In Stephen King’s, The Langoliers, we are introduced to the creatures that consume the past, preventing us from ever returning to it. Merciless devourers, they relentlessly follow us all through time, ingesting history, insatiably pursuing us in an eternal chase.
As the story progresses, the main characters find themselves face to face with these gluttons, and they must do their best to outrun them; winning the race is their only hope.
As a micro-business owner I awake most days with the weight of an awareness on my shoulders; I must to attempt to evade my own kind of Langolier, the ravenous and unquenchable monster of Cashflow.
Each day I travel down the rough-shodden and mostly gravel road of business, always trying to get away from the beast.
From time to time I am able to find a bicycle to ride. Landing a new deal yields strength for pedaling, at least until the tires run flat or the chain snaps.
When the rusty wheels skitter to a halt I may take a moment to catch my breath and look behind me to appreciate the distance that I have put between me and the leviathan that pursues me.
Though while I may wait, he never stops.
Relentless in his pursuit, I jog ahead, legs burning from the journey, looking for another ride; I might even take a skateboard if I find it. Anything to keep moving, and stay ahead of him.
When I stand still, I can hear the churning of his teeth and the bones breaking in his mouth. I can feel his steps in the ground.
There are times he has been close. So close that I could smell the stench of debt on his breath. Close enough to see the blood dripping from his lips as he devours everyone in his path. I have been separated from those I cared about as we tried to outrun him together.
You can’t fight the Cashflow. You can try to slow it down, or get ahead of it. You might find yourself, as I have, on the ground, the gravel ripping into your back while you throw everything you can find at it in an attempt to satiate it for just long enough to get back on your feet and get away. You might even manage to succeed, to get back up, hitch a much needed ride, and put a little distance between you and the savage.
If things go well for you, you may find yourself moving quickly down the road, putting so much distance between you and the monster that you can’t see him anymore. You may find a ride that carries you for years.
But no matter how far ahead of that devourer you are, when you stand still and the wind is blowing gently from behind, you will still hear that churn, still remember that crunch, and still feel those steps. Your pulse will quicken, your muscles will tense, and you will be reminded: you can never stop, because if you do, he will find you.