The Day I Killed Tomorrow

Janet Trips

Janet propped her feet up on the desk, the half moon visible just beyond the tips of her strappy black sandals, a just launched ship set sail from the horizon.

The dropper on the top of the mahogany desk rocked slightly still, approximating stillness with every pass. Janet gnawed on her overgrown fingernails, impatiently waving her feet, swinging them freely in the air to a Sousa march only she could hear.

The cotton swabs in her nostrils stung a bit. Jack always cut the acid with a bit of peppermint extract, so you’d know how much you were getting. Jeffy had taken the boys out for the evening, it was just Janet and the two tabbies at home, getting high on peppermint nose swabs.

The cats, Jerry and Gimbal, were catatonic in the cat tower in the corner of her office suite. She had refilled the cat toy with catnip. Set and setting. Bring a friend along for the ride.

Janet inhaled again and the moon started to sail, actually and for real. She exhaled through sweetly numb nostrils, the icy burn of the swabs making her feel the slowness of the momentary in a way that nothing else really had before. Death comes for us all in little ways.

David Deutsche, in his book The Fabric of Reality, talks about how in the moments before the expiration of this universe the folding in of everything will provide us with the time to compute an infinite amount of computations. The density of space and possibilities will provide us with the time to solve more difficult problems than we’ve ever solved before, to emulate any and all possibilities. Maybe even let us calculate our way to a solution of existence that will help us survive beyond the impending crunch. That time slows almost to infinity and in that moment we, it, whatever that makes it that far, will live one forever in moment..

I wonder sometimes if that description of the heat death? big crunch? of the universe is nothing more than what happens to a consciousness when it dies. Does it expand outward until it fills the entire moment, hanging there indelibly in the time and space, left behind by the material transitions but not ceasing, not exactly, to exist.

It winks out for us in its failure to continue onward, but were you to stay also with it in that final moment — you would both discover that it lasts forever.

Janet thought these thoughts, her vision hazy with mental projections and the hallucinatory misunderstandings of visual stimuli, as she watched the most beautiful half moon, a silver pregnancy, slide majestically across the stretching star-scape.

She exhaled, mint, and felt for the experience of time with every minute movement of air across the rim of her nostrils.

What is it to exist.