Fall back

Fall back. Spring forward. These phrases encapsulate the memory of how to move the clock for daylight savings time. It's on, and then it's off. You move the hands back or you move them forward (assuming you still have a clock with hands--what a relic). We manipulate time and we end up with a barely perceptible jet lag effect.

The lag between us is mismeasured, though, because from here to there we don't quite match up on hours. Your body shook involuntarily from jet lag, exhaustion, and I don't know what else as we sat on that nondescript couch tightening the tension of a ten-year span. I couldn't reach across the missing time to smooth stillness into your limbs with the pressure of mine. (That intimacy spoke of a different kind of falling, of a possibility we wouldn't let cross our lips, let alone cross the Atlantic.)

Fall back, you wrote: "fall back in love with your life."

It's sage counsel, I'm sure. Spoken like a weary mother gently pushing the over-grown kid out the door after having buttoned up his coat for him and wrapped him diligently in a hand-knit scarf: "go", it indicates, with a light sigh. But it's rather the reverse image, isn't it? More a child shoving a shabby jack back into the box, promising himself he won't crank the spring, won't listen to the tinny music's spell ever again. (My image cupboard is running bare; I need some winding up to keep it going. This is precisely what you refuse in admonishing me to fall back, fall away.) 

Fall back in love with your life. As if a pure act of volition, or even many such acts marshaled shoulder to shoulder, ready to lock step and march, could achieve such a feat. As if it's the entirety of my life with which
I'm not enamored. As if, so many as if's: as if times a billionty.

"Spring forward." My humming little spider mind spins these webs; a number of potential futures, all of them just out of reach. Nothing aligns until the clock is forced to make its leap. Can you see into the springing step of that decalage horaire? Isn't that future just on the horizon for us? Are we different people then, less beholden to our pasts? No, of course not. It's just a measly hour, not even a year, not a decade surely. It's a leap of faith. It's a future to come.

Dead on arrival, you will say if you ever read this. No future, you will add for good measure. Fall back, you will say. Spring forward, I will echo. A violent gesture either way. We never repeat or make up those lost hours; we never really gain the new ones either. We just totter around on a surface like two hands on an outmoded clock, pointing to positions we don't comprehend.