Four weeks left in 2011….. Can that be possible? Where were we last New Year’s? Eating thirty-six oysters at the Mermaid Inn and listening to a phatass funk band at 55 Bar, if I recall. Far from a wicked crazy night by a long shot. We went to bed around 3 am and woke up eleven months later in mid-November, apparently. What in the Lord’s name is going on with time?
It used to be that Time flies when you’re having fun.
But I know a lot of miserable people with anything but fun going on who claim the clock’s racing just as fast for them as for the wealthy idle. So I decided to dig deep into the first hit I got on Google to see what I could find out about this increasingly common existential phenomenon.
For the last several decades, cosmologists thought they had a handle on the so-called time/space continuum. As the Big Bang Theory had it (not the TV show, which has also tackled the subject) the expansion of the universe was slowing down. How shocked those reigning theorists were to find out it was actually the opposite: according to a new group of very smart eggheads in lab coats, the expansion of the universe is in fact accelerating.
In the event that trying to comprehend Einstein’s relativity theory doesn’t put the zap on your cranium, there was another mind-warping discovery in 2011 related to measuring time and speed. Suddenly, a billion kilometers an hour (the speed of light) is not the faster way to fly. We now have the neutrino, a subatomic particle that travels faster than light, and through solid matter too. Safe to assume it doesn’t get charged extra for baggage? Astrophysicists claim that neutrinos are passing through us at this very moment.
We’re not all hallucinating. The Quickening, as it’s been labeled, is no metaphor. It’s literal. The earth gives off an electro-magnetic pulse known as The Schumann Resonance. It’s a veritable heartbeat, and it’s measured at 7.8 cycles per second for the last thousand of years. Since the early 80’s, however, that pulse has been quickening to 12 cycles per second. Blame Reaganomics…
Al Einstein and Manny Kant both knew that “Time” was an illusion. The more our collective awareness of the illusion comes into consciousness, the faster it’ll appear to go. “When you sit with a nice girl for two hours, it seems like two minutes.” Said Albert, as he licked his left hand and patted down an unruly lock of hair. “When you sit on a hot stove for two minutes, it seems like two hours. That’s relativity.”
When you were five, a year equaled a fifth of your time on earth. Picking boogies in anticipation of another year to come and go took forever. By the time you were ten, a year was only ten percent. By 30, a year dwindles to less than five percent of your total lifespan. So as you age, you experience it less dramatically.
So how do we slow things down so as not to wake up at seventy-five and wonder when the party ended? One secret is to unplug. There are far too many insignificant distractions pulling at us. There are too many people out there claiming to be VERY busy, because in their heads they haven’t updated their Facebook pages in two days or caught up on some dipshit tv show they’re dvr-ing. There are just not enough hours in the day to tweet about it all.
I’m nostalgic for the good ole’ days before 24 hour everything-cycles. I like to pretend I’m living on a farm before electricity. Up at dawn with the cock’s crow. Finished at sundown, physically exhausted. The evening hours spent by the fireplace, with the wood I chopped earlier burning brightly, perhaps sucking on a molasses juniper berry juice spiked with moonshine made in the barn and strumming the banjo. Time nearly stood still back then. Granted, I’d drop dead at 35 from a life of brutal, manual labor, but I’d also have nine kids to help carry on my immortal name.
There are other ways to slow time, but not all are easy to achieve, or even legal. A good dose of psilocybin, pro ejemplo, has been known to stop time completely. There’s a reason the Mayans and Aztecs performed their greatest rituals tripping their faces off on mushrooms. They wanted the occasion to last.
Another sure-fire method for keeping life at a manageable pace would be to live in a parabolic airplane. You know the ones that shoot straight up and come spiraling down in an effort to simulate anti-gravity? It works wonders. The higher up in the atmosphere you are, the slower time goes. It’s why they needed all kinds of geniuses to write accurate algorithms for GPS systems. Amazing they figured out how to do that when it’s hundred and thousands of miles from the actual surface they measure.
It brings us to the best and final method for cheating mother time, which is to live as close as you can to a traversable wormhole. Wormholes are cosmic tunnels between spatial dimensions, and it’s believed that if you hit the right one, you may even be put back in time. The problem is they’re in deep space and the signage for finding them is worse than nailing the right exit off the Bruckner Interchange. God forbid you get all the way out to Alpha-Centuri only to miss an exit and end up back on the fucking Cross Bronx Expressway. At rush hour. It can happen.
But making the attempt is better than being a victim of time’s relentless forward march. We’ve evolved all this way, already, over millions and millions of years now. We’re living in the veritable flower of life in the universe, at the top of the food chain, in a slowly cooling and ever-calming galaxy. Wouldn’t it be nice to enjoy it for a while instead of keep a perpetual eye on the clock wondering where the hell all the time went all the time?