the fat keister of time

Tonight I would like to express my displeasure with time. It’s shifty and stubborn. Sometimes there’s too much of it. Sometimes there’s not enough. No, not sometimes. Always there’s too much of it. Always there’s not enough. Time is fulsome in its brevity, always present, never passing too quickly to suit us, and when it does pass, the absence of whatever was here before seems outrageous. It’s madness. An affront to our sense of self and our urge to control things. We don’t want time to go anywhere, and then we do want it go — quickly, tout suite, right now, boss-man — but when, after all of that lazing around, it finally gets off its big blobby tuckus and itches to move on, we bitch and moan in protest. Time! What the hell, dude! Stick around! But there it goes.

Chris’ time here came and went. Now I’ve had more than two years without him. They passed. Without him. Life accumulated. Without him. And when I make the mistake of looking too far ahead, I see a gelatinous, shuddering ass-mass of time — 20 years? 30 years? 40? — and I begin to panic. It’s too much, so I look back; and then, for a time, I stay there. Until that becomes too much, too.

If only we could freeze and un-freeze memories, fast forward and rewind scenes — like Adam Sandler in that peculiar tragedy of contemporary disquietude, “Click.” That was an odd movie. But I felt it. I understood it. Time flies not when you’re having fun but when you’re distracted and ungrateful, when you’re not paying hard enough attention to all the many graces before you.

They were before me when Chris was alive. Did I pay attention then? I hope to God I did. They’re before me still. Do I pay attention now? I hope to God I do. My oldest daughter, Madeleine, came home today for Thanksgiving, and the noisy joy of eating take-out with my three children in the kitchen gave me a moment out of time to notice — and to treasure.

13 thoughts on “the fat keister of time

  1. I haven’t seen you in 30 years, Amy, and I don’t really ‘know’ you now, assuming I even really knew you at all then – it’s all a blur at this point – but I like you. I like you, and I respect you, and I’m really glad you’re here on Earth.

  2. There are three basic approaches to time and personality dictates which one is operative:

    1) The person they feels they can beat time and will at some point beat the shit out of it

    2) The person who does not give a hit about time and lets time wash off their back

    3) The person who never figure out that they have scheduled 48 hours of shit into 24 hours of time

  3. I have no clue how/why I was led to you but I’m so touched by your honesty & frankness. And you’ve made me very aware/grateful for what I have. Thank you FSO Lady. xxoo

  4. Based on my last comment about Nils, Randy, and Amy– there must be a genetic tie– did you guys share genes at some point?

    Dad

  5. I remember feeling some of this when my girls were babies, toddlers, in grade school, middle school and high school. I wanted to capture everything they said and did that I thought was so adorable or cool. And now I find myself wanting time to move fast sometimes and then realizing that I’ll miss what’s going on now if I focus on something in the future.

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