Thursday, July 24, 2014

Spoiler Space: "When We Have Time"

Last night my wife was saying how lucky it was that her mother was able to find a birthday present for us to give to my grandmother. This led me to say that where the last generation borrowed money from their parents, we borrow time.*

I am not completely talking out of my ass when I say that people around my age view time differently than previous generations have: look at the trends in when people get married, for example, and (especially) when they have kids. My Dad, who was forty when I was born, was practically a generation older than most of my friends' dads; my older son was born when I was 36 and not a lot of his peers' parents are younger than me.

That's probably why, while some of the time travel stories I've written use the familiar SF trope of people moving through time, I've also written a bunch that focus on time as a commodity: something that can be manipulated, hoarded, bought and sold. "When We Have Time" is a story where, to paraphrase Giles on Buffy, the subtext is rapidly approaching being text: it was written at a time when we were living in a place we didn't want to live, when I had a job that I would come a hair's-breadth from losing every five months, and when we both knew that this definitely wasn't the time to have kids. Now I live in a place I like, have a job I love, have wonderful kids -- and think, as I'm rushing to pick them up and then make dinner every night, how much I would give to have just a little more time. Plus ça change...

The one Canadian reference in this story is pretty obvious, the Canadian Tire one-speed bike pictured above. I had one, and so did you.

* (I'm aware that lots of people in my generation borrow money, too. Shut up, I'm making a point here.)


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