TIME PASSAGES

We were just 10 at the time, I know you don’t believe me, that’s to be expected. Gary was the first to die. He never accepted its power, not once. I did. When we discovered it, we grabbed it, clutched it in our hands, felt its vibrations though never fully understood its force. I blinked and became 11, just like that. The power was obvious. I was bigger now than Stevie, which I especially liked. I blinked again and was 20, which I liked maybe even more, and not just to get back at people, but it was hard, you know, so cut off from my past, and so I blinked again, 30, the perfect age, and that’s when I gave it up, I didn’t want to shift anymore. But life for me then was not as I imagined it to be, not as fun, not as free, but I couldn’t go back. I overheard this woman in the break room, she was 50, a little over, in fact, and happy, though her job was worse than mine. I forget who she was speaking with, but you could hear the lilt in her voice, the bounce, she was talking about how her third child, her youngest, had just graduated college and was living with someone nice, and she — the 50 year old — wanted to get out, experience life like everyone else, take a job, even something low-level, and though I had my suspicions, I did it, blinked, and was 50. Honestly, it wasn’t so bad. But I vowed then to stop, no matter what, no matter who I heard, who I met, what I saw, how I felt, no more, the end. But I guess it doesn’t work that way, though. Once it has you in its hold, it has you forever. In a few blinks I went from 10 to 11 to 20 to 30 to 50 and vowed to stop but it didn’t care. Bam. 70. Old. And I can barely remember any of it. More than Gary, at least.