monday grumps: time

12/07/2010 § Leave a comment

Front door slamming, the stomping of feet up the hollow, wooden stairs startled me awake from an afternoon nap. Face smooshed against my body pillow, my sleeping companion, I groggily lifted my lids. How long had I been asleep? What time was it?

Peeling myself from my foetal position, I checked my phone. Rest assured, my nap was only 20 minutes — the perfect amount of time for optimal rest, according to research. Somehow, I still felt exhausted.

I dreamed of a far off place that light could barely reach. The world I was in offered an alternate dimension of sorts — sandy dunes and foreign species. There was a task I had to do, something obscure but given more time I’m sure I would have been given instructions. It rendered the dream incomplete. Now I may never find out its true meaning.

I decided to venture down the stairs to the source of the kitchen cupboard rummaging, half knowing that it was T, but half expecting a mutant rodent from a third dimension.

T & I:

– So sorry, dude. I had no idea anyone was home. I got groceries and am making some food. Organizing the cupboards and such.

– Yeah, man. You were loud.

– Sorry.

– It’s ok.

I was most definitely, unjustly, grumpy.

As a notorious napper, I thought that I would feel refreshed, as I usually am. I have frequently used power-naps to re-stimulate and recharge my body and mind. It’s the power of a siesta.

However, this particular day, clouds grey and teary, there is an oppressive air pushing down on my chest. I find myself not breathing, tensing up with a familiar anxiety that I longed to forget. Things are changing and it’s difficult to keep up. The sensation is overwhelming.

It made me think of my dream. I did not feel trapped in the desert, but purposefully planted. The arid heat was velvety, not stifling, the sand was like powdered sugar, not abrasive between my toes. The wind was more like an embrace from a loved one as opposed to a forceful blowtorch on my face, the offensive kind that leaves one’s cheeks feeling as if they have been seared and forever scarred. The desert was a place of solitude where I could be still and with my self.

The days have gotten busy with plans and summer has blown by. Time has evaded me, once again, a perpetual trickster playing hide-and-go-seek. It doesn’t matter when counting to ten or one-hundred, it always finds the best hiding places.

I think people find it difficult to relate to time. We try to quantify it with deadlines yet qualify it with being “well spent”, being on time for work or passing it in the park with friends like an invisible game of catch. We refer to it with tangible properties, as if we can hold onto it or manipulate it, but in the end it is like air: we can’t see it, but we know we need it to live.

Stan (a regular) & I:

– Well, uh, I don’t know, how old are you? You told me once before but I forget.

– No, Stan. I never told you how old I am. You can guess, if you like.

– Yeah, you have. You are in your twenties, 23 or something. You told me once.

– Approaching a quarter-century, man.

– Well, at least you don’t look it (nervous giggle).

– Thanks, man.

Is age a measurement of time?

Right now, something is fascinating me: Questions of age, looking like an age, acting like an age. If we took away the age, what would we have left? I wonder if the slate would be clean to look and challenge a person’s essence as opposed to his or her years traversing time.  Perhapsit is because we believe there is a limit to accomplishment, by a certain time — a marker of success.

Right now, I have to run, I have run out of time. I am going to walk a dog and he is working on a schedule. Got to run to walk to run.


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