Building 45

Literary/Arts Journal


by James Anderson

I looked at my watch today. I looked at it half expecting for the first time to understand what time really means and how it corresponds with the five thousand one hundred and thirty seven days that I've been imprisoned.

One hundred and twenty three thousand, two hundred and eighty eight hours spent wondering what amount of time will ever truly make up for my wrongs and how I can take it upon myself to make seemingly impossible amends.

Seven million, three hundred ninety seven thousand and two hundred and eighty minutes alone in regretful personal reflection. Reflection that only shows me time and time again that remorse never fades, never forgets, and never frees me from the realization that time can never be relived. Time is the magnifying glass of life's regrets, never to be ignored.

Four hundred forty three million eight hundred and thirty six thousand and eight hundred seconds that I've sat here wishing I could go back and change a mere sixty minutes of my youth.

When I looked at the watch today, I did so desperately hoping that in those tiny, melodically intricate hands of seconds, minutes and hours I'd see for the first time a glimpse of light at the end of this tunnel. But what I saw, and what made me lower my head with tightly clinched eyelids was that, like prison, a watch is only there to remind you of where you're at in that exact moment.

There's no going back, no possibilities or openings for the heartbroken and humble apology that I've ached to give since I was 17 years old. I see now that time is not only my prison, it's also the measurement of life's mountainous mistakes that eventually pile up and overcome us as inevitable landslides of regret and remorse. My watch blinds me with its truth, yet tomorrow I'll surely look again.