Time in a Bottle

My wife is very smart. She is able to evaluate, discern, and make important decisions. She knows that you cannot store time in a bottle. I, on the other hand, throw everything against the wall to see what sticks, and if it doesn’t stick I probably leave it there anyway. And as for time, well, why not? I have a bottle right here, and when it overflows I simply enlarge it and continue on. Soon all of time will be in my hands, and it’s probably not a good thing.

When I was growing up we had cameras full of film, with a real-time display only. You took the picture and hoped for the best. This is why many of the photographs of me as a child are weird, blurry, poorly lit, with no Instagram filters applied at all. Truly the dark ages of photography. Now we have digital everything. I can see the picture as soon as I have taken it, and if it is not to my liking I take another one. “Nobody move! One more! Okay, somebody blinked, just one more! I promise; this is the last one!” And at the end of day, my iBottle is full of time. So many moments stored forever. Or, rather, until my wife deletes them.

You see, my wife is very smart. She is able to evaluate, discern, and make important decisions. She can look at twelve pictures of the same thing, choose the best one, and delete the rest. I have never been able to delete. My office is full of school papers from when I was in fifth grade. My closet is full of clothes that no longer fit or are so out of date as to be laughable. Why are they still there? Why are they not recycled, regifted, reduced, or just plain refuse? For the same reason, I suppose, that my pictures folder on the computer is full of nineteen of the same shot.

Every photo is different. Each one a separate second in time, its own instant, and to simply hit delete would be to erase that moment from history. Which is stupid and false and general unhealthy, but there it is. In this one my daughter looks good, but my son is making a weird face. In that one the opposite is true. Here they are both smiling, but the sun went behind a cloud and the lighting is off. Every picture is flawed, and yet every moment is flawless. Surely I cannot be trusted with such power as to cull and curate the history of existence? It is too much. And so I save them all, to point where they are unmanageable, unusable, and a general disastrous waste of space. It’s not good. I know this. I wish I could delete. I have tried. I have sat at the keyboard, finger hovering over DEL, trying to push the button. I have succeeded a few times, but generally the photos stay where they are, happy in their folder existence, waiting for a memory upgrade.

If I could store time in a bottle, the first thing that I’d like to do is to save every day ’till eternity passes. Because what else could anyone do?

Posted in Memory, Photo, Time.

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