Maybe Now

By Aalia Jagwani

The car was parked on the side of the road and we were sitting in the boot, hood open. The last time I checked the time it was 12:06 am. You couldn’t see the stars that night—you never can in Bombay. But it seemed like the sky was shimmering above us; it seemed like the kind of starry night people made art about. We were eating ice-cream from Snowman’s— we were far from hungry but we ate it anyway because it was too good to stop, but also because even then, we knew we were making memories. 

A song was playing on the radio, flooding in from the front of the car. 

“Don’t you dare let our best memories bring you sorrow…” 

The music was soft but the words cut through the air, bringing with it an awareness that made time bend over itself—the present and the future collided in that moment. 

It was an overwhelming desire to hold on to time before it could slip away; 

It was a strong sense of nostalgia for that moment, as if it had already passed.

I was
incurably happy 
and unbearably sad 
at the same time.

Or more accurately, 
Independent versions of myself from different points in time were experiencing the happiness and the sadness, not truly independent at all. 

I don’t know if the present and the future can ever really exist independent of each other.
Maybe they can’t
Maybe time isn’t linear
Maybe the now and the later happen at the same time
Maybe the ‘here and now’ is full of ‘before’s and ‘after’s.

Or maybe many different versions of Now exist simultaneously,
in multiple parallel universes.
And maybe even though we can’t cross dimensions, 
the emotions diffuse through anyway.    

I’m happy in one world and sad in another, 
excited in one and terrified in another, 
Maybe I’m in love and I’m heartbroken,
lost in each world and still full of illusions. 

Maybe I exist in one world but I feel for them all—emotions blending like colours in a palette.  
Even if only a fraction of possibility can be accessed consciously at any given time,
Maybe every Now is infinite. 

Maybe Here and Now is everywhere and everything.

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