Thursday, 18 May 2017

Whole in One

Time is a slippery devil!
It gives, it retracts. Yawns and sighs like a person needing their bed in the middle of the day and drags on until the homecoming hour and then speeds up so that it's lost in the end-of-day commute and other preparations for the morrow. Sleep, at the appropriate hour, doesn't last as long as it feels it should, which amounts to a barely awake, glum-looking, glum-feeling workforce.
There are many, I think, who would welcome Death for a long, long, sleep. Blasphemous, yes, but not untrue. If I could prick my finger on a spindle I would do, though I'm not sure I'd ever want that particular curse to be broken. To wake up and resume what's left of my life in a very different world to the one I departed, though possibly having to continue the same drabness as before would be a worse fate. 
This imagination of mine, as helped along by Kurt Vonnegut and fairy tales of old, finds it all too easy to make that leap – a leap of time in the shape of a giant's foot – where a whole world slumbers as the earth's clock goes haywire, to wake up a zillion years later either in a life familiar or in an unrecognisable world.
Would time have frozen, moved backwards and forwards, or passed as normal with nobody to comment on or watch it? Would it matter if it had done all of those if the whole of humanity was dead to the world?
A further, more perplexing question is: are we sleeping now? Drifting through the lives we lead, or think we're leading, in a spaced-out mode. Peace, man.
Awake, yet not. Acting with what we think is Free Will, but is it really? The term redefined to suit whatever doctrine, with barely a hair between what is and what isn't. How many actions are yours and yours alone? All are or eventually become repetitious, with some so finely tuned you don't even realise that a) you're doing whatever it is whenever you're doing it, and b) it's as regular as clockwork.
Hmm, half-past four, time for tea and a dunk-able biscuit. And yes, we do that in the South too, but mainly with Digestives and Rich Tea and not crumblier varieties. The biscuits you dunk is as personal as how you fill (or kill) time when you exercise Free Will, or think you're exercising it. And dunking has a crucial time factor.
Our love of time strikes again! Get it just right and your mouth receives a delicious tea-soaked biscuit, just the right softness in texture; time it all wrong and you not only lose half the biscuit but also get to choke on the buoyant crumbs. There's an exact science behind it: the temperature of tea to the thickness of biscuit, the ratio of biscuit to tea, unless you're aiming for a whole soggy mess in one large mouthful. Whatever floats your boat, takes your fancy, and it's a very useless, yet enjoyable way to fill (or kill, whichever you prefer) time when you have more on your hands than you know what to do with.
Golf, I believe, is a popular past-time for this. Hmm, me and ball sports, ball sports and I, it's an accident-waiting-to-happen combined with a land of missed opportunities where the club or racket hits the turf or the air, and maybe a leg or an arm, and where the ball if, by a miracle, whacked goes in the opposite direction to the one intended or embarrassingly lands at my size six-and-a-half feet (the half in the case of shoe size is important!) with a dull, unsatisfying thud. No, I'll stick to experimentally dunking biscuits in tea. Whole in one!
Seriously, well, sort of, why isn't there a donor bank? No, not to give MY time as in also have to give with my brain or person (i.e. be physically present in a time-donor situation) as I know those already exist, but to donate whatever I don't have a need for to someone who might use it more productively than I would or currently do; or alternatively to save for a day when a few banked hours would be useful.
Way too much or far too little. Do we all have that problem? And what should we do in moments of deja vu – rerun or redo? Peace, man. Dunk biscuits.

Picture credit: Several Circles, c1926, Kandinsky