I’m getting my teeth cleaned, right? And the hygienist is doing that part where they poke around at your gums. I’m staring into the light just past her head, trying to go to my happy place. Instead, I’m sucked into this slow as molasses, grandfather clock, tick-tock, pick-poke zone thinkin’ is she ever gonna finish?
Or, I’m getting ready to go away for the weekend with Charlie. We’re gonna head down the coast for a second honeymoon, leave Friday, right after work. The big day arrives. I’ve set aside some time before my shift down to the A&P to pack. Well, things start off normal enough, but then the situation gets wonky. Every time I glance at the clock, it’s five, ten, fifteen minutes later than I think it should be. The closer it gets to when I have to leave, the quicker time’s flyin’ by. Finally, I reach the tippin’ point where I know there’s no way I’m gonna get it all done before I have to go to work. Which means a time crunch later, throwin’ my clothes and stuff all willy-nilly into my suitcase, then rushing around the house, pullin’ things together while Charlie waits in the car with the engine runnin’!
I don’t remember time ever bein’ like this in my twenties, thirties. Even forties. When I was a kid, sure. Time would speed up when I was playin’, or right before I had to go to bed, then slow down again when I was sitting in school waitin’ for the bell to ring. Or I’d be squirmin’ in the pew at church wonderin’ if we were gettin’ close to communion, ‘cause that meant mass was almost over.
But this speeding up and slowing down of time in my youth was a gentler, more reliable thing, almost like breathing. Expandin’ and contractin’, expandin’ and contractin’.
Now, time feels more like a slinky, unpredictable and undependable. One minute, I have a hold of it. The next, time’s tumblin’ down the stairs, end over end, pickin’ up speed, then slamming to a full stop at the bottom.
It’s that full stop that’s become more alluring the older I get. I can’t control the time warp, but I can accept and savor the pause: a nap, a cup of tea with the latest issue of the Oprah magazine. Takin’ a minute to scratch Scamp’s belly or kiss the top of Charlie’s head. The full stop is a gift. I’m not cursin’ time for goin’ too fast, or wishing it away ‘cause it’s goin’ so slow. I’m here lingerin’ in the pause, for as long as it lasts.
Bugger, look at the time! I gotta hurry up to get to work, so I can stand at register 3 starin’ at the clock as the minutes slowly tick-tock by. Beam me up, Scotty!
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side!
Comin’ Up This Summer:
June 27: Book Signing, Savoir Flare, 3:00-7:00pm, Berlin, NH
July 2: Book Reading, Belfast Free Library, 6:30pm
July 13: Signing and Featured Reader, Books in Boothbay, 11:30am-3:30pm, Boothbay Harbor, ME
July 14: Book Reading, Casco Public Library, 4:00pm
July 16: Book Reading, Rangeley Public Library, 6:00pm
July 20: I Married an Alien!, Western Maine Storytelling Festival, 7:00pm, Farmington, ME
July 22: Book Reading, Huntington Common, 3:00pm, Kennebunk, ME
July 25: The Moose in Me, The Moose in You! Keynote Speech, DKG 2013 Northeast Regional Conference, Portland, ME
August 16: I Married an Alien!, Deertrees Theatre, 7:30pm, Harrison, ME
August 17: Islandport Authorfest, Book Signing with John Ford and Mark Ricketts, Kittery Trading Post, 11:00am-2:00pm, Kittery, ME
August 22: Ida: Woman Who Runs With the Moose!, ACT ONE Festival 2013, 2:00pm & 8:00pm, Portsmouth, NH
August 29: I Married an Alien!, ACT ONE Festival 2013, 2:00pm & 8:00pm, Portsmouth, NH
For details, please check out the schedule page on my website: http://www.idaswebsite.com/schedule/