Time by Ali Alshammari

“Do you remember when….?”

“Do you remember the time…?”

Reliving the old has become more desirable than creating new memories. There’s something illustrious about nostalgia. The way the past can be painted with a brush of luminous gold, even though at the time it felt like hot garbage. Getting together with a group of old buddies, talking up a storm, but never actually saying anything. Instead, padding the old bonds that tied you together as opposed to adding to the thread. Why do we do this? We reminisce and recreate through conversation, but to defy our comfort zone like we did when we were younger is unthinkable. 

This concept is frightening to the self-aware introvert. It’s as though with age, a spark goes off in the human mind that triggers a fear mechanism. You know, the feeling of, “Yeah. I’d rather not do that stupid shit”, so that shell grows ever smaller. It’s when the rush you get from putting more than two packets of sugar in your coffee equates the high from bungie jumping in a Nicaraguan rainforest. What do you do? Do you go against that natural instinct to settle and remain stationery, or do you become the ambitious, adventurous type who treats the great “where do you see yourself in 10 years?” question like a challenge rather than with contempt?

In my heart of hearts, I worry that I’m denying myself an experience. What is an experience though? Evolution’s taken its toll on the noble notion of worldiness and broadening one’s horizons, bastardizing it with every bump in the proverbial road. The idea of historical and cultural significance loses all meaning when the almost reflex-like concern that we conjure up is what Snapchat filter would look good next to this great monument. I sound like a YouTube comment made by someone so pretentious that they almost become detached from reality, but I should be allowed to complain about millennials too!  In any case, maybe I’m just old, or creeping up on an elderly mentality. And you know what, it’s fine. I relish that feeling. Appreciating the simple pleasures of doing nothing and not thinking too far ahead, because that’s dangerous, you see. That’s when it starts to feel too real.

All things considered, time has lost all meaning to me. The days weave in and out like the most delicate of spiders’ webs. The fact of the matter is: I choose solitude. I shine the most in the reclusive spotlight. An oxymoron for the ages. When you adapt to a lifestyle and routine, you don’t even consider the ramifications. Every hour alone represents a kind word never said, an instinct never acted on or a kinship never made. At least this existential crisis isn’t a constant in my life. Instead, it pops up, like a stall selling bad band merch, when I’m down the most. Years from now, I may feel the hollowness seep in, but at this moment I’d rather just see what’s on Netflix.

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