He divided time into neat, well organized segments, each precisely the equivalent of each other, some the perfect sum of lessers. This is how it should be and must be he thought, and it made things so much easier for him. He knew when to arrive, and always knew precisely what time it was and would be. He couldn’t understand why others couldn’t seem to arrive on his schedule, never mind that they had divided time into neat segments, each precisely the equivalent of each other and none the equivalent of his tidy temporal order.
She said, “I truly think that a large part of your problem is that you spend too much time thinking about what other people think of you.” He wasn’t inclined to agree, but she did think that so he had to give it consideration. “I don’t think so,” he replied, “but if you think so, then perhaps.” “What I think doesn’t matter,” she said, smiling, “I remember some of the best advice I have ever been given, ‘What other people think of me is simply none of my business.'”
Magellan set sail 497 years ago,
which had nothing to do with her desire
to find a corner in which she could stand,
protected on two sides, and still
stare out into the world and see
all that was going on around her.
Better still if it were fashioned
of plexiglass, it could surround her
fully, as long as sound could get in,
and she could be fully engaged
in life without the risks that others
always seemed to drag in their wakes.
It wasn’t that she didn’t need people,
she just needed them at the proper
distance and most could never
determine what that distance
might be despite her entreaties.
Magellan would die a year and a half
later, a mistake she would never make.
She said, “the saddest thing of all is time. We spend so much of it trying to insure we know exactly what time it is, that it gets away from us and is gone long before we get around to using it.” He said, “but it’s important to know what time it is, in case something happens, for how else can we tell others what happened and when?” She laughed, “then exactly what time is it now,” and as he looked closely at his watch, she disappeared.
He has just returned from the land of Others, where he expected to see all manner of things that would, could never happened to him. He thought he would be able to explain why this was, but now those things are happening to him. He suspects it is because he came to close to the land of Those People, and he is certain are the cause of all the trouble in his carefully constructed world. It is why, he says, he never wanted anything to do with them.