DD 187

PROMPT:  Write about time the concept of time

The pickup truck bounced up a gravel road, through a corridor of oak trees, and into a meadow dotted with log cabins.  In the center of the open space was a long building covered in clapboard siding. We parked in front of that building, and we all got out, including the dog that had been riding in the bed of the truck with my sister and me.

The driver took my sister by the arm and led her to a door at one end of the building while the truck’s passenge motioned me toward a door at the other end of the building.

“Why are we separating?” I asked the woman.

“Men and women eat at opposite ends of the hall,” she said.  “It’s less distracting that way.”

“If you’re interested in auto parts,” the passenger said, “you’ll want to talk with Simon Fister.”  Then the passenger walked toward the end of the building my sister was entering; and, after a moment, I entered into the other end.

Inside, there were men sitting at circular tables; and though the meal had evidently ended, someone came up to me, shook my hand, and asked if I wanted food.  I said that I wasn’t hungry, and that I was looking for Simon Fister.  “That’s Simon over there,” the man said, pointing at an elderly man with a gray beard, sitting at the furthest table.

“My name is Tim,” I said, shaking Simon Fister’s hand.  “I was told that you might have auto parts.”

“Hello Tim.  Are you thinking of joining us here?”

“If you mean at the commune, not really.  I mean, the woman who brought me here explained how you want to escape time, and I get that, and I don’t like the way it always seems like we’re late for things, but that’s enough of a reason for me to join a commune.”

“Our principles are a little more complicated than just wanting to avoid being late.”

“I was just summarizing because what I’m really interested in is a fuel pump for a 1970 Buick Skylark.”

“Without time there is no entropy,” Simon said, ignoring my mentioning the auto part.

“That’s not surprising,” i said though I had no idea what entropy was.  

“ Without the concept of a clock–without seconds, minutes, and hours, the direction of time is marked only by natural phenomenon.  The sun rises, passes across the sky, and sets, but here we place no labels on its stages; instead, we are guided by nature.  Instead of rising all year long at 6 AM and going to bed every night at 10 PM, we rise early and go to bed late during the long days of summer when work in the fields is necessary; and in the shorter days of winter when there is less to be done, we wake late and go to bed early, letting the amount of light control our habits rather than the clock.”

“I see,” I said.  “You’re like bears almost, the way they hibernate in the winter.  Except you have cars and bears don’t.  In fact, I’m wondering if you have a 1970 Skylark.”

“We are like bears in the sense that they too aren’t ruled by clocks; and we are similar in the lack of Buick Skylarks.  Have you tried to get a fuel pump in town?”

“We have, but time might be even less important there than it is here, at least when it comes to having auto parts delivered.  If it were up to me, I might just forget the Skylark and settle down here, but my sister wouldn’t put up with that.”

As if on cue, my sister appeared at the door and peered through the screen.  I stood up and walked toward her.

 

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