Five minutes, no edits, one word.
When is such a strange word. A nothing word. A word that looks both backwards and forwards but not at the here and now.
When I was younger, she says, I was so happy. I didn’t feel like I had to be someone I’m not. She mourns. Her eyes take in the old self of what she once was and no matter what I say, she cannot see the beauty of who she is. I say, you are still you, and she nods. There is no sparkle.
When I get in to my house, he says, and begins to tell of all the adventures and plans that will happen then. In his imagination of when he has already paid of a mortgage and saddled himself with more debt, buying things. In his future when there is not rust or rot. Then he will be happy, he thinks, when a shiny red pickup and a garden and fences and a hundred other things litter his paid for kingdom.
When school is done, the other one says, then I will get a job I like. His days will be spent on worthwhile pursuits and he will drink life and be satisfied, when that happens.
I used to dwell on the mountain top between the whens and never know it. Too busy looking backward and forwards I missed the view, the joy of being between the whens.
Today I do not think of the whens of the past or the future. Today I want to live in the now.
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