The clock is the most totalitarian of instruments, brutal and tortuous in its omnipresent place, its tick, tick, tick neither musical nor metrical, its singular forever forward motion that can only be circular not once portraying the true feeling of time, which can only be experienced in a still state. The watch, the clock’s child, suggests a semblance of private ownership, but it must be set to the public heartbeat. Only in a trap can time be kept. The clock is a syllabus for a curriculum of time in which two horses run a race clip-clopping in opposite directions.
I rode into a fog, thin at first, the coolness refreshing, but visibility continued to reduce. The ray from the lamp on my Vespa bounced back at me. Visibility soon reduced to virtually zero, and I pulled over to the side of the road and rolled into the trailer park at Bolsa Chica. No tent camping. No sleeping on the beach. I tuned the time machine on the Vespa to 1954, the fog lifted, and I saw a few firepits spitting light in the darkness down on Tin Can Beach. I found a place in the sand off the road where I could park the scooter and spread out my cowboy bedroll. Some crooner with a banjo sang folk songs in the distance. I covered myself with my space blanket and fell asleep to Lead Belly’s “Goodnight, Irene,” this crooner’s notion to swim out into the ocean and drown.
“Tin Can Beach” is episode 46 of Inventories, a Novel in Progress in Serial Format at The Coming of the Toads.
One should not time travel, nor play or work with the gods, unless fully qualified and experienced. One should live in one’s own moment, in one’s ongoing present, which is fully developed and capable of satisfying all one’s present needs. The reason we are unable to travel forward, into the future (with the exception of being able to travel forward to the future present we were in when we exited to travel into the past), is that the future consists of too many variables, too many possibilities, too many uncertainties – and no way of managing the risk. There’s only one door into one’s past. There is an infinite number of doors into one’s future, and picking the wrong one is almost certain, and will lead to couch surf zero. Two exceptions to one should not time travel: 1, we can still prepare for any uncertain future; and 2, we can visit the past to learn from our errors, as long as we don’t try to rewrite the past (while at the same time being mindful that we may not have understood at all what was happening when our past was present). Still, it’s also useful to remember that time is always under construction, and deconstruction, at the same time. In addition to travelling backward or forward in time, one might be inclined to want to stop time. I can often hear the click of time slow to a rest while time travelling on my 1972 Piaggio Vespa Super 150. One wants to travel through time in the slow lane of life. It should come as no surprise that by the time I made it down to San Diego to meet up with Cagetan, as we had planned, I had missed him. Apparently, Sot showed up, and he and Cagetan are presumably somewhere now travelling south through Baja. I’m not sure where that leaves me at this point in time.
“Don’t Try This at Home” is episode 45 of Inventories, a Novel in Progress in Serial Format at The Coming of the Toads.