Saturday, October 28, 2006

Turning back the clock

First, your public-service message: at 0200 tomorrow, be sure to turn your clocks back one hour. Daylight Savings Time is over until next March.

I bet you all knew that, anyway...



When I cheated and set most of my clocks back this evening, it struck me that I wished I could keep spinning those hands back, back to a time when I was happy, when I actually believed that today was good and tomorrow would be even better.

But how far back would I have to go?

Would I have to turn the hands nine month's-worth, back to the days when I knew the joy of having a lovely, talented woman whom I loved and adored committed to me, with her love offered to me in perpetuity? If I went back that far, could I do anything to keep her from changing her mind two months later and setting her sights on someone else?

Would I have to turn the hands back a total of five years, to a time when I let another woman slip away, a different but oh-so-loving lady who, unlike the most recent, never betrayed my trust even as she was leaving?

Would I have to turn it back to a time before I was offered a chance to create a new magazine -- the pinnacle of my own little professional world -- by people who let the whole thing collapse in a sorry mess of unpaid debts and hard feelings?

Just how far back would I have to go?

Tonight my failures seem tied to the inexorable forward motion of the clock's hands. So many mistakes, so many instances when I trusted those who are untrustworthy, when I let my emotions lead me down paths that ended in sadness, when my own weaknesses kept me from reaching my goals.

Perhaps I should try to force the clock's hands back to a time when my primary objective in everything I did was taking what I wanted, when I was capable of false emotions to get my way, when my sole purpose was self-gratification. There was a time when my own pleasure was all that mattered.

But if I went back that far, I would have to somehow have to erase the disgust today's "me" feels for that long-ago ancestor.

Over the years, I transformed myself (to be very blunt) from a "fucker" into a "lover," from a "taker" to a genuine friend. It wasn't always easy, and I haven't mastered all of it yet. But I did it.

And the payoff for becoming what I would consider a decent person? There is no payoff. I am alone.

If I was granted the power to turn back the clock in a way that could save me from the pointless years that lie ahead, I could pick several places for the backwards journey to stop. I think I know the one I'd choose, know the exact point at which I'd like to pick up my life and change the way I handled the days that came after.

But it doesn't matter, because I cannot do that.

All I can do, all any of us can do, is drop back one lousy hour.

Somehow, that doesn't seem fair.


NOT-REALLY-PARENTHETICAL THOUGHT: Once again, It's me and ol' Blue Eyes, sippin' Bourbon as he sings it:

It's a lonesome old town
when you're not around
I'm lonely as I can be.

I never knew how much I missed you
but now I can plainly see.

It's a lonesome old town
when you're not around
How I wish you'd come back to me.

I never knew how much I missed you
but now I can plainly see
It's a lonesome old town
when you're not around
How I wish you'd come back to me.

How I wish you'd come back to me.


(Written by Charles Kisco and Harry Tobias)

11 comments:

lowandslow said...

It's sad for me to hear how a good person's life didn't play out as he had hoped. But the past, history, is to be learned from. Don't be so quick to write off the "pointless years that lie ahead". I hope tomorrow, and all your tomorrows after that, are better for you. :)

Interested said...

The payoff is you have transformed yourself on the inside, something you should feel good about, no matter what externals there are.

MrScribbler said...

There are no "tomorrows."

I transformed myself many years ago, and there has never been a payoff.

Anne said...

There really isn't a payoff Mr.
We're not here to get paid.
If I went back to my mothers womb and started over, it would be the same.
I wouldn't want it any other way!
I might be in hot water right now and still would have to accept all that is presented to me today; still wouldn't want to change a thing.
On the inside of our mind, our own little mind, the payoff is we get to be here today.
oH well, you know what I mean.
I just love reading what's goin on inside your little mind!
Anne

melzboi85 said...

there shouldn't be a need to turn back time. you wouldn't be the person you are today if it wasn't for all the yesterdays before you. I don't think you would see things in the same light now than if you would have walked a different path and done things differently.

sometimes ya cant learn form mistakes without making them. can't enjoy your future regretting the past.

Elin said...

Life is what we make it.
I try not to look back.
It only makes things worse.
Try to see the little things, and enjoy them.
If you have nothing else to do, look about you and see if there isn't something close at hand that you can improve! It may make you wealthy, though it is more likely that it will make you happy!
All the best,
Elin

Anonymous said...

Hi MrScribbler! Oh my! I've felt that same way, before I decided to go "forward" and not go backwards! I trip, anyway when I try to go backwards! LOL.

I do like this new time, though. ((BigHugs)) from Sunny of Tropical Times

HarpO'Fly said...

I've had plenty of trouble lately with looking back and finding regret. It's true there is no payoff as such. The past is a curse when it blocks a vision for the future. It's a deadly mind trick.
I hope you and I both escape that trap.
Very interesting entry.

gillardia said...

I don't think I would want to turn back the clock. Sure, we all do things we regret, and often become nostalgic for the "old days", but the future is unknown. Scribbs, it just HAS to get better for you. I am hopeful that things will change for you.

lovezao said...

Sometimes i wish so much that I could go back and change what i did. For many years I wished i had never met certain people.
I don't know the answer. - I just know that today really is all I have. I think over the years I have become much more of a realist. Whereas in the past I was much more like you, a true romantic.
In a way that is sad to me, such a loss. I am such a eliever in love. Bu love...can let you down, and then you hae to decide how to handle it. hope you will support yourself and get on your own side. Open up to the possiblilty that you yourself are more than enough. And I hope I will to. We are , you know.

likeisaid said...

Your entry could have come from me. I always wanted to turn back the clock, to do things "right", but would I have? I don't know..we say we would do things differently but we really don't know.

I hope and pray you can feel better soon. You're a wonderful, caring person and deserve to be happy.