How long ago it happened is a difficult question to answer.
Not that it is hard to put the pieces together and assign a date to when it began; how long ago that was is a difficult question to answer.
How long ago for who?
I remember the summer before it happened. I would sit outside our house every night and watch the sun set. Our neighbor’s boy came home for the summer in early June and decided to teach himself the banjo. He would sit on the driveway and pluck away and it was impossible to hear anything else. Even the birds would shut their beaks as he would wrestle with the fingering night after night. Twang twang twang.
There was something pleasant about it despite how terrible the sounds emanating from his instrument were. It was like he was learning to play banjo and I was learning to appreciate the banjo and we were together in perfect sync. Always right in the same place.
Nobody will come out and admit that the accident at the CERN accelerator complex caused it, but it’s just too big a coincidence to believe otherwise. Plus, most of the people who were smart enough to connect those dots were at the CERN accelerator complex when the accident happened.
Some big breakthrough or other had them all in attendance.
Some big breakthrough indeed.
Now we all age at different rates.
Maybe it’s easier to say that we’re all moving through time at different rates.
To me, most people seem to be moving so fast. It’s hard to communicate with them. Some people seem to be barely moving. Sluggish. It’s frustrating to try and talk to them. Some of them- it’s just not worth the effort.
My wife moves fast. My son moves very fast.
Sometimes it’s still difficult for me to acknowledge he’s gone.
I saw it all.
I try to imagine how I looked to him. How difficult it was just to hold him. How patient he must have been to allow me the chance.
If I watch closely I can see the wrinkles on my wife’s face grow likes cracks in the ice.
I’m sure you’re interested in how this is affecting the world. I’m sorry but I’m not going to be much use to you there. I don’t care a thing about the world anymore.
No one can drive anymore if that’s what you’re after. Just walking is perilous enough.
It’s a crazy place. Not in the sense that it’s hectic or chaotic. I mean crazy like terrifying. Everyone moving at different speeds. It’s amazing that anything gets done at all.
There’s no rhyme or reason as to who moves fast and who moves slow. Age, sex, race. Doesn’t seem to make much difference. I can’t say it’s random because truly I have no idea.
Reality is broken.
At least, what we use to think of as reality. I wonder if the babies born into this new world will be able to deal with it. Or even the mom whose baby cries for as long as she lives.
My wife is gone a lot. Living what’s left her life I suppose. I try and make sure I make it to the bedroom every night. And to think she used to complain about me finishing too quickly. I figure I have about another month with her.
There are people who just stand frozen. I can’t envision what their lives must be like. My life is a nightmare; theirs must be worse.
They are going to be around for a long time.
Maybe they’ll get to see the exciting conclusion. I don’t mean exciting like fun or entertaining. I mean exciting like terrifying.
My neighbor’s son is one of the frozen ones. Sitting on his driveway with his banjo. Sometimes I sit and wait to hear a twang. Just one.