“Tomorrow is your future yesterday” is a line from the theme song of The Late Late Show, sung by host Craig Ferguson. The Scottish ex-punk rocker has brought the same sense of anarchy to the late night format in his ten-year run and it is quietly devastating for his viewers (mainly on YouTube where he has an international audience) to not have the extreme comedic pleasure of viewing his late night show. The line I quoted above has struck me right from the first time I saw the title sequence where Ferguson sings it while getting sloppily drenched – as in Friends – in a fountain. There is a laboured optimism in him, a cheerfulness that has been acquired as he sings the tune. We think that cheerfulness is something innate, something that we can more or less do until we reach the age of having to learn to decide when to do it. Some of us never get that lesson but thankfully for most of us we become quite unconsciously and unexpectedly cheerful sometimes. Tomorrows are one of those triggers that make us feel that. I will be the first to admit that tomorrows also often have the opposite effect (with a number of panic attacks to be qualified to have that opinion) where you dread what is to come. Sometimes you get reminded of the passage of time where somehow you are made to value time passed less than time to come. For the procrastinator, tomorrow is just the word he or she learns much to his or her comfort before the former, more formal condition comes along and bathes the ‘Tomorrower’ in vocabularial guilt. Shot through the heart and procrastination is to blame, darling you gave Tomorrow a bad name.
Because tomorrow is a comfort. It is softer than a well-loved pillow, lighter than the first drizzle of first rain. It is the balmy, fresh, promise of a new day where the old, bulky you that plodded through today can rest in the hope of feeling lighter, brighter and more together in the beautiful, beautiful day of tomorrow to come. Tomorrow is hope in the guise of a day. And there is always one of it to come, for richer, for poorer, till death do part our bodies from our souls. Tomorrow is a question but it is also a promise. It can be a form of Keats’ negative capability, where you are able to luxuriate in the mystery without looking for ends or answers. Tomorrow is your freedom from today and the past. It is your coming strength in your present vulnerability. It is your nourishment that keeps you soldiering on, no matter how slowly time passes through your hardships or how much you want to be static in your current joy. Tomorrow will come to you again. And again.
Ferguson’s assertion takes us forward by two days where we are already done living with our tomorrows (though there is still one more to come). I don’t find this view altogether satisfying. It is hard enough anticipating one day but to already have an attitude towards two of them? Tonight and yesterday seem only a few hours, fewer moments but tomorrow is a whole, solid long day of 24 hours. How does one give that long duration of time a makeover of a few moments? But it may very well have to do with individual dispositions and experiences. Days always seem long to me, forwards or back. I suppose it is smaller to those that fill it up with much more. To whom tomorrow is just another hassle to get over with or another segment to divide into shorter durations filled with things to do. Or to a select few, tomorrow might become a longer, an infinitely pensive and poignant thing like in the Carole King song “Will you love me tomorrow?”
Well, only tomorrow will tell how it will choose to show itself. Until then.