Saturday 6 July 2013

How Much Time Do You Think You Are Worth

For the last couple of hours, I have been watching paint dry. Well, I haven’t been watching it all the time; it’s not as if it could do any harm if it weren’t watched. I suppose that I have been more waiting for it to dry than watching it. I have touched it to see if it was wet or just sticky, and the last time it was sticky or maybe clammy. It has been raining on and off all day, so I blame the humidity from keeping me putting on the second coat. Oh well…

I was thinking about waiting earlier today. I suppose that someone has calculated just what percentage of our lives is spent waiting. I bet over a lifetime I have waited a day or two for paint to dry. I always liked to get up early when I was working and inevitably I would be ready to go to work but have to wait for ten minutes so I didn’t get there too early. They were really adamant about us not starting work early and at one depot they would keep the doors locked until 6:55 to prevent us from starting early. The Post Office is probably one of the few places that stop the employees from working for free.

Every long time married man can attest that waiting for his wife would amount to several years. Not all at once, but the five or ten minutes before going out or that “I’ll just be a minute shopping.” does add up. We wait for the gas company guy to come, the cable guy and any other service guy that comes to the house. We wait for our computer to get repaired; we wait while our car is getting its annual servicing. We actually wait for our waiters! We wait at the doctors. The room is called the waiting room. We wait, wait, wait…

When I was eight or nine, I had the worst wait of my life and I still remember it as if it were yesterday. I was playing with my friend Ken Davis and he told me that he had to go to this thing the newspaper was having for all of the carriers at a school about five miles from where I lived. Ken said that it wouldn’t be too long and then we could hang out together after. There was a playground at the school and I had never been there before, so there should be no problem.

I waited while the day grew hotter and anything of any interest at all had no more interest for me. I was thirsty, I had to pee at the back of the school and time kept creeping on and still no Ken. I couldn’t leave because I said I would stay. For some reason, even though hours were passing I felt that I just couldn’t leave. I began to cry on and off. I don’t remember ever being that sad. Eventually, I knew that I had to leave, I had been there for hours with no word from Ken and well, I just had to leave. I took some clumps of dirt and wrote a message to Ken on the sidewalk. “Ken…I couldn’t stay…Ken”. I never did find out if he saw the message or even wondered what happened to me.

I cried all the way home, I don’t know if it was because I broke a promise or because I was that silly to have waited. It turned out that the “thing” Ken went to was an awards banquet and it went through the afternoon and past supper time. There was nothing he could do, he couldn’t get a message to me, and it wasn’t his fault.

He did however, tell me he wouldn’t be long and he was. You know, I don’t have any memories of Ken after that. I’m sure we met and played at school, but we were never friends again. I guess all of the waiting time that particular relationship had was used up. Maybe the worth of a person can be measured in how much time you are willing to wait for them.

How much time do you think you are worth?

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