While living and working in Edinburgh in 2008 I set out to write one million words in 366 days... but only managed 800,737.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Mirrored Dates

On my desk at work there is a calendar with a quote from Herman Melville, but it wasn’t the quote that got me thinking, it was the dates beside his name: 1819 to 1891. There’s a harmony in those dates: the almost symmetry, the fact he lived to a goodly age. I was born in 1983, and although 1983 to 2038 isn’t as pleasing to the eye (damn millennium, what a let down that was), there is something appealing about the thought of dying then.

That is, as far as thoughts about dying go.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not thinking about dying that much, and I’m not planning to any time soon, but the more I thought about 1983-2038 as I punched holes in reports and filed them, the more sense those dates made.

2038 is thirty years from now. So, if this little dyslexic prophesy is true, I only have thirty years left on this earth, which is only slightly more than I’ve churned through already. Thirty years. It could fly by.

Maybe I’m having the occasional morbid thought because the skull on the cover of the Penguin edition of Under The Volcano stares at me from the corner of my desk (at home) every time I get up from the computer. His mouth is open. He might be saying, “Write now, for tomorrow we die.” Or not.

I’m not one of those young bucks who would rather die than turn sixty – I have nothing against hanging around to see the grandkids grow up, and Philip Roth has show that you can still crank out a novel a year in your seventies.

But I am a fan of goals, targets and motivational ploys (if you hadn’t guessed, look around).

It’s not exactly Carpe Diem, but You have thirty years left could be useful in squeezing more out of howeverlong you get.

This is not a fully formed thought. I am only test driving it on the information superhighway on the off chance I do cark it in 2038 and people will have one of three reactions:

1) Wow, he must have had psychic abilities.

2) It’s sad he died, but at least he died at his perfect age.

3) Who?

1 comment:

dang said...

i'm gunna go with "who?" :P