The part of daily living I have trouble coming to terms with is that one minute you’re here…and the next minute you’re not…no matter how long you were here in the first place.
Yeah…well, neither does the rest of it.
The first time I recall actually recognizing how fast time was slip slidin away was in the early part of 6th grade.
I was sitting in my room, one sunny, Saturday afternoon, being bored, when I should have been out playing basketball or something with my friends.
I liked to be bored back then—not sure why. My mom would ask me what I was going to do, and I would answer, “Just sit in my room and be bored.”
And she would respond, “Okay…have fun”…not at all realizing that fun defeats the whole purpose of boredom…but that’s how moms are, I guess.
Anyway, it suddenly hit me that I had just—or so it seemed—been sitting in the exact same chair, in the exact same corner of my room, the Saturday before…being bored.
So I immediately made the cognitive leap of faith that, before I knew it, I would be sitting in the exact same chair, in the exact same corner of my room, the next Saturday…being bored.
WTF! I thought to myself…time is slipping away at an alarming speed!
Actually, I don’t think I ever used alarming as an adjective back them, and WTF hadn’t been coined yet and, if you think about it…which you really shouldn’t…why would I be shout thinking in internet abbreviation?
So, yeah...if there’s one thing I’ve never been able to master, it’s the passage of time. It befuddles me, it hypnotizes me, and it confuses me. Even more so when the stage remains the same while the play constantly changes. If the stage were to change then maybe it would be easier to grasp.
Life rushes past my fixed position, whether physical or emotional, so I never see the progression. The world around me changes, yet my core remains the same…or so I'd like to believe.
Perhaps if I had sat in the basement once in a while, just to mix things up a bit, reliving all the good times I had when I was locked down there during my formative years.
Actually, I wasn’t really locked down there…they just told me that I was. I could have pushed the kitchen table away from the door if I’d really wanted to.
But, no…I was fine with it. I found the inside of the dryer to be strangely comforting, especially on my trips to Mars.
Again, I’m meandering from the point, which, if I keep typing silliness, may come back to me.
Uhm…okay…the point is—I think—nowadays, like most folk of my particular generation, I’ve settled in…and have been for quite a while. In fact, this settling in is pretty much the thing we strive for throughout the majority of our youth.
It’s natural for people to work hard—unless you’re a writer—climb the ladder, nurture relationships, grow some capital, both financial and emotional, until, finally, one day, you reach a place in life where you sit back, put your feet up and say…“Where the frick did all the time go…how did I get so goshdum old…so fast???”
And it’s unsettling, because you actually do find yourself saying things like “goshdum”.
Not sure why…
Old is relative of course to whatever particular plateau you’ve landed on.
40-50-60-80-125…none of those seem particularly old once you’ve driven by them and stopped to peek back down the hill.
I mean, I was feeling old at 11, counting the wall paper eagles (1,3067) in my room…"Darn, I miss being 6"…and now I know it was all because I was letting time—the time I was actually breathing—slip slidin away.
And I still do that, day in and day out; chasing an elusive carrot, focused on a future that perhaps, has long since come and gone.
I just never noticed.
But how do you notice a figment of your imagination, even if you knew what a figment actually looked like?
Sure, the scenery changes, as well as the actors and the plot…but, for the most part, the stage remains the same.
I’ve come to see that’s just how it is…how I am.
What can I say…I find comfort watching from my same old, comfortable chair, counting eagles on the wall.
But it’s my choice, as well as yours, how we each decide to define our time.
In the end, all I hope…both now and in the figment future…is that time—my time—is appreciated and well spent, right now, right here; not slip slidin away….
You know the nearer your destination
The more you're slip slidin' away….