Things Go Stale

Bread. Water. Things become stale over time.  There’s science to back that up–chemical reactions and such. But science can’t explain everything. It can’t explain the gradual deterioration of non-material things.

Take a marriage, for instance. Obviously, I know nothing about it firsthand, but I can make assumptions. Everything starts out wonderfully. Holding hands on long, moonlit walks. Bringing home roses for no reason. Going on drives to nowhere. Hugging on the couch and sharing popcorn while watching a stupid movie. Sex. Laughing at each other’s dumb jokes. Surprise kisses. Somehow, as time wears on, things become like old bread. There’s no more affection or desire. They stop trying to win each other’s hearts; instead, they just bitch about the last piece of meatloaf and how much their jobs suck.

School is another example; this one I can attest to. At the beginning of the year, everything is in order. Pencils are lined up, folders are shiny, homework is turned in right on time. Then things go stale. Papers are shoved at the bottom of backpacks. Every due date is missed. Pencils are broken and collected from the floor. The motivation is gone.

Another–writing stories. At the beginning, inspiration is plentiful. Fingers race across the keyboard until late in the night. Plot lines lie just a daydream away. Characters come alive. Then things go stale. The ideas wither away. Characters breathe their last. Sleep comes quicker. Pages of writing sit in a dusty notebook or a never-used folder on a desktop.

Everything good seems to spoil. Why? Why can’t we hold on to good things? Why is everything so fleeting? It all slips away, and there’s no chemical equation to explain it. All beautiful things just crumble to dust, and there’s nothing we can really do…

is there?

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