We’re four years closer to a nuclear Iran. We’re four years closer to the end of the world. We’re four years further away from the beginning of the world than we were four years ago. We’re four years closer to the day the sun will exhaust its fuel, speaking of atomic energy, and on that day, a day we’re now four years closer to, on that day the sun will swallow the earth. We’re four years closer to a sustainable future. We’re four years closer to my fortieth birthday, my forty-fourth birthday, and four years closer to the day that I will die. We’re four years further away from the day I slipped and fell on the playground and skinned up my leg. Four years later, there was a scar there. Many years later, I can’t see that scar anymore. We’re four years closer to the year 2052. We’re four years closer to flying cars, to men on mars, drinkless bars, harvesting the stars, artificially intelligent avatars, the war to end all wars. We’re four years closer to the largest population ever recorded on Earth. We’re four years closer to a larger national debt. We’re four years closer to the last time you’ll ever eat ice cream. We’re four years closer to the death of the oldest tree in the city of Baltimore. We’re four years closer to the extinction of another species. We’re four years closer to the exhaustion of all the petroleum, all the iron, the wood, water and water damage restoration, copper, tin, nickel, sulphur, diamonds, emeralds, rubies, laughter, clay, oxygen, ice, snowball fights, elbow room, landscapes without billboards, sandalwood extract, cork, blue corn and all the other shit we’ll have less of in four years. We’re four years closer to retirement. We’re four years closer to paying our student loans, our medical bills, our mortgages, our credit card bills, our car payments, our insurance, but in for years we’ll still be paying for cable, internet, cell phone data plans, gasoline, insurance payments, taxes, taxes, taxes. We can’t tax or save our way out of this one. Time to pony up! Maybe in four years we’ll pony up. We’re four years closer to four years from now when we’ll pony up. We’ll pony up then. Pick another date we’re four years closer to. We’re ten years closer, too. We’re twenty years closer. Those of us who have been on this rock long enough are fifty, sixty maybe even seventy years closer to that date. We’re ten thousand years closer to ten thousand years from now than we were ten thousand years ago. We’re four years closer to being further from the beginning.

Every day begins a period that will end in a thousand years, just as each day is the end of an age that began that long ago. Why make distinctions? Time is not against us; it is only our perception of its end that fills us with dread.