OK, my blogrival Bighead Needleman left a comment reminding me that I told her about meeting Sting when we were in Washington, D.C. for Hallmark Writers On Tour. Know what that means? That means I didn't meet Sting in the summer of '05, but rather in the summer of '04. Which means that time is proceeding roughly twice as fast as I think it is.
This means that the world is spinning at about 50,000 mph instead of the leisurely 25,000 mph of my youth. Do I have that figure right? Wait, I think it's that the world is 25,000 miles in circumference. I think the speed is 20,000 mph. But is that rotation speed, or revolution speed?
Whatever. My point is, the shit's speeding up. Days really are getting shorter. That's why it's hard to get anything done, why you so rarely feel fully rested, and there's that general uneasiness that we're all about to be centrifugally (centripitally?) flung off the face of the earth, out into space. Really, it's not just the dread of these Dick Cheney types taking over the world. It's worse than that. It's a science thing.
My daughter's going to be 28 in February, my oldest son's going to be 25 next month, and my 5-year-old is reading at a 3rd-grade level. He has to, just to keep up. The other day, he was eating a granola bar and reading the packaging copy on the granola bar box. And he said, "Hey, if you put one of these in your golf bag for a snack, it'll keep you going for 18 holes." And then he looked up at me and said, "What are these holes? How big are they?" I said, "The biggest ones are usually the guys playing the sport." It cheered me to realize that we'd managed to shelter him successfully from the facts of golf. At the same time, I felt bad for all the little kids out there, trying to figure stuff out, only to come face to face with the ultimate unknowableness. So we construct our frail epistemologies.
It's possible to be a truly big cigar, operating at the highest levels of achievement, where everyone's a millionaire wielding enormous power as a matter of course, where you can pay anybody to find out anything, and still end up wrong almost all the time. We'll be greeted as liberators. The insurgency is in its last throes. I'm going to shoot some quail. At Halliburton, it's not who we know, it's what we know.
See? You never know. And then you get flung off the face of the earth, out into space.
Meanwhile, we live, we love, we laugh. And we write poems featuring Katarina Witt. But that's for the next post.