Tell me, darling, how do we best count time?
If you wish, I can reboot my system so we might run through the system and backed up files until we come up with the hard answer. We can have it in Eastern, Central, Pacific or Neverland and still be left with empty numbers. We can cross-divide and carry over our hearts, add the sum of our parts until we're nothing but decimal points flashing on the ambiguous screen. We can disconnect and rewire, throw our cyber-smiles against the wall until it's been reduced to springs and forlorn beeps of the dying machine.
Still, we'll have our answer: thirty days.
Or, if you prefer, I can break my poet's tongue in two and bleed words all over the hungry sheet of paper. I can write sonnets of the wind winding across the continent and limericks of the wolves howling for our distance. I can write songs to make stars weep in the clichéd sky of diamonds. I can compose you poems with phrases strung so daintily together that your nerves will bind and your muscles will knot as you remember lips hot on your goose-bumped flesh and nails bit into your sweat-slicked back. I can write until my fingers bleed and my imagination melts and we'll have been reduced to words clicked away, erased and stolen.
Still, we'll have our answer: not long enough.
You see, the problem with time is that ticks of a clock and chimes of a watch fail to capture the moments that reside within it. I can paint you mosaics and sprawling portraits on chapel walls, but each brushstroke will only leave me emptier than when I had begun. It will be but an echo of the living thing I'm trying to recreate, a caricature of the memory still pulsing around us. I can count and dream and recollect and imagine, but retrospect will only diminish.
I will never write a sentence so beautiful as the first time your hands caught my hips. I will never utter a word so poignant as that moment you first looked over and told me that you loved me. Words will be hollow cages, butterfly nets chasing after what has already fluttered away. Numbers will fall flat as cardboard dreams, the crutch of a grasping mind trying to comprehend the magnitude of us.
Earthly means will never do.
Memories are living things – not relics to be placed on a wall or in a vault. So, I will not try to catalogue them, or chain them together, or worse – file them in numerical order. Instead, I will sit in the middle as they yip and run about, rolling and leaping in golden arcs through the air. I will remember late night whispers and early morning kisses. I will remember shared spoons of ice cream, secrets shared beneath the covers and empty spaces in chests sharing for an extra heartbeat.
I will remember, glow, and still, I will know, that time is ever fluid and what I felt then is but a puddle to the ocean I feel today. I will reminisce fondly of the way the fountain gushed forth, the way the dam burst, and how it started with but a leak. Then, I will close my eyes and yield to the roaring rapids. Let them pull me under to be blue-lipped and smoldering in your embrace.
And above all, I will know: time matters not.
Not when we are eternity.