Sobering Facts About Time

When I was little, time used to DRAG. I was easily bored, and difficult to silence. My Uncle once promised me money if I'd keep quiet for five minutes. After 45 seconds I asked him if it had been five minutes yet. At the wake services for my maternal grandmother, the only grandparent who had still been alive in my lifetime, it took a deck of Batman cards to keep me occupied(a deck which I not only still have, but near enough to double-check that mine are in color while the picture shows them in black-and-white for some reason). School was worse. I hated being away from my parents in this strange place with other people, and every day seemed an eternity. Once I began making friends I found ways to make time pass more quickly. We'd play games where we'd draw ships on a piece of looseleaf, then draw a dot and fold the paper in half, then draw on the back to transfer the ink and see if we got the other one's ship. It was kind of a low-tech Battleship, but we made it more interesting by drawing Tie Fighters and X-wings. Teachers couldn't get me to stop talking, and I was frequently moved around the classroom to reduce disruptiveness. In fourth grade, I was so far in the back of the room that the teacher didn't even notice when I climbed out a second-story window on to a ledge, just to see what it was like out there. She certainly noticed me on the way in though, as the blur between the time I felt a woman's nails bite into the flesh of my forearm and the time I found myself sitting in the principal's office can attest. I spent a lot of time in the principal's office, but had devised a game involving rubber bands and mail cubbies to pass the time. I would pull a rubber band back on my thumb and let it fly, and each slot was worth a different amount of points, the principal's being the most.

I'm a lot older and quieter now, and definitely better behaved. There are many factors upon which these traits could be blamed, although I'm skeptical to point a finger at something unlikely as maturity, given my interests and general juvenile mindset. Time hasn't changed, but my perception of it certainly has, and this is a factor consistent with my peers as well as my elders. A day goes by in the blink of an eye, and while I'm still wondering where my Summer went, the irrefutable fact is that tomorrow is the first day of DECEMBER. My job doesn't help. When I first started working after college I was bored often, not having my old group of friends around to talk to. I would stare out the window for what seemed like hours, only to have minutes pass. Eight hours seemed a very long time to sit in one place, after four years of college in which my longest class was under two hours, and I moved from one building to another throughout the day. They also didn't trust me with many things, although by the time I left the company I was doing the work of several people. Now I constantly have work to do in my current job, which makes the day go by frighteningly fast because I'm racing the clock to meet deadlines. What's worse is that we work several months ahead on issues, and I'm about to start designing my March issue. December? That was months ago as far as my catalog is concerned, and winter images are already behind me.

Being occupied, either with work or play, seems to be the key to time's passage. When bored or suffering, that's when time seems to drag out the longest. Yesterday I mentioned Seinfeld nostalgia. When I told my friend Rey how ridiculous I thought it was, he pointed out that the show's been off the air for five years. I was sure it had only been two, and was shocked to find that it has in fact been nearly SIX-AND-A-HALF years. So, just for fun/masochism, here are a few more sobering facts about the passage of my lifetime:

1) I've run out of time to finish this. Tune in tomorrow for....THE LIST....


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