Being born three weeks late seems to have established a behavioral pattern that I cannot avoid or change: I've always run late in my life. My tardiness has made an awareness of the current time – a measure of exactly how late I am – an absolute necessity. For years, I would even sleep with a watch on, so I would know what time I fell asleep, what time I woke from nightmares, and how long I overslept.
I'd always keep my eyes on the clock, watching time pass, waiting for then to be now.
When I started to come out to LA to drum up some business and scout out the possibility of actually moving here, I'd adjust to the local time on my watch on the plane when the pilot announced it, and when I returned to Eastern Time, I would not adjust it back. I'd just leave it on Pacific Time and add three hours to determine what time it was in New York, so that when I was in New York, I would always know, without calculation, what time it was in LA.
If I found myself grounded on the East Coast for any extended period of time, I'd eventually turn my watch back for local accuracy, but in that summer of 2010, when I was coming out here every six to eight weeks, I'd just leave it.
I liked being on West Coast Time.
I'm still glad that I'm out on the Best Coast, but when my watch battery died a few weeks ago and I decided not to spend the money to replace it, I stopped caring what time it was altogether.
Sure, I have appointments to keep, places to be, people to see, but I don't arrive any later now that I ever did while depending on my wrist to tell time.
In fact, I might actually be more punctual now.
Maybe it's because I generally have less to do, am pressuring myself less to fill the time. I'm not booked solid from day to night. I'm biding my time. Passing time. Letting time pass me by.
They say that the days go by so much more quickly as you get older, but the days feel long to me in my advancing years. Maybe it's the laid back pace of Southern California, a lack of urgency in a town devoid of Type A personalities. It's OK to be late here. It's OK if it doesn't happen right now, even if that means it never happens, because hey, the sun shines another day. As long as I may keep other people waiting, they keep me waiting even longer.
So while I wait for something to happen, for my brain to heal, for life to get better (or worse), for days to pass into night, I still set my alarm, if only to give me a perfectly sufficient amount of sleep, but I don't check the time in between. I am surrounded by manmade clocks keeping me in check – on my laptop, cell phone, and car dashboard – but if I could, I would live again on a schedule dictated by the sun, awaking at its rise and settling down at its set.
I don't know if there's enough time in the world to heal my wounds.
I guess only time will tell.
Time to Kill
The Waiting Game