Song for a time


Way in the middle of the air, they cried, cries that sounded like loneliness, but they were surrounded by each other.

The gulls sang their squeaky song with voices that sounded like bed springs yielding to the weight, except the song was more ancient than that, from a time before bed springs were invented.

A song unchanged since before we knew, and yet brand-new here, this moment. Singers born not long ago, fated to die not long from now, singing a song first sung when time had not been invented.

Why DID we invent time, McGiff wondered. It only taunts us with unfinished business. The time is up – just in time – time to finish this – time to get started – time, time, time. There, the song again – time it. Why?

Why measure time? Better to count the grains of sand. The gulls sing their mournful song – are they sad because they have discovered time, too?

He held his hand to his chest and sighed. It was time to move on.


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