Hi, Hey, Hello!
I was going to write something completely different for this post, but then a new idea that I could actually work with came to me towards the end of yoga on Sunday and I changed my mind, so now today’s post is this.
It’s based solely on the idea of ‘having too much time on your hands’
I used to spend my time just somehow killing time. Never really noticing seconds passing into minutes and then into hours and hours, not realising that I had lost an entire morning, afternoon, evening. An entire day to nothing.
I would spend hours reading the same sentence again and again to try and sear it into my memory on the off chance that it might be useful come an exam. Any exam. I could string quotes together with great ease when I was supposed to be thinking of maths and I could tell you all about sin, cos and tan when I was supposed to be remembering quotes and all that other literature stuff.
I would read for fun for full afternoons, sat curled up in a corner surrounded by cushions and blankets spooning ice cream into my mouth and frantically flicking the pages over. Holding my breath when the really good ones reach their climax. Totally losing myself in the perfectly printed black ink on the crisp white pages. The sun would rise or set, the sky would darken to a perfect deep blue black or brighten to a dusky blue purple. Storms would rage outside the window, raindrops would drip and stain glass, puddles would form next to kerbs and be splashed about by cars and those who couldn’t resist jumping in. Time would just slip pass me and I would never say that I regret spending time that way because it enriched my life in so many ways, but when I think about just how much time I spent that way it makes me want to cry a little.
I could have been using that time to see parts of the city I grew up in that I had never gotten around to seeing. Or going on day trips to other parts of the country that I’ve never even thought of visiting until I bought the ticket. I could have spent time getting outside of my little home bubble. My comfortable, little home bubble. The one that I nurtured to always make me feel safe. Perhaps it made me feel a little too safe. It became a place where I could create freely, which I am grateful I could do for myself, but it also made me very insular. I retreated into myself before I ever really got out there and explored the world around me.
My clock, the one on my wrist just by my pulse point, clicked into action at 465 hours. 19 days. My dad dropped to the floor when he noticed the green illumination coming from the underside of my wrist as I tapped away at my laptop on the day. He cried himself to sleep for the first 3 nights. That was 72 hours of him looking at me with glassy eyes, his lip quivering slightly, the broken sobs escaping from his throat in moments of silence, the uncontrollable weeping under the cover of darkness. When he finally steeled himself to the reality of what was happening we were left with 16 days.
16 days left. The clock would tick down all the way to 0 and then that would be it. My dad would be on his own. He’s stopped crying, but he still checks the inside of his left wrist religiously. He thinks I don’t notice when he does it, but I do. He’s checking to see if his clock has started ticking yet. He wants to know if he’s going to find out how long he has to be alive without me.
He’s not got that answer yet.
We’re at 4 days left and I don’t think he’s ever going to get that answer soon. We’ve spent the past 12 days getting things organised. The boring things, like what he should do with all my clothes, books, my school stuff. What he should do with my laptop, my diaries, my make up, the money in my bank account. I had to write notes to all my friends and the rest of the family, saying goodbye I guess. My dad doesn’t want me to have to do it person, probably because he doesn’t want to have to hear me say it out loud at any point before it happens. He hasn’t even said it yet.
We’ve been making plans about how to spend the final week, not that we are calling it that. Dad kept checking furiously what time I noticed that it was there and every time I have to tell him that it was him that noticed the ominous green first so he knows more about it than me. He’s figured out the exact minute that it ends. That’s the time scale that we’re working to.
The last 3 days have been exhausting, which is a ridiculous thing to complain about because soon I won’t get to be exhausted, but that’s where I’m at with life right now. The last few days have been full of emotion and fear and exhaustion and I find myself almost wishing more than anything in the world that I could have an afternoon to myself to just lose minutes and hours of my life. I wish I hadn’t been forced to realise just how precious my time was. I wish that I didn’t have to watch a part of my dad slowly dying as it becomes apparent that he is going to have to say goodbye to me before I do him. I wish we didn’t have to face this backwards idea of reality. I wish I could just read a book for fun and know that one day I could discuss it with someone in the future when I discover by chance that someone new has read it. I wish I could remember any single quote that I had to memorise from Moby Dick. I wish I knew how to find y when x equalled 6, or any other useless thing I had to learn in the attempt to better a future that I am not going to get.
I wish I wasn’t wasting time writing this, what will probably be my final diary entry because it’s taken nearly 90 minutes and I don’t just have 90 minutes to spare anymore. I can hear my dad moving around downstairs, he’s restless. He wants us to do something, to not just be sitting around like we have all the time in the world. I want to be doing that as well, but I’m just so tired. I have’t been this active in years. I haven’t had to be.
I wish I didn’t have to be. Not right now. Which is a dangerous mentality to take, but it’s the one that I have and I wish I didn’t.
And most of all, at this stage I wish I didn’t have 91 hours left.
There’s so much more that I want to do and I don’t want my dad to be alone yet…
Find me here: