A Storyteller Tells Why

TimestoppedI want to tell you stories.

I have always — ALWAYS — been vividly, acutely aware of the passing away of each moment even while I am in it. Have you ever, after a summer swim, draped your body on the hot boards of a dock to warm in the sun and then rolled over to watch as the pools of water that have slid off your skin evaporate? They shrink, they disappear, they turn to nothing before your eyes. That is how I experience time. How I experience now. How I experience you.

I am here, with you, participating. But I am also always just outside of here, looking in. Just outside of now, watching it turn to vapor.

My wife tells me sometimes she is full of joy. I cannot relate. I come close to joy, but when I recognize it happening I fixate on how delicate it is, how fleeting it is, how it is beginning to pass before it has finished beginning. I watch the moment disappear. True, I am not the life of the party.

In every moment I am homesick for the moment that just passed. Even the shitty moments — I want to keep those too.February_2007 109

This is why I have always wanted to tell you stories. Because in stories I can stop time. When I build stories, I build moments that do not fade. I can say “this is how it is” and that is how it still will be tomorrow, the next day, the day after that and forever if the story lasts that long.

That’s all I’m trying to do: govern a universe, control time.

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