It’s time, I thought. Time for me to make that sound the curtain makes as I push the unglamorous fabric to the side. That hollow grating between the metal rings and the used-to-be-white-now-black-streaked pole propped on the wall. It’s time for me to make that sound when I am up at this hour and I see light peak through. I exist to create that sound at this time of day, I imagine, like a marker in a time loop movie that signals the next event.
I exist now because I am part of the future. Part of some scene, some bottleneck of coincidences that seem and are completely meaningless and insignificant at all points before, and all points proceeding. A criticality where someone will ask me for directions, or need change, or I offer to drop off at the nearest metro, or wants to use some data off my phone, or asks for a pen and I happen to be carrying two. I carry two in case I need to offer one to someone and I don’t get it back.
In the future I need to slow someone down by deciding to stop at the yellow light and we all wait for the signal to turn green. I might end up introducing one person to another, or give them gum (and I rarely ever carry gum).
I might house-sit their plants and pets while they travel the world and have character-evolving encounters. I might have to hold the elevator as they rush in. I would need to get lost on my way out of a convoluted parking structure the day before and save someone time by giving them the benefit of my experience. They might be parents of teenage boys and every minute counts.
In the future I have to be late to a meeting, or behind on a deadline, or stuck in unusual traffic, or absent due to sleeping in. I have something important to do then. And I need to be alive to do it, uniquely in the way that I am. It’s important to the future.
And the future is… incredibly important.
Everyone is thinking about it.
It is the most important thing, the time of our life.