Time flies… This is an expression that people usually use when they see someone’s child graduating, meet up with an old college friend, or chat with a colleague who joined the company a bit later than they had. It’s a phrase used in passing and most of the time the idea doesn’t really sink in. Time flies. It’s a process, you can’t stop it, it happens every second and it’s up to us whether we notice it at all or not.
Life is a monotonous thing. There’s a day, then the next day, and then a new day. They are different in little ways, but most days are the same. Perhaps that’s why the Japanese language only has two tenses – “past” and “non-past”. Tomorrow could be yesterday and yesterday could be a day one year from now on. You could easily get confused and forget when today is if not for toothpaste.
A tube of toothpaste is a good thing to measure time. Every day there’s a bit less than the day before. And then there comes a time when you start squeezing out every last bit. Some people just throw the last bits away, but I squeeze my toothpaste out with diligence. I suppose this way I’m trying to stretch time. Buying a new tube is always the end of one cycle and the beginning of a new one. I mean, life is supposed to be this way – ongoing. But every time I start squeezing out those last bits of toothpaste, I feel a tingle somewhere at the back of my consciousness because time passed even though most days seemed the same.