In my travels I recently learned of a people who trade in moments.
Where most of us trade in finite things like food, money, or sweat, these people apparently go for something far more precious. Gold sits in piles everywhere, but moments are as difficult to contain as a fart. It amazes me that something so transformative as a moment of ecstasy or terror can simply disappear if not cared for. Imagine if your car vaporized the instant you stopped thinking about it.
No wonder these people prize moments above all else.
Even the definition is nebulous at best. Assuming the passage of time is constant, no two beings package a moment into the same sized box. The content of the moment doesn’t even dictate its length– a boring lecture or looking down from the summit could both feel like eternity. In any case, these people found a way to package moments and sell them and consume them like chocolates.
In fact, they have constructed quite the economy around moments. The product of being someone and somewhere else, temporarily, briefly, is apparently quite lucrative. Of course there are the predictable products: Parents holding their newborn offspring, athletes crossing that line first, warriors being carried on a victory parade, et cetera. Good moments are easy to find, and expensive.
But I was surprised to learn the breadth of the market. Adrenaline junkies seek out anything from traumatic injuries to sadistic moments of terror. Whatever gets the vascular muscle pumping once the more pleasant moments lose their effectiveness. An entire black market exists for moments of hatred and paranoia. Usually these are bought by political operatives and religious fanatics, though they go to great lengths to keep their purchases off the record. Apparently these moments can be weaponized, but I didn’t want to learn any more about all that.
The catalog of orgasms was quite interesting.
I tried trading in moments once, but my ship wasn’t equipped to hold these things. Apparently handling them requires a degree of skill I wasn’t prepared for. I’m told anyone can learn, but you have to actually condition yourself first. To contain a moment and actually transport (or transform) yourself takes minor amounts of focus, an open mind, and a willingness to change. Skills most of us let atrophy as soon as we hit puberty.
Oh well. It would have made for some great schwag to go out with my next album. I guess shirts will have to suffice.