Never Jam Today

by Roxanna Bennett
“The rule is, jam tomorrow and jam yesterday – but never jam today.”
“It MUST come sometimes to ‘jam today’,” Alice objected.
“No, it can’t,” said the Queen. “It’s jam every OTHER day; today isn’t any OTHER day, you know.”
“I don’t understand you,” said Alice. “It’s dreadfully confusing!”

Tomorrow’s jam never arrives, and Alice must remain forever dreadfully confused.  Tomorrow itself is a long con, a grift where the payoff is the realization of our goals and dreams and yet, every day is but another today.  Tomorrow is where we store our hope.  We take the mistakes of yesterday and plan against them, stockpiling tomorrow full of remedies for our past pain.  But the lie and loveliness of this mad method is that we never reach tomorrow, we are always and only living today.  Tomorrow is the place where we undo what wrongs we believe we have committed, a country populated by ghosts of our future, where we will grow older, wiser, be our best selves.  It is a kind of heaven that exists because we believe that in the morning, there will be a morning, and a better self than the one we are now will rise from bed and greet a wholly new sort of day.

“I can’t think about that right now.  If I do, I’ll go crazy.  I’ll think about that tomorrow,” wrote Margaret Mitchell in Gone With the Wind.  Tomorrow is a hope chest, we can place our fears inside it and keep it closed until we are strong enough to open the lid.  Or we can bury the chest, procrastinate, and never, ever peek inside.

We hope that you will enjoy this issue’s selection of work, painstakingly created by each author with the hope that one day, some day, tomorrow, a reader will find and fall in love with their words.

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Roxanna Bennett is an editor at Halfway Down the Stairs. For staff biographies, click here.

© 2013, Roxanna Bennett