Concatenation

On our honeymoon in Oaxaca, Emily and I rode the bus with an Australian pharmacist.

She told us of a shellshocked young couple that came to her shop early one Saturday asking for a morning after pill.

The dosage required two different pills to be taken at the same time.

“Take both of these right now,” she told them.

They nodded, looked at each other… and each took one.

Concatenation is the order in which we experience events through linear time.

Simultaneity is the relationship between events that we perceive are happening at the same time.

Our anal retentive left brains organize time in a linear fashion to fit it through the keyhole of our consciousness.

Our tripping balls hippie right brains, meanwhile, seem to know that every event in history is still happening right now, somewhere in the universe.

I can’t say for sure that I wouldn’t have done the same thing as the stricken couple in the Australian pharmacy. Two pills. Take ’em now. Divide them up. Down the hatch. The past: erased.

When I’ve watched a glass spill, my brain has revved to 5,000 frames a second, watching the teeter the tip and the splash of every drop I had planned to enjoy. And I have felt, in the same moment, the sudden funeral for my next ten minutes that now will be spent cleaning it up.

It’s as if the more you don’t want something to be true, the less you perceive the concatenation of time. Or perhaps the more emotional you are, the more simultaneous life feels.

Great movies whizz by. Funerals and burials are a rich mind cocktail of an un-had future and a bygone past, and go by in kind of a blur. A morning at the DMV takes weeks.

Breathing hard, desperate for a solution to last night’s youthful indiscretion, relieved at the clear instructions of an authoritative pharmacist, I think I too would have taken that pill.

Down the hatch. The past: erased.

 

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