Enigmatic Phantasm
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Message in a Bottle
If I could catch time and keep it in a bottle, I would play back all the moments when you smiled at me. Each confident smirk, each friendly grin, every twisted curl of your lips that meant you were up to no good. I'd watch you and I'd laugh and I'd cry. Things might be different if I could make time obey me. I think about you all the time these days. If I could catch time and keep it in a bottle, I would forever replay those moments we had together.

If I could catch time and keep it in a bottle, I would go back to the last time I saw you. I would have said something kind to you. I would have made you laugh. I would pause time forever and make it freeze in my cruelty. I would stop everything and pull you from your car before your soft skin blended with glass and metal. I would take you somewhere else so that time could continue for you. I would erase the sirens and the sight of your blood spread over the dashboard as the helicopter arrived too late to rescue you. I would make time give you back what it had stolen.

If I could catch time and keep it in a bottle, I would erase the terrible things I said to you. I would let things pass by as if I had never hurt you. I would laugh and watch us sing those songs we used to sing badly out of key over and over again. I'd build ten more of those crayon volcanoes with you and we'd have one to match every color in the box. Maybe we'd make up some new colors and call them names that no one has ever heard before. I would have put more notes from your 'secret admirer' in your locker, with plenty of cheap, garish gifts. I would have stayed after school with you just to sit and listen to you talk about your boyfriend and your hopes and your dreams.

If I could catch time and keep it in a bottle, I would play over and over again the times that we sat laughing over nothing in the darkness. The way you laughed at me when I attacked the provolone and how we used to smash goldfish on the counters. I would watch again the way our faces looked when we realized our tent was flooding and there was a bear outside. My eyes would widen when I saw how small and innocent we were, how beautiful our idyllic paradise was. If I could, I would take you in my arms and hold you until time itself shriveled up and died in its glass cage.

If I could catch time and keep it in a bottle, I would bend it to do my will. I would hurt it and abuse it for what it's done to me. I would love it and caress it for what it's done to me. I would feed it ketchup and mozzarella sandwiches three times a day, and if it was still hungry I would feed it diamond dust until it was satisfied. I'd polish its bottle every day and smile at it, and then I would laugh and flick my finger on the glass until it was crazy. I would buy it a new suit and take it to the movies with friends. And in the night, time would point its fingers at me and laugh with sickening joy. Because there are some things that even time can never change.