I took my watch off this weekend. I wanted to get rid of my tan line and it was the only respectable thing I could remove. I have been without a watch for long periods. When you are in jail it is one of the identifying features to be removed. I suppose it saves the odd wealthy person from being mugged but outside of that it only succeeds in slowing down time which crawls at the best of time. I never heard an inmate mutter anything about time flying. “Wow, it’s been six months, where does the time go?” A season like summer can fly by if you’re a student but in jail or hospital it’s simply long and hot. When it is over often there is another season to endure.

When I was in the Hole, time did not exist in a fashion I was used to. Circadian rhythms were blocked out by the concrete surrounding me. The only cycle I knew was delivered on a tray and often did not coincide with any hunger. If I was able to sleep I would wake up and wait for a guard to peek through my four inch window. I would gesture to my wrist and he would hold up fingers. I would already have my blankets folded and be ready for a meal. Often it was three in the morning. I had no fridge to open to occupy myself with food. There was no TV and iPods weren’t even invented let alone allowed. There was no one to ask “are you sleeping?” in the hope of stirring another into my uncomfortable void. Usually I would vacuum. I always went barefoot and would walk around my 5 by 8 and brush crumbs and lint that collected on my feet into my toilet. I retain this habit and can often be found in my apartment brushing whatever might cling to my feet into my toilet or the nearest garbage. I have a cat and dog so the vacuum is always running. The entire jail slept while I ran my jail powered model. The guards would sometimes put me in different Holes and medical cells and I am certain it was in part due to my cleanliness. Some cleaning fell on their shoulders and it was delegated to me. I could write a housekeeping article on how to use toilet paper and water to make your “house” sparkle.

I digress. Back to time, rather than back in time. Without my watch this weekend I was conscious of how many times I looked at the pale skin on my wrist. I didn’t have my “friend?” to tell me things. Time tells us when to eat, whether we are hungry or not and when to sleep, whether we are tired or not. Time tells us when to come and go, whether we are ready to or not. It tells us when we can drive, vote and drink as though a day causes some miraculous shift in maturity. Time tells us we have plenty of it or not enough. It can change our behaviour from relaxed to stressed simply with a glance at some gears on our wrist. Time tells us how old we are regardless of how we might feel otherwise. Time tells us when to have children or to make the attempt. It can tell us we should be married despite happiness or whether we are in love or not. Time can tell us many things but maybe we need to listen more to ourselves.

Time is a measurement created by mankind but is it a measure of mankind? All life is seemingly moved by time but humans seem the only creatures bound by minutes. The sun rises on time and sets on time but there can be no time like the present to get your vacuuming done 🙂

7 thoughts on “Time

  1. I have just been a month without my watch (because it was broken) and that taught me so many things that I would never have expected. I won’t bore you with them all (phew, he says!) but I noticed that I felt out of control to start with. I didn’t know where I was at in relation to the world around me, and I didn’t like it. I can’t begin to imagine the experiences you described but it’s amazing how important time is too us. I also find it interesting that my cat survived perfectly well without a watch, clock or even a phone to tell her when dinner/bed/ breakfast times were. She was always right on the minute. 🙂

    • We all have rhythms that flow through our lives and those of our pets. Being without a timepiece makes you wonder if precision adds to life or takes away. Sorry for the late reply, I kicked a cord on my computer and figured it out after 2 days. It’s still giving me problems so if you could message Bill Gates and ask him for a refund I would appreciate it. I hope you’re having a good week, I also wanted to commend you on your support group. I’m sure your efforts make an impact.

      • Thank you and be assured the msg is on it’s fast-tracked way to Bill. Hopefully he’ll act fast because we need you back here. I’m very unimpressed that it took you two days! What were you thinking??? lol

        My support groups (one for BPD and one for self harm recovery)keep me very busy at the moment but they’re good. I know they help people and it is good for me to be able to give something back. Today I have been trying to operate on my phone as I’ve been out on my brother’s farm. Phone coverage isn’t good so it’s been very frustrating. Hopefully tomorrow is better. Take care. 😎

  2. My watch battery died several days ago and then some cheeky bugg*r stole it! So I replaced it yesterday. I can’t do without my watch or a watch. Nevertheless, the weekend went so fast because I didn’t have my watch on me.

    • It is interesting how our perception of time changes. Time and distance often seem less precise and more open to interpretation. It’s like when you take a trip somewhere. Going there and coming home are often two different experiences of time, one is slow and the other not so much. I hope things are good with you.

  3. When my watch battery died a few months ago, I decided I would just look at my cell phone to see the time. You know, like most people do these days. But I kept glancing at my blank wrist, so I then replaced the battery as soon as I could.

    • I’m old school. When cell phone technology took off I wasn’t able to participate so I am a little behind the TIMES 😉 I never thought of looking at my phone for the time but like you say it is a habit to look at ones wrist. What interests me most is all the information looking at our wrists provides. It tells us far more than where the sun is in the sky. It tells us where to be and at times how to be. If it was a friend we might be inclined to tell it where to go.

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