Moss: Circle of time, living in perpetual present

David Moss

Past experiences, mostly dealing with “Terminator” movies, have taught me people are pretty fascinated by the idea of time travel. I don’t get what’s so exciting, though, about something we all do every day. (Bombshell!) Yep, every time you worry about the future or past, you’re leaving your own time and moving back and forth repeatedly like Michael J. Fox (I meant cuz of “Back to the Future,” come on). I’m hereby calling for the end of time travel, and I’m placing the world under present-tense arrest, because all that really matters is right now.

People always worry about future uncertainties and past regrets like probable unemployment or leaving the oven on the night before 4/20. If time actually moved in a circle, though, these concepts of past and future would be as irrelevant as Lance Armstrong’s right testicle. History repeats itself. Life repeats itself. Professors repeat themselves. So it’s possible time is as circular as an iPod playlist, but it’s uncomfortable for us to see it that way. That’s why it blows our minds during “Lost” marathons when we see Desmond get a sudden…

FLASH-FORWARD: Three minutes from now. You just finished this column. You think back over all the exciting things you learned from it, including my PIN number, but then you remember what you just read about the past and you go…

Back to the present. Get your mind off the future. It doesn’t even exist yet. Treat life like you would an imminent sneeze and just let it happen. You have things to focus on right now like breathing, blinking and flirting with your TA-not future jobs, living to see 30 or why you stopped getting called on in your discussion section. You could spend years working toward nothing but your future, but once you get there, you’ll have been planning it the whole time instead of actually living. And living is much more fun.

As for the past, why get upset about something we can’t even change? Would you yell at a lamppost for running into your car? The past is like a kidney stone. It may have been painful at one time, but once it passes, you can tell it to piss off. Consider that the next time your mind wanders and you get an unexpected…

FLASHBACK: Three minutes ago. You just started this column. You’re not quite sure where it’s headed, and that Michael J. Fox joke was a little off-color, but you let it slide. You’re just a regular person reading a paper with no idea my PIN number is 9713 or that in three minutes, you’ll cease to matter, because the future you will realize it’s best to focus on the…

Present. Now. Ahora mismo. Don’t be an outsider in your own time (David Bowie Syndrome). Just see. Hear. Breathe. Live. The clock is running down on everything, even this column. As soon as it ends, though, it’ll go right back to the start and begin again. I hope it was fun to read, but if it wasn’t, I wouldn’t dwell on it. It is now, officially, in the…

Weinberg senior David Moss can be reached at [email protected]