Everyone remembers where they were. Everyone remembers what they were doing in the moments before. And everyone remembers what they did the following day- it was a Tuesday.
No one talks much about it much anymore. Of course there was the initial shock, the desperate cries of outrage and confusion, the demands for explanation and something (or someone) to blame. In those early days, the scientific and academic community manically set its jaws into rooting out the cause and the ‘why’ of it all. I believe they are still scratching their collective heads these twenty-five years later. The religious zealots qiuckly set upon the remnants left by science, gnawing away and proclaiming that it was all God’s will.
Left with the choice of Science’s ‘inconclusive results’ and Religion’s dogmatic certainty, the world collectively shrugged its shoulders and continued to spin. As the days became weeks and the weeks became months, we did what we always do, we moved on. We cut the crusts off of our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. We complained about the traffic or how crowded the trains were becoming. We got our hair cut and left the sideburns a little too long. We focused on reestablishing our sense of normalcy, honed in on the mundane. What else could we do?
Some of the old timers blame it on my generation. They say we grew complacent and complained too much. Maybe that’s true, but I don’t believe we were the reason. If I allow myself to drift down that road of thinking it will only take me to a dead end, a cul-de-sac of guilt, the kind that doesn’t wash off and stinks of the obliviousness of the self-entitled. I’ve traveled that road before, in the beginning (after all, didn’t I wish for what happened like so many others?). No, I can’t believe we were the reason. To be honest, I don’t believe there was a reason.
Things are almost back to normal now, or what my brain has tricked my memory into believing is normal (is there really a difference?). There are a few obvious changes, of course, no one denies that. For starters, everyone suffers from a tinge of vertigo from time to time. Most of us have grown accustomed to this after living with it for so long, the tunnel-vision and swaying are no more strange than blinking or sneezing. I do not envy new parents, however, as they struggle to prepare their bouncing bundles of joy for a world that will randomly pitch them forward or spin them round as it sees fit, but it appears the infants adapt quickly enough.
People don’t seem as concerned with time as they once did. I suspect they feel betrayed by it. I feel that way sometimes when I see an old advert for a wrist watch or alarm clock. I belive it only makes good sense to be wary of something that so carelessly misused the trust we all placedwillingly at its doorstep.
I suppose the most obvious change from the old days is the complete abandonment of the term ‘Monday’. Deleting this term fr0m our collective vocabulary was perhaps the first unanimous decision made by the entire citizenry of the world. If one were to consult a calendar in today’s world (if you could find one) you would read the days of the week as follows:
Sunday First Tuesday Second Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
The memory of that day is still too potent to speak its name. I believe it will always be that way. We humans are a funny breed, when confronted with a global calamity we first try to understand it and if that fails, we ignore it. It simply didn’t happen. I’m just pleased as punch to keep it that way too, what’s the point of taking something apart when you know you won’t be able to fit the pieces back together again? Well that’s how I feel about it, anyway.
Of course there are a few out there who are determined to stir the pot. I mostly ignore them, though. I don’t burden my mind with their propaganda. I have no use for it. I stock my pantry, boil my water and continue to try and forget. Forget that on a Monday, 25 years ago we lost more than half a day. Without explanation and without a trace of warning time skipped from 2:02pm EST Monday, August 29, 2011 to Tuesday, August 30, 2011 at 8:00am EST on the dot. Time literally fast-forwarded through half a day and picked up a little less than 18 hours later. And we still haven’t recovered.
The Not So Fantastic Reality:
The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:
ONE: Ever have one of those days that you wish would just end? Funny how they usually wind up landing on a Monday, eh? That was the kind of day I was having today. Finally, around 3:30 or so, it got to the point where I just had to close my door and pray for 5:00pm to come quickly. Boiling point. I even posted a status to Facebook to the tune of, “Day, isn’t it about time you ended?”. Even when the work day came to a close my ‘bad day’ seemed to follow me home. Note to self: Do not dye your hair on a Monday, or any other day when everything seems to be going against you. Honestly the hair isn’t that bad, it looks like a wasted half-hour and smells like Sally’s Beauty Supply, but whatevs. So as I’m rinsing the dye out of my hair (and wondering if there was any in there in the first place, seriously my hair looks exactly the same) I started to think about what would happen if I got my wish- what if the day just ended when I said so? Other than perhaps making a lot of other people happy (not a good day in Facebook land apparently) having a day come to a screeching halt and then everything just picking back up the following morning would be a major game changer, don’t ya think? What do you think would happen if time just fast-forwarded 18 hours? Would we notice? Mull that over while I go and actually end my day, the traditional way, with some Zzzz’s.
Love & Squirrels.