August 27th, 1967

by tobias crabtree

Way back, when things were different, there wasn’t time. There was no time and there was nothing to keep it. The sun rose and set, so did the moon. And the tides did what tides do and the skies held the anvil clouds that promised lightning and rain. In those places we call lonely, there was nothing, but lonely is just a word we give it. I’m not sure if it’s true.

But yeah, way back, before the two-legged’s started naming everything, there wasn’t time.  Somewhere after those nifty hands spun the first flame, two-legged’s decided to measure life. We’ve always been watchers and thinkers. There was that yellow sun and it crossed our skies, so did the moon. We started counting, then we divided, then made stuff that could keep track of those divisions.

Eventually a fella made a timepiece that could be carried. People with thumbs used them to count the hours and minutes and seconds as the stars twirled in the sky. Mostly, it was used to keep from being lost at sea. I suppose it’s good to know where in the world we are. But really, where are we? I mean do we even know where we are in this giant, spinning soup? Hell, the smart guys can give it all the names they want, but I say “nope, we are lost,” or maybe, more accurately, “we don’t know where we really are.” Just because you can name planets and stars and galaxies doesn’t mean you know where you are.  There are things beyond those things. I have a feeling that everything we know is what is floating on the surface of and impossibly big ocean that we can’t even see.

It’s easy to know what time it is these days. Everything shows the time. On my last trip, I failed to charge things and failed to keep things up to date and failed in general. I didn’t know what time it was but I wanted to miss LA rush hour so I asked an older fella what time it was. He looked at me kinda weird, and then he gave me the hours and minutes as he read them from the watch on his wrist, a rarity these days. It was 4:05 and, once I knew, I was the same as I was before I knew it.

I picture Time as a giant master with little tolerance. He is ready to tell you what you don’t wanna know, things like, “your time is up,” or “There is no time left.” It’s funny that us two-legged’s created him, we made our master.

Now i ain’t about to get too crazy tonight, not with this thing. I was just thinking about the beginning of stuff and it led to time. So often i’m off track, it’s so easy for me to be off in the weeds rousting around after who knows what. I guess I’m just happy to see the stars at this point of my life. To look up and see the universe, cuz man, it’s there, it sure is. And it don’t matter whether you know it or not, you’re lucky to be in a world that holds whales and hummingbirds and seagulls and raccoons and rolly pollies. You’re godamnn lucky, and so am I.

If it weren’t for the big other, i’d not have a reason to search. And without a reason to search, i lose my breath. And without my breath, I’d turn to dust…which isn’t really that terrible, as long as it’s not in a jar or a tin on the mantle with my three gold teeth rattling around.

But yeah, beginning is cool. We all started at some point, at some time. My start was into this world at 7:44 on a sunday morning, 3 days from a full moon in the month of August, the 27th, in fact. And the finish is out there too, in the pretty future. It’s all so easy.

“Row, row, row, your boat,

gently down the stream.

Merrily, merrily, merrily,

life is but a dream.”

And maybe so.  Maybe it’s a dream….