So I have absolutely no sense of time. I make memories based on sensory experiences, which means I often confuse whether something happened one day, one year or 10 years ago. That also means that my time management is random and illogical at best. It’s one of the most complex and unavoidable love-hate relationships in my life. It is the bane of my existence, and the reason for most of my successes.
Time has always eluded me, abused me, or abandoned me. Sheis no friend to me—actually she’s a bitch; and I’m caught in an unending Sapphic spat. They say time yields for no man. But for some women, time will tumble. It falls like ash from cigarette butts. It floats like a leisurely breeze tangled in freshly hung laundry. It lands at naked feet like bath towels thrown to the floor in anticipation of an inviting immersion. I’ve watched women all my life, bend time into knots, and force it to acquiesce to their will. The cadence of my mother’s voice, the joyful rhythm of my aunts clapping hands, the footsteps of elders across my heart—they always had impeccable timing. But at me, time laughs because we are not well acquainted.
I remember days as a brown girl sprawled like a ragdoll across my great-grandmothers blankets, bathing in summer sun beneath pine trees;
Like Adam, I would appoint each rolling cloud with a name or species. I stalked wild rabbits in empty fields, all the while ignorant of time. I did not know it then, but that was bliss.
Time—she was a vapor, a ghostly stalking figment—an invisible screen stretched out beneath me. Always present, never seen. And although she cradled me, my youth rarely felt her touch.
Then time crept up. Like plumes of smoke she coiled around a pubescent body and blossomed it into the fullness of womanhood. Her grip tightened ever so slightly—molding curves, shaping thoughts, carving out passionate caverns for art, and love and ambition.
But then we fought. We fought about deadlines, and appointments, missed assignments and presentations. I raced to catch her, to calm her. I wooed her with vacation days and promises of lazy Sunday mornings. And that bitch just laughed in my face. She ran from me, she hid from me. She spat on me with the sound of alarm clocks screeching for 7AM conference calls. She teased me with long work days that stretched infinitely into the night. Time tore out spaces for hate, and hurt—for broken hearts, failure and loss. Time was a thief that took more than she ever paid for.
And so we are estranged—Time and I. We dance on occasion,only to end in our lover’s quarrel with a bitter breakup. There’s never enough of her, because her hours run dry, the party always ends, the kiss always fades and she always steals the people I love the most.
This divorce from Time could be disastrous for some. Society is engaged in an interminable race—and each rat yearns to cross imaginary lines of victory. Time is a god for so many. They worship her, they wake to her, the set their watches and their hearts by her. They build the temples of their lives around the when, around the day, and the hour.
Am I too late to find love? Am I too old to have children?
How old is this cheese? When did you buy that milk? Tick. Tick. Tick. Did you pay it on time? Did you call back within 24 hours? What’s the turnaround time? Tick. Tick. Tick.
Time is ornery and invisible. She is the only one bold and pure enough to precede the Creator. If in the beginning, was the Word, then there must be a beginning. So there stood Time, escorting the Word into existence. Without time, there is no Quantum Physics, no Velocity, no engineering, no rhythm, nosong.
She’s everywhere; akin to space, and an extension of the Creator himself—Time can be a didactic dictator. But don’t let her control you. Learn to love her in moments, and haggle with her in secret. In the morning, rise to the beat of your own heart. Count your smile lines more than you count your wrinkles. Instead of making time, in the name of getting more time—make time for love, and passion, good sex and bad breakups, make time for thought and experience, make time to feel and to sense.
I’m no longer ignorant of time—just indifferent. Because Time, she will be the one to birth you, and she will be the one to escort you into that most final night. Fight her and she’ll swallow you in a crushing wave of dates and to dos. Make amends with her and she will serve you for an eternity.
*Looks at watch* I think that’s all the time I’ve got today, it’s your turn to hunt her down.