Lives as a single day: Kurt Cobain and William Burroughs

Imagine human lives considered as a single day, all those events compressed into the hours between rising at 7 and sleeping at 11. 16 hours of wakefulness. 

Take Kurt Cobain: each hour was twenty months, the time sweeping past. Nirvana formed at 6pm, and released their first record almost an hour later. At 8pm Cobain met Courtney Love. It was almost 9:30 by the time Smells Like Teen Spirit was a hit. Kurt and Courtney married just before ten pm, when the day was almost over. At eleven, Cobain put an end to his life.

William Burroughs died at 83. Each hour of his life was more than five years. At 2pm he shot his wife Joan Vollmer, when Cobain was 11 years old. He released his first book, Junky, at 2:30pm. Kerouac died at 5:30. At almost 8pm, Burroughs lost his son. His final novel, the Western Lands, was published at 9pm. 

Cobain and Burroughs met in October 1993. Years of real time separated the two, but if you consider their lives as a single day, it was 10:40pm for Cobain and 10:12pm for Burroughs.

Imagine a world where you knew how long you had left. What time is it now? What do you still need to do?

If you want to follow what I'm up to, sign up to my mailing list

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *