Time Enough At Last

by jonnahzkennedy

I love The Twilight Zone, honestly, I think that it is truly one of those great shows that come around an stick around only once in a while, and no matter how many times you watch it, you never stop being shocked by it. There is an episode in the first season of The Twilight Zone called ‘Time Enough At Last’ in which a bookish man is pretty much exiled from reading books as his bitter wife confiscates them from him, and at work he spends his time trying to read, but his boss even restricts him from doing this, so he has no time to read. The bookish man, before being banished from reading at this counter at his banking job, would go down to the vault at lunch and he would read to his hearts content. When he does this one day, an H-Bomb drops on America and he is the sole survivor because of his habits for reading. For most of the episode, he is depressed and sad, because yes he has all the food and water he could ever want, but he is lonely and he truly realizes that it is not a dream, and he is truly the last man in the world. Then he finds a gun and he contemplates suicide, but suddenly out of the corner of his eye he sees the Library! He rejoices and runs up the steps to collect the books, and he is just happy as a junebug in June! He creates stacks for all the books he’s going to read each month, and one of the last things he says before the episode takes a dramatic turn, is ‘Finally, time enough at last,’ as he sits next to a giant befallen clock. Then, he sees a book lying on the ground, bends over to pick it up, and: his glasses fall and break. 



I was truly heartbroken, I don’t know why I believed that there was going to be a happy ending, but I was truly just shaken by that, by the fact that at last he had just what he wanted, time enough at last to read all the books he wanted, to finally do the thing that he was forbidden to do, and then it’s just taken away fro him like a bully stomping on a small boy’s toys, and honestly, I thought it was crueler than anything that had ever happened on Game of Thrones, because just how can you do that to the poor guy! Maybe it’s my sympathy for people who read and books, and maybe it’s because of the writer in me, but I just loved and hated that ending, so very bitter sweet. 

But the question that I pose to ask you today is, if you had time enough at last to write all you wanted, all day long, and you didn’t have to work (and you had a house and everything provided to you), how much time would you actually spend writing? Would you even write at all? A perpetual summer in which there is nothing stopping you at all…becoming a full time writer. But, in present day as you work your other job, if you had time enough, would you? Would having all that time actually make writing less fun? Would knowing that you could just work on it all day be boring because the satisfaction is gone?

I can speak to this experience because this summer, I have amped up my word count from a meager 2,500 words a day to 6,000 on a given story, and literally, I’m baffled. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I have absolutely no friends who want to hang out with me, or the fact that I have such terrible social anxiety that I can’t make new ones, but sitting in the house all day has actually paid off.