Photo: Brady Hall
His children believe that their father is taking a very long time to buy milk for their Toastios. The people and creatures their father meets on his journey live in an era different from his. Professor Steg, for instance, believes they are in the future, but the father knows the Stegasaurus is from the past. The aliens are outside of time, and who knows what era the pirates belong to.
Gaiman plays with the elasticity of time. Time passes quickly from the father's perspective, as he moves swiftly through time periods and challenging situations, milk safely in hand. To the children, time plods along at a snail's pace. As we wait for a loved one, time moves slowly; when we are swept up in events, time moves quickly. In an ever more programmed world--programmed by events as well as technology--time moves at a breakneck pace.
As an early adopter, Gaiman was one of the first to join Twitter. He tweets throughout the day and often crafts a blog entry from them at night. He uses Twitter to reflect in the moment, and his blog to reflect on the day. So it was especially interesting to hear Gaiman say, when I got a chance to interview him recently, that he plans to take a break from social media. Why? Gaiman says, "I would like to be bored more. I don't think I get bored enough these days, and I think boredom is a brilliant, brilliant way of coming up with ideas."
Time to be "bored" feeds the imagination. Time to do nothing, matters.