What Is Always Coming, but Never Arrives

Lili Forgács

“You have sixty seconds to answer the last question. Are you ready?” the quiz-show host asked. Mr Green was readier than ever before. He was just one answer away from the final prize, from 1,000,000 dollars. If he could reply correctly to the previous thirteen questions, why would he make a mistake now?

“What is always coming, but never arrives?” he heard. At that moment he looked up at the board. He didn’t like the question; it was different from the others. On the screen four boxes with blue frames appeared with the four possible answers. “A is ‘Sun.’ B is ‘tomorrow.’ C is ‘river.’ And D is ‘hope,’” the host read out.

Mr Green felt sick and became a little dizzy. He felt like he was left with no legs to stand on. ‘What is always coming, but never arrives…’ the question echoed in his mind.

“Hope is too theoretical in a quiz-show. It requires academic rather than philosophical knowledge , so D is surely not the correct answer. On the other hand, the question itself is abstract; why couldn’t the answer be that as well?” Mr Green was just standing there in silence, a drop of sweat rolling down on his temple.
“The Sun comes up the sky every day, and it never stops, thus it never reaches its destination, it never arrives.”

“You have thirty seconds left,” the host interrupted the player’s thoughts. It was almost visible outside how the cogwheels of his brain were working.

“The situation with the river is almost the same as with the Sun,“ Mr Green continued thinking. “However, most of the time rivers flow into a sea or ocean. Of course, the water flow never comes to a halt, but in some senses it arrives. Tomorrow is something that we are always waiting for. As the clock strikes midnight, tomorrow becomes today, and today becomes yesterday. It’s an infinite circle with no end.”

“Ten, nine…” the countdown started.

“Sun or tomorrow?” Mr Green asked himself. “Tomorrow or Sun?”

“I am so sorry, but the time is up.” The host looked questioningly at the competitor.

“My answer is…” he cleared his throat. “My answer is A, the Sun.”

Suddenly the board turned red, the sound indicating the wrong answer was heard.

“I knew I should have chosen tomorrow,” Mr Green thought, while a bitter smile appeared on his face.


The world is not black and white. A question can be answered, a problem can be solved a million plus one different ways. Sometimes we can easily select the most favourable option, while in other cases we feel that there is none. We are also criticised for our decisions. One which is suitable for everyone and with which everybody agrees does not exist. We have to enumerate all the possibilities, then act. There is no guarantee it will work, as we could see with Mr Green, who gave his answer reasonably, and it might put us down in the dumps, but tomorrow always comes.