“What is time?” she asked, standing in front of the enormous clock.
“Time doesn’t exist,” answered the clock, sleepily.
“I thought you were going to say that by having time, we stop everything from happening at the same time.”
The clock thought for a moment, then said, “Everything IS happening at the same time, and what’s with the ‘we? You don’t do anything a all.'”
“But there is time. Time has to exist,” she said. “It moves forward. We live, we age, we die.”
“That’s not time. What you’re thinking of goes in EVERY direction at once. That’s why everything is happening at the same time.”
“Does it go sideways?”
“Of course, and before you ask, it goes un and down as well and everywhere in between.”
“If that’s true then…”
“What do you mean IF that’s true? I’m telling you it’s true.”
“Yes, but how do I know that you know what you’re talking about?”
“I can’t believe you said that,” said the clock, shaking it’s hands.
“Well, there’s no way for me to tell…”
“Why are you asking me questions if you aren’t going to believe my answers?”
“That’s a good question.”
“Yes. I know. That’s why I asked it.”
“Why can’t I go backward?”
“Can you ask that same question without repeating it? I mean can you go back to when you said it and say it anew, withOUT repeating yourself?”
“You know that I can’t,” she said, frowning at the clock.
“Well if you can’t redo, or go back to what you did three minutes ago, how can you possibly expect to go back to the distant past?”
“What if I stopped your hands from moving?”
“What if you did?”
“Would time keep going?”
“I’m a clock. I’m not time. Time doesn’t exist, remember? I simply represent what you believe to be time. All I do is count for you.”
“Oh, I see,” she said thoughtfully. “I guess I knew that.”
“I hope so,” sighed the clock. “You can’t move forward either. You’re always in a steady state, never moving at all. Things just flow past you while you remain where you are.”
“How is that possible?”
“Can you move a few minutes ahead of what you call time? No. You can’t. You can’t do anything, don’t you know that? You never move. Ever. Everything else moves but you are stationary. Get it? You can’t move forward or backward, you can only exit in the present MOMENT. Your entire existence is played out one moment at a time. That’s ALL there is for you. A moment you can’t repeat, nor can you move into the next moment because the next moment is already already part of your past. You can’t stop the moments from washing over you and you can’t catch them or bring them back You exist in a flow of moments that go so quickly you don’t notice them, so you bundle them up into hours, days and years, to make yourselves feel better.”
“Time can’t exist because there are only moments. Moments exist, not time.”
“Why didn’t you say that in the first place?” she asked.
“I didn’t think of it.”
“You can’t SEE into the future or into the past because while they are currently happening, they don’t actually exist. I mean you can’t open a door and walk into tomorrow, while it’s still today.”
“It seems as if we should be able to do that. The movies say WE come back from the future to save ourselves from extinction.”
“Do you sit in those reclining seats and order Nachos?”
“No. I don’t like them and I don’t order Nachos.”
“I’ve heard they’re good.”
“How is it that you can speak?”
“If you didn’t think I could talk, why did you ask me questions?”
“Fair point,” she said smiling. “Are you the same thing that’s in all clocks?”
“Pretty much but I’m like you. All humans are made up of the same stuff but you’re all different as well.”
“So you all have different personalities?”
“Not exactly but that’s close enough.”
“You’re intelligent,” she said.”
“Everything is intelligent we just dumb ourselves down for your human pea sized brains.”
“That’s not a nice thing to say.”
“Really?” laughed the clock. “Look at what your doing. Look at the destruction, the stupid killing of EVERYTHING, then tell me you have a working brain cell. If you only knew whats actually around you. But no one wants to be around you, so everything remains silent. You’re too dangerous and dumb.”
“Well, I think I’ve been insulted enough for one day,” she said, turning to go.
“There’s that pride and ego again.”
“Excuse me?” she snapped.
“Your species thinks it’s sooooo special. Well let me tell you that it’s NOT. You’re just riding this rock along with everything else. Your actual abilities are pathetic, you can barely feed your selves and your attitude is blind, but that’s okay, I have an attitude too, I guess. At least that’s what some of the other clocks have said.”
“Maybe everything has an attitude.”
“Maybe,” sighed the clock. “So you get the whole time thing? That it doesn’t exist and neither does the past or future but they are both taking place right now? Do you want me to tell you about parallel universes and how many different lives you are living at this very moment?”
“Maybe another day,” she said, smiling at the clock. “Catch ya next TIME,” she laughed, as she waved goodbye.
“Bet you can’t say that again for the first time,” he called.
She didn’t turn, but the clock could hear her laughing.