It was the progenitor of all your fears, your hyper-awareness of the passage of Time and what it inevitably meant.
Every stuttery conversation with a girl who seemed halfway interested in you, every bluster in class that failed to impress anyone and usually got you shot down. Why you made fun of your little brother so much that summer. Why you slept so much during the day. Why you were afraid of playing football and joining a fraternity.
Everyone thought you were gay. It’s understandable. In a slightly revised version of your life, you might have found comfort in accepting such an identity, and joining that club.
But, you knew in your heart of hearts that you weren’t.
You were terrified of the passage of Time. Anything that smacked of being a moment that would deliver a milestone filled you with the most extreme cases of angst and depression.
As long as you remained a virgin, you could be a boy. Once you passed that threshold, there was no turning back.
The moment your little brother clearly had a mind of his own, you knew he would never be that cute little baby that did whatever you told him to. He would always pause to question your words, and that meant he’d grown up to be something more than the loveable person he first was.
You simply wanted to be in control of when, where and how all of these milestones happened, to be able to take many steps back and review objectively what was going on from different angles, to avoid being just along for the ride and accepting that what will be will be. It’s not that you didn’t want to lose your virginity, play football, and hit other milestones that would help deliver you your manhood. It’s that you wanted to have complete control over it, and ensure that the events happened exactly as you imagined they would happen.
Of course, this caused your life to get all kinds of off course from where it should have been heading. You could no more dictate every last little milestone in your life and the manner in which it would take place than hold back Time itself from sending you further and further downstream.
You recall even at the age of nine or ten looking back on recent summers past with longing and sweet ache, wishing you could relive moments again, hating that the new events unfolding didn’t quite live up to your expectation and always feeling that loss of Time taking you further away from precious memories. Every year was full of moments of this kind of sorrow, remembering a good summer or two full of happy vacation memories, now beyond your grasp.
How bittersweet, your relationship with Time!
In all manner of life activities, you’ve taken a schizophrenic, unhealthy approach, vacillating between accepting the passage of time utterly and completely and not planning at all for your future, and demanding of God the opportunity to relive pieces of your life, or at least be given true dreams that deliver accurate windows of times past. You might, with the start of a new year or a week or so out from your next birthday, begin creating dense calendars and spreadsheets of self improvement to-do lists, setting numerous impossible goals to become an impossible combination of Buffet, Einstein and an Ironman champion.
Even today, you’ll devote hours of time each week before falling asleep in the throes of well-rehearsed fantasies that provide futures of unlimited prosperity or tantalizing possibilities of what you could if your present day consciousness was dropped into, say, your eighteen-year-old body.
Naturally, at some point around the age of 30, your fantasies of impossible futures began to happen less and less, while your fantasies of alternate realities created from relived pasts began to grow more and more. Time had finally gotten the better of any notion that you’d be a trillionaire king of the universe by age 32, and was doing a bang up job of proving that you probably don’t have some locked-away portal in your mind that will enable you to become virtually a god of this spatiotemporal universe.
But, that hasn’t stopped you from wanting to understand more perfectly how your memories work. How it is that you can, at any time you wish during your conscious state, conjure up a memory from any year after age three, but the memory is not a crisp, HD picture like in a dream. But, dreams, though they may deliver audiovisuals that are much more realistic, the actual content of dreams is always screwed up, irrational, and full of utter falsehoods.
You’d give just about anything to be able to have access to more of your true memories, and see them in a much clearer fashion, and gladly do away with all of your nonsense dreams whose meaning has never amounted to much of anything of value.
The one interesting thing to note is that in your dreams, no matter how you look in a mirror, or how you are dressing or who you are forcing yourself to be, you are always you, and everyone in dreams, no matter how fictional they are, always recognize you for being you and nobody else. Whereas in the waking life, and in so many of your so-called true memories, you’ve constantly bumped up against the utterly frustrating experience of having the person you’re interacting with misunderstand you to the point that you might as well be someone else the way that they treat you.
Why is this?
That you can be treated by others like a coward, a fool, a clown, a moron, etc. in the waking life, but other people in dreams always treat you like the man (the entity) you know you are, from an early age until even now. But, dreams are otherwise moronic and foolish, irrational in their insistence on claiming things exist that don’t.
This is an aside, and should be treated separately. The whole goal here is to be able to obtain access to areas of the brain that lie dormant, many of which you probably shut down in your adolescence in an effort to be cool by being foolish, and many more you shutdown in your early adulthood in your effort to be cool by being drunk all the time.