Time Is Magic

Entry by: craig_writer

7th January 2016
Time is magic…

...proved once again in the time it takes to watch a thin piece of plastic go through rotations fluctuating between 33 1/3 and 45 RPM.

The red strobe light that picked up the dots on the side of the turntable platter danced in a suggestive fashion, neither settling between upper and lower speeds that have been determined to be the correct ones since forever.

Prostrate on the recliner it was then (not then…. nor then…. but THEN) that he saw his future and past in his fleeting present. In the wild sounding deviations from the static rotations per minute on his turntable he entered a world in which memory and imagination overlapped. Like tracing paper on top of an old picture he was recasting his future using the outline of his past as a guide.

Lying there in an almost catatonic state on a lonely Saturday evening he realized that not only was his turntable quite damaged (second hand) but that between the static fixtures of his past and future there was also no possibility in his present.

You might say… surely not? Isn’t it common knowledge that possibilities are endless in the present and the future? That only the past is a determined non-malleable factor?

Well, you might say wrong, buddy.

As sure as the next letter I type will by an A, so to does that become a part of the past. Something fixed in time. Both the concept and the utterance.





With each stroke of the key, with each thought, we are consigned to the past. No words or thoughts can be in the present or the future for as soon as you have thought and uttered them they instantly get filed PAST.

"Really?" he thought, slightly pleased with himself but ultimately rendered completely depressed regarding all that this entails.

"what is the present but only a recent past?"

He often found himself musing on topics such as this when watching a record spin, after the debilitating sugar/carbohydrate low following a Fry’s Peppermint Cream and a bag of Frazzles.

As Bert Jansch circled on the turntable at an unstable 45rpm it started slowing down, the fluctuations distorting and modifying the notes. Slowing further and further it felt to him that it was moving closer to the present. Slower still, the voice now a long drone, the record almost coming to a standstill.


To him this was time catching up; reaching a point in the present when the record would stop, the final note die down until the last millimetre, fraction of a millimetre, fraction of a fraction of a millimetre of vinyl would sound and be present with him then. The red dots slowed their dance until they were crawling round the circle.


The record almost static on the platter now, his excitement growing, he would finally see the sound for what it is (not what it was), slow and detailed enough to exist alongside rather than instantly disappearing into thin air at 45rpm.

He thought of a racing car. The scream of the engine in the distance, approaching you, here, in the present.

Closer and closer, you see the past catching up with the present until it is level with you. You can hear the engine at its full growl, level, a 180-degree line of time from car to you.

But how long does that last? 0.00001 seconds perhaps? The sum total of you in the present, before life quickly accelerates from the past to the future, straight passed as your head spins, watching it go.

He felt his past catching up then, shifting the outline of the tracing paper to match the memory underneath, his present was at hand.

The record stopped dead.

He entered the bedroom where she lay. His father sitting at the bedside holding her hand. Swollen and bloated and quite a distance from the women in his memory. He walked to the bedside and took her other hand. She opened her eyes and looked at him. He could see her again, the sharing of seeing each other and recognition rendering any timeline mute.

“My Darling..” she said weakly.

The moment passed, the present now past. The record began again, the future.

The memory gone.

Time as magic as cancer, a wrinkle, mould, a cough, other bodily functions, rot, an odd smell, a pencil, a chisel, a fingernail clipping, fluff in the corner, a cloud, an over-full bin, a half-worm, a rat’s tail.