I chased the cuckoo through time, from one New Year’s Eve celebration to the next. S/he led me on a merry dance I can tell you! One moment we were in a night club in London; then on Ha’penny Bridge over the Liffey just as revellers spilled out from Temple Bar for the midnight countdown; then a cruise-ship midway across the Atlantic. Times Square, to watch the ball drop. And that is when the penny dropped. This was the same NYE. Of course, it happens several times across the globe on the same night as the Earth turns to greet the sun of the new year, a longitudinal conga across continents. I have only ever moved forward in time. I never thought of travelling sideways. This revelation opened up giddying new possibilities to me. So many countries and cultures. And the zeitgeistian was always there. Finger on the pulse, flipping the bird, taunting me on. It was infuriating, but exhilarating. I felt alive in a way I had not experience for longer than I can remember. I was not a prisoner of time, but its master. The world was ever young and renewing. The knife-edge between the past and the present – that is where reality happens. And we always walk it, like the dawn-line sweeping across the Earth every day, a twenty-four hour dance. I was a twilighter, always living in this moment, and I had found a kindred spirit. I felt closer to this creature than anyone on Earth. It understood me, and I it. It could not only play the game, but dance within its rules. Where I saw constraint, it saw freedom. While I festered in the cell of time, it sunbathed on the roof. Living for the moment. Truly alive.
People talk about killing time. Well, meet its assassin.
(1 of 12 connected flash fictions written by Kevan Manwaring, dedicated to David Bowie 1947-2016, and published here to mark the first anniversary of the passing of a visionary starman & much-missed musical genius. ‘Look up here, I’m in Heaven…’).
Kevan Manwaring © 2017