“TIME” by Emmanuelle

From Sunday Punch


EACH time we crossover from December 31 to January 1, it is like seeing Alice of Wonderland fame opening a door from the present to future time. Try to imagine this scene.

One day, Alice finds a door on which is carved the two faces of the Roman god, Janus.  According to myth, this god used one face to look back to the past and the other face to look ahead to the future.

In my story, the face carved into the inside door has a clown’s schizophrenic face: right side has one eye and half of its lips turned down in an unhappy scowl. Left side turns up in a wide smile.

Janus’ other face at the other side of the door has pop-eyes and mouth in rounded awed O.  Its cheek brushes against her own face as she opens the door just wide enough to let her pony-tailed head peep through. She peeps. And she sees a new world awash in pristine white! No wonder Janus awed his O.

From shoulder down, the rest of Alice stays put in the present, where colors run riot, from snooty dirty-whites to sore reds to moody blacks. Cool mint shades waver in spots from somewhere here to nowhere there. It is near, but not yet the time to crossover.   

A nosy clock at the top of the inside door tick-tocks noisily. As its hands point to 12 midnight, the rest of Alice gingerly follows the lead of her head. She steps bravely out from behind the door. With none more of Alice caught in-between, the door shuts tight.

There is no going back this way for Alice. Haven’t you read the original book?  The rabbit ran off with the key. Not only the rabbit, but Time had ran out.

Time ran out for us, too. Tomorrow ceases to be fairly far. It is today. Today is yesterday. And yesterday is gone forever, ours to visit only through fond memories or half-remembered dreams.

Like Alice, we draw-out our crayons and start painting through the new stretch of Time:  12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days, 8760 hours, 525600 minutes, 31536000 seconds thick. Check the math. Right down pat, as the stretch of Time last year, and the years before that. Except for the leap year. And there is no leaping over that one.

We may look at this new stretch of Time through Alice’s eyes, as one happy adventure from day one to end. Or we may look at it through Mister Magoo’s near-sighted eyes, as an endless chain of bungling mishaps. Or if we wish, lazily through a life timer’s half-closed lids sleeping-off the drudgery of a sentence with no period.

Actually, there is more than a passing probability that the Why of our colors and strokes depends on What and How we are behind those eyes. Meaning: psychology is behind the physiology of our psychosis. Meaning: I have stepped out of line, out of time.

So we go back to safe grounds, of rounding the corner’s bend from past to new Time. How Time is so timely and yet so timeless. And how Time is a gift from God, timed to perfection, timed to arrive on cue, for that needed space-in-time.

For everyone, there must come a time for a time off. A time-out. From all things known and sundry waiting for just the right timing to fuse the biggest time-bomb of all. A change in time.

Nonetheless, if you are one of those who obsess on the conquest of time, you will have known by now that Time cannot be stopped or diverted. Even through the kind but expensive ministration of doctors Belo or Calayan. Except through a magical time-watch, a time-stopper!

Time waits for no one. Time marches on. Or time flies. Time the run. Time the flight. Note the TOD, time of departure. Note the TOA, time of arrival. It’s really a full-time job. Tama na nga, malapit na taym.

Do not waste Time. Do not throw Time out the window, or down the drain. Time is free, yet it is so precious and so priceless. And from humble ant to not-so-humble man, Time is all we have. Time is what makes all species, all races, all class even.

Until that moment in time when, marching out of time, man splats flat an ant, a superior race annihilates the children of a lesser god, and caste remains forever caste. 

It is now about time to step through Alice’ door. From time to time, remind me to have time for you always.  It may be ill-timed, just a moment in time, but it is Time well spent.
At this point in time, this is the end of past Time.    

I wish you all Happy New Time!


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