In the novel, we get conflicting ideas of how time is passing. There is the chronology sidebar on every page, always moving forward in a typical form of time (although not at a constant rate), which indicates that time is moving on in the narrative and gives some context to the time period and language use. However, the characters go through some other definition of time. As Jonah explains in his post, Sam and Hailey’s time is not necessarily kept by days or years, but perhaps by jars of honey. The plants and animals come to life and die throughout the novel as Maddie points out in her post. The symmetry of page numbers between each named species living and dying represents a passing of time in other means.
I started realizing more often, in the second half of the book, the amount of times that Hailey and Sam use the word “time” and what they say about it. Sam’s side says the word “time” 76 times and Hailey’s, 67. Reflective numbers – whether that was intentional, I’m not sure. On both pages of 243, Sam/Hailey responds to a question with “We are the time.” And on pg. H282, it reads “Just doing time./ But away we roll. Out of order./ Because we’re items of time’s bend. Smited./ Beyond all United. To the end.” To me this passage seems like one of the most straightforward depictions of how Sam and Hailey are “together” even though they are not technically together in time. How they follow time as if it’s infinite and they are unaffected by it as other beings are. How they remain sixteen throughout the narratives despite the fact that the chronology is always moving forwards. They are infinite as they are through the novel, until the novel ends and they expire (on the copyright page).
This image was on the NY Times Sunday Book Review of Only Revolutions. I found this to be depictive of Hailey and Sam’s infinite being through time in the novel.