Time is a thing that happens daily

3 May

In elementary school, teachers were obsessed with the ideas of timelines. It felt like we were forever sketching timelines of famous peoples’ lives, or particularly interesting periods in history, or a day in the life of a pet. Personally, I never tried to apply that logic to my own life; at least, not beyond college.

Life didn’t exist beyond college, at least not in a realistic sense. I planned on marriage, kids, milestones or whatever, but not in any great detail. Or even a little detail. But as soon as I earned the last of my college credits, I had the strangest feeling. It’s like when Wile E. Coyote walks off the edge of a cliff, but doesn’t fall until he realizes where he is – a good five seconds after the fact.

In real life, my cliff was college. The five seconds felt more like…a year. I looked down, realized it was all over, and hilarity ensued.

Actually, it was poop for awhile. My first couple of months post-graduating were…less than enthused. Like the genius I’ve always been, I willingly agreed to work mornings at Dunkin’ Donuts. I lived in my parents’ attic. When I wasn’t pouring coffee, I was slouched in front of the computer in my pajamas, scouring the internet for anything that slightly resembled a job; personal assistant, dog-walker, freelance porn editor…on second thought, why did I never pursue freelance porn editor?!

But my life has made a major shift in that one year. I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on my past – a thing which I’ve held onto dearly for, well, forever. If I’ve ever snapped a photo of you and smiled, then you know that I have a hard time letting go of the past. If you’ve seen my ticket stub and random-box-of-memories collections, you know I have a really hard time letting go of the past. I want to remember everything exactly as it happened. As I’ve found, though, it seems like I’ve remembered a lot of unnecessary bullshit. Case in point:

The green-tiled floor looked like it was moving from how many dust bunnies had accumulated on it. They danced around with ease, thanks to the open windows behind me. It was the fourth grade, and I was sitting in class with my class and our teacher, Mrs. Strawoet. I sat, uncomfortably, in a stiff and prickly wooden chair while she lectured on about math or verbs or something. When all of a sudden…

“Mrs. Strawoet…”

An interruption. Finally, something to free me from this horribly boring and detestably lulling cl-

“…my nose is bleeding…”

EWWWWW. I switched my gaze to see a dark red stream of blood seeping from Sean Pierce’s left nostril. Fucking sick.

“Oh my! Children, just stay in your seats, we’ll take care of this,” Mrs. Strawoet so politely explained as she hurried Sean over to the garbage can. I guess the garbage can doubles as Nosebleed Station when you’re in the fourth grade.

The seconds ticked by like hours. How long does a nosebleed take to heal? Are they just going to stand there and wait for it to be done? I wonder if it’s just blood coming out, or maybe part of his BRAINS are coming out? I can just look in the garbage can when they’re done, just to make sure there’s no brains… man, I wish I could see that blood up close, though, like, right now. There’s gotta be brains or something worthwhile in there to make them freak out so much over this nosebleed. I just need an excuse to go up there…”

Without hesitation, I rolled up a piece of paper and stood up to toss it into the garbage can. I guess I just really wanted to be involved in all the commotion. What a mistake.

“PAM! WHAT ARE YOU DOING? DO YOU SERIOUSLY NEED TO THROW THAT AWAY RIGHT NOW? DON’T YOU SEE SEAN’S NOSE IS BLEEDING? GO SIT DOWN!”

For 15 years, that day has haunted me. Tons of things from my childhood haunt me. I was an idiot. Like this one time during a orchestra concert, when I put a bunch of little toys on my music stand because I had seen other little girls do it. Only they put one or two little trinkets on there. I put my entire Littlest Pet Shop collection on it. And of course, when I turned a page too quickly…

Oh, God...no...

Woopsie!

…my instructor was super-pissed. I can’t remember her name at the moment…Mrs…Scanley? Scanlon? Scantron? Oh well. Regardless, she screamed at me for awhile about embarrassing her and making a fool out of the whole production, yadda yadda yadda, and I never played a flute again!

Just kidding. THE POINT IS, no matter what has gone on in my life, however mortifying or life-ending it seemed at the time, I’m glad I’ve remembered it. I didn’t worry about my future when I was a kid. I’m not saying I don’t need to worry about it now, but I definitely don’t need to feel guilty for not worrying about it.

If I make minimum wage for the rest of my life, time will still exist.

If I never get married and never have a family, time will still exist.

Even if I die tomorrow in a deliciously-tragic ice cream accident; time will still exist. Life will go on. The world will be okay. The people I love and care about will be okay.

Meow!

C:

And that is why I’m not going to worry about it anymore.

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