Time is an implacable enemy. I’ve fought this battle with time and its constraints for as long as I can remember. Which is, granted, not as far back as I once could remember, middle-age being what it is.

I feel certain that the things which require doing by me — jobs, projects, tasks, etc. — things which cannot be delegated, assigned or outsourced, would easily fill every waking moment of my time from now until my death, and possibly not be completed. And this is assuming I could STOP. Accrue nothing else to “the list,” reach a point of gaining momentum where I was scratching things off without the list lengthening.

This, of course, is impossible. The very enterprise of my life is a pointless farce, and yet I continue.

I have only recently learned that I have the privilege of continuing to pay for what I refer to as The Most Costly Vacation in History, a month-long trip to London, not taken by me, which has cost me not only thousands of dollars, but my relationship as well. And all I got was this lousy T-shirt. Tomorrow, whether I will or no, this trip will cost me another $1,400, drawn inexorably from an account as bare and overtaxed as Ma Hubbard’s cupboard.

And yet I continue.

Last night, I was able to escape for a time. I spent a lovely evening with a submissive in her 20s who seems to enjoy my company, and is young enough to find me “interesting” rather than “jaded.” This was made all the better because it occurred away from home base, which has lately come to be a living metaphor for all my loss and failure, one which I spend my days occupying.

But escape is a transitive state, and we can only run away so far, and for so long. So here I am. I’m not normally one to allow myself the luxury of catalepsy; but today, this afternoon, for just now, I’m welcoming the paralysis.

And then I’ll continue.

As I do.

2 Responses to Time is the Fire in Which We Burn

  • Freiherr Karza von Karnstein says:

    Time is an enemy to us all. And for a lot of people, life since the economic catastrophes of 2007-8 has been a painfully Sisyphean endeavour.

    That being said, the fact that you simply cannot stop is actually a strength, an advantage you have over 90-95% of the people affected by the events of recent years. You do multiple projects at once, and you are in a state of perpetual dissatisfaction. That means that complacency is alien to you. So is, and this is a crucial point, routine.

    Countless numbers of people have, in the past two or three years, seen their worlds fall apart because the assumptions they believed to be “givens” (in the mathematical sense) proved to be ephemeral in a rapid, violent and most distressing manner. They have been, in the interim, in a state of perpetual emotional and psychological crisis, because they simply cannot adapt. In short and sum, a good number of people today are cognitively and emotionally where the Capricans were after the Cylons used their homeworld for target practice. And they show no signs of being even remotely able to adapt.

    That is not a problem you have because, by your very disposition, by your very nature, your entire existence has been and is one of continuous, ongoing and eternal adaptation. As a result of this, you have a heightened sense of awareness as well as good, strong and operational instincts which are characteristic of a being who is eternally being hunted. Because who you are puts you in the perpetual state you are in, you have survival skills, as well as a hardiness, whose calibre far surpasses that of the ordinary person caught completely unawares by 2007-8.

    Let me give you an example. You are highly computer literate, or certainly enough to be aware that there is an Office 2007 Suite available today. I recently had to have dealings with 1) a “first class, renowned” financial institution, and 2) “a pioneering, world-fanous” research centre who–and you want to be sitting down before reading any further–are still using Windows fraking 98. The thing is, these institutions probably know that their OS is superannuated, but they simply choose not to commit the financial and man-hour (for training) resources to bring their operations up to date.

    We are both fans, or, at least, believers, in science, and I think it is safe to say that we both have more than a passing familiarity with the work of Charles Darwin. In Darwin’s conceptual framework, you are eminently more fit for survival than a substantial majority of the population.

    I am very sorry to hear about the loss of your relationship. I have not the slightest doubt, however, that you have the strength to overcome this massive change of situation, as painful as it is at the moment.

    You remain an inspiration. And you remain interesting…simply by being you. (And the last time I was twenty was several Administrations ago.)

  • Jack Driggers says:

    I did not know what transpired fully. I thank you for setting the record straight. One of my first commanders in the service told me something that has always stuck with me. It never gets easier, but it does get over. I always remember it when I am in a stressful situation.

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