to master time we cannot. The best we can hope for is a constant revisitation of divide and not conquer, first we name seasons, then we name months, then weeks, days, hours, minutes, seconds. Some days we make special because of lunar occurences or deaths of important people. Never, though, with all our star charts, stonehenges, and astronomies are we ever able to control time. So we do what humans do in the face of insurmountable, uncontrollable, and unknowable forces.

We freak the fuck out.

So thats what i'm doing. I'm freaking out. I'm freaking out because for decades i moved through life not measuring time, just waiting, and seeing what happened, knowing...or believing...or hoping that things would work themselves out. I thought my intrinsic belief that I had no power over things like time protected me from it's jokes. Like a painfully ironic hipster i thought if i were in on the joke, then the joke couldn't be on me. I was aware the giant plastic glasses were ugly and that layers of scarves and bandanas made me look indecisive and precious, so therefore i wasn't just some d-bag wearing ugly plastic glasses and too many pieces of cloth at his neck. I was smarter than that. Thing is, I wasn't. I was just being a coward.

One day i was driving to work thinking about Dune, by Frank Herbert as i'm likely to do on any given day. "Fear is the mind Killer". I began thinking about the truth of that simple line, the beginning of the Bene Geserit invocation against fear (seriously if you haven't read Dune, do'll be glad you did, don't watch the movie until after you've read the book though.) and as simple and simplistic as it sounds fear is what has ruled me for the better part of my life. I'm going to get to that eventually, this bit though, isn't about that. It's about the moment i figured out how to move through the fear, and come out on the other side.

It was the moment that I realized, or accepted, that the activity of naming time to control it wasn't futile, it was smart. Life and time are not mine to waste, only to mark. My attempts to protect myself by acting like time wasn't passing, like there was no urgency, like i could just wend my way through the world like a leaf on the breeze was ultimately making me waste the only resource we humans are born into, Time. The time was never going to come that was right, the only right, was now.

I'm me though and lets face it hours and days and lunar cycles are all way too conventional for me. So how do I measure time? What Increments of my life are relevant and worth measuring, and in so doing will move me forward with contentment and happiness?

There is the before. The before with all the anger and powerlessness and wrecked marriages and failed businesses, the shit jobs, The leaving wonderful jobs because of my ego, slice after slice of pizza, and missed opportunities to make a girl laugh or smile or to let her know i loved her. All the lies and misdeeds of others, the finding me when i was broken and breaking me further and not even saying sorry, the pity...the loathesome pity, the concern that makes my stomach a rush of flames, the misplaced rage, the abandonment, the confusion, the finding out people you held in esteem really won't ever bother to call, The daddy issues, the mommy issues, the seething, bubbling hatred of those who just seem to have it so god damn easy. The mollasses-sticky, shapeless and impeneterable Fear.

That is all in the before, and the before is over. done, gone. I have set those cars free because they were holding this engine back.

Then there is the now. Now is all i really have. Now I am making good choices, choices that are good for me, choices that nourish me in all conceivable ways. Now i can shovel all the before like coal to make the fire burn brighter to make the steam push me faster and farther along the tracks. I think, "I can.".

Then there is later,the after, what isn't now or before. That i'm naming pounds and inches. I'm measuring my future in the shape of the me thats changing. I am naming it grams of protein, and bottles of water. I'm naming it super painful air squats.I know that a day has passed because I wake up thinking, Now there is less of me than before, and more of ME for that. Tommorrow i'll diminish further and be made even more whole. Each pound, each inch, each gram of protein and bottle of water leads me incrementally forward, not toward anything, not to any moment where i am finally living my life. Just forward, because thats what living is. On this train the journey is the destination.

Next Issue: Four Hours


  1. I love you Cory. New Cory, Old Cory or any one in between. I support you and your future. I'm proud of you. <3

  2. Nice. Secret of Life #118: Move Heavy Things With Your Body.

  3. After I left Borders I went on a diet and lost 85 pounds. Life is so much better in so many ways now.

    You can do it - and you'll still be you, just better.


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