Wednesday 1/27/21 What if I was in a time loop?


Seeing all these time loop movies, I wonder what I would do in a time loop movie. I wouldn’t want it to be today because M. went to her school to take the high school test (SHSAT). I wouln’t want to walk her over there repeatedly. But I would walk somewhere else with her repeatedly if she had no test to take.

But say I was stuck in it and had no choice which day. I just realized I could tell her about the time loop and she would get it because we’ve talked about and watched so many time loop movies. So the first time which would actually be at the end of this day, 1/27. I woud just have this regular day like I’ve had so far. Now I’m at home. Maybe I will work out and do some other boring things or read with M and goto bed early. Then I will wake up at around 7 and it will take me a while to figure out that it’s not Friday, it’s the 26th. I wonder how long it would take? Probably I’d realize she’s taking the test today but she took it yesterday. Then I’d start walking her to school for the test and say, let’s ditch the whole test because you can take it again in another time loop and you already took it in your yesterday even though you haven’t taken it yet. She would get it. We’d try to figure out, if she took the test now would her score be the same? Which test score will be the real one? Then I’d say, let’s ditch the test and do soemthing fun. Tomorrow you can take it again anyway.

So we would go on an adventure. Take an Uber some place far away as money doesn’t matter in a time loop. Neither does Covid. Maybe we’d go to the airport and take a quick plane ride to California. She’s always wanted to see it. I guess we’d have to go to Los Angeles. We’d meet up with my cousins and aunt and she would see Hanako’s baby (one of my cousins) and Aunt Teruko and Yasuko. Maybe Akiko but I’m not sure she lives there. We’d go to Venice Beach and then go to some cool more secluded beach or check out what’s near San Diego. Or, we’d go to Stanford immediately so she could see it and get a sense of what it would be like as she says she wants to go to college there. We’d have to take Ubers but it wouldn’t matter.

On a different loop day we’d skip the test again and all 3 of us would want to fly to India but we cant’; it takes 18 hours. We’d have to go somewhere else, to a state park nearby. Or to a bed and breakfast or somewhere quick where the water’s warm and it’s not winter. Stay there a few hours then fly back. But all the travelling to go somewhere one day seems silly. If we flew to Paris and then went to sleep altogether, would I wake up in NYC and they would be getting ready for the test?

It’s almost perfect that any old day might be today. I don’t even want to be living in NYC when she’s in high school. I don’t want her to travel to the Bronx or to go down the street to Styvesant. I want to be in a house where there is one high school in the town, rated at least 9 out of 10 maybe. We’d have a swimming pool and a hot tub and a bunch of acres of land, and a field of sunflowers and two dogs.

Anyway I would have to figure out why I was in the time loop in order to get out of it. I haven’t seen every time loop movie ever but the ones I’ve seen are about transformation. Palm Springs wasn’t. The others were. Of course Groundhog Day the best one was. I know I’d want to figure out how to do a Ground Hog Day loop but I don’t live in a small town.

She and I are both so into time loop movies I can’t imagine doing anything without her. I wouldn’t let her come in the time loop and get stuck, but I could keep having days with her telling her and then tell her what we did the day before and she’d understand why she didn’t remember it.

Time loops are interesting. The first day you don’t know it’s happening. Like today she just got back from the test. It’s 3:23 and I’m about to have a client. Then I will go home and do something fun with her to reward her for doing the test, which is grueling and hard.

I guess you spend one day doing really stupid stuff just because you can, but it’s hard to think of anything. Pandemic life is so boring and predictable it’s hard to imagine. Also I couldn’t involve my friends because they would have permanent memories of it happening. It’s kind of impossible when you think about it.

Ultimately after doing weird stuff, the next thing is learning a skill, like taking some class for days and then having deep knowledge of something. Or I could express my rage at the NYC art world. I could run into some fancy gallery and yell at them or spray paint all the art and run out and probably get arrested because you always get arrested or in trouble in one of the time loop days.

I could spend a day near a place like the Golden Gate bridge in NYC just talking to jumpers about why they shouldn’t kill themselves, trying to be a “Catcher in the Rye”. THe NYC equivalent used to be the NYU library where people jumped out the window. I’m not sure if there’s a place like that anymore. There’s always the moment you’re so sure you’re in a time loop that you jump off a bridge just to test it out.

At some point you try to figure out why you’re in the time loop and that gives you the clues as to how to get out.

Maybe I would spend days painting until I finally had a body of work I felt good about and then write a book, finally write The Art Box. Can time loops be about broken dreams? Is there really some challenge to be the opposite of that, a good human being. Can it be about trying to fix a broken world. No. I learned that from the movie, spoiler, where the sister keeps trying to save her brother from being shot by the police for no reason. It’s a time machine movie so not the same but she keeps trying to go back in time and save him. It doesn’t work. You could become a better person in an endless time loop but you couln’t fix the world no matter how long you’re in there.

What made people invent this time loop thing? I’d have to research Groundhog Day and old sci fi stuff. The ultimate point of the Time Loop is to learn something important. Falling in love because the guy is stupid, that’s the least appealing part of the film for me. When he learns piano and ice sculpture and gets to know eveyrone in town and turns into a great human, that’s what’s so intense about it. You don’t need a love story, though Palm Springs seems to. In some way it is predictable and not romantic that if you were stuck in a day with one other person whatever their gender, eventually you would fall in love with them partly out of loneliness, partly out of the chase and partly because they happen to be the only person you’re spending lots of time with. That just isn’t very romantic. If the main girl’s sister had gone into the cave she would have realized she didn’t want to marry the not great guy who slept with her sister the night before and would fall in love with the time loop guy just because they were together. But people are drawn to the magnetic pull of love in the time loop.

So if I were in a time loop, it would be for something else, maybe just getting to spend extra time with my 13 year old and have her be the same age for as long as I wanted to.

That would be my time loop prescription and solution, realizing I have to let go and let her grow up and that I want to see what happens to her. Staying in the time loop would trap her or at least trap my experience of her. I’d eventually need to surrender to time and let go. It’s a big twist on the time loop story. I don’t think there’s been one about a mother daughter loop. The thing would be she’d find out every day that I was in the loop and then I guess she’d want to help me get out or she would realize I was trapping her and I’d let her go and then wake up and it would be January 28 and we’d all be one day older and she would be on her way to going to high school next year. It’s almost perfect that I randomly wrote this wondering about it on the day of the high school test. And that I figured it out by writing myself out of the time loop and seeing that as a mom, part of me is always wanting her to stay and not grow up, but I know she should and will and that I really want to be there and be part of it even though I will miss this time as I miss the times they show me on Facebook every day of her being 7, 10, 8, 5, etc….


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