I can watch television for hours, frying in my own worthless time belt like a krispy kreme donut hurtling through its grease geyser destiny. This time graffiti doesn’t faze me in the least. I don’t find myself going highwire in my mind with pleading, plodding raps to Longfellow’s ghost about the theft of precious moments.
Put me in line at a grocery store? Time becomes more precious than bottled water at an amusement park. That’s when it occurs to me that time is a platinum milkshake and I’m spilling it. Time is Dick Clark finally being caught. It’s the fleeting stream of haunt delivered up by the Carpenters. Time is Reggie Jackson going from “Mr. October” to grumpy old man. Time is Spiro to my Nero.
Those were my thoughts as I waited in line behind a soccer mom dressed in Crocs and an artificial tan as she busily searched through her myriad of bonus cards as if a prison guard rummaging through a loop of keys. The spirit of Jobs was playing babysitter to her brood of ‘tweeners: a girl from Bieber’s frontlines thumb wrestled with an i-Pod while her sister appeared as if she was trying to strangle the life out of mom’s i-Phone.
The space-time continuum was being vandalized by overdone Lancome. This woman wasn’t killing time, she was chopping it up and dumping it in the river. This was a holy war on the hours of a day. This woman was scattering the sands of my hour-glass as if she had the Moody Blues on speed dial.
I wondered if my end would come before I was able to see the Grand Canyon, or Paris; before I was able to take advantage of a 2 for 1 deal on Doritos. How unfair.
Out of desperation, necessity forced my noggin into some calisthenics.
“Here, use mine.”
I handed her my bonus card and she smiled. “Thank you.”
She tapped my card across the scanner as if a safecracker inside of T-minus and then she commanded her regiment to bag up their quarry in double time. I checked my watch, the damage was not nearly as severe as I had imagined. It was like waking up on Christmas morning with Sofia Vergara laying next to me. Okay, that’s redundant.
Thoreau took generous leisure with his metaphors when he likened time to a stream he went a-fishing in. Spoken like a man who never had to wait in line.