The WordPress Daily Prompt for August 11, 2014, asks, “You wake up one day and realize you’re ten years older than you were the previous night. Beyond the initial shock, how does this development change your life plans?”
(Heh, for too much of my life, when I got up I felt like I was ten years older than the night before. This is an attempt at flash fiction; i.e. write a story in an hour or less.)
It was never the day’s fault. There is no physical law that states unequivocally that the next day must be the next day. Someone, someone very annoying, decided that August 11 ALWAYS follows August 10, and to make matters worse, we all continue to agree. It was like being an employee, he thought. (He was shaving already, making good time.) Some dude says he owns the factory and his major stipulation for paying you for work is that you agree with him that he is the owner of the factory. What happens if today I decide-slash-discover that I am the owner of the factory, he thought. What if I am the chairman of the board instead of second lead for the first-level documentation department? (The best thinking happens in the shower.)
Physics is proving that our motion from the past to something we call the future through a sometimes heartless expanse we call the present is a local phenomenon. They have seen particles exist in two places at the same time, even seen a particle’s effect before the particle came into existence. The next day can be yesterday once again or July 4, 1776, over and over. (Just with better plumbing this time, he thought after leaving the bathroom.)
So it was never the day’s fault that he hated it upon awaking and rediscovering what he had to rediscover about himself. Poor, guiltless day.
He didn’t hate the day, he hated what he rediscovered: that time moved forward. A local phenomenon, but no more local than everywhere on the planet. And somehow he was running late.
No time for breakfast, but there was none to be had, he found. He had visited the grocery store the night before. (“But did I?” he joked with himself, continuing his philosophical inner life. He pictured someone interrupting, “You’re pleased with your deep thoughts, huh?” No one did.) He filed away the thought that he was going to need to go shopping tonight. (“Brilliant, I can hold two unrelated thoughts in my brain at the same time, one about quantum philosophy and “sci-fi in my life” and the other about shopping lists. Just like physics. Where did I put my groceries?”)
His regular newsstand was closed, so he crossed back to another stand. “Slumming today, eh?” the clerk asked him.
“Well, you used to come around this street before … .” Looking for his daily, he saw it: August 11, 2024. And he was on the front page. A board vote about his chairmanship of the the factory had been scheduled for the afternoon. Things did not look good for his continuing in the position, it turned out.