I've been at least fifteen minutes late most of my life. I've tied neckties in rearview mirrors. I've pulled belts through belt loops at stop lights. I've awkwardly stood next to brides about to proceed down the aisle. After the ushers had hurried to their seats. "So, glad you're going through with it?"
I've cut the first locks of hair moments before Friday evening dates. Illegal U-turns on No Turn On Red's to catch hooligans in SUV's who'd egged my car. Okay, that one had nothing to do with being late.
And now, in total disregard for his biological clock, Boy Demsick missed his due date. It was yesterday. And he's late.
A thing I've never quite experienced is happening. I have to wait.
Now I think I understand the pain of so many perfectionists who've synchronized their watches perfectly to the rhythm of the world. I think I see what makes their little whirling time bomb mechanisms tick. I know why they get that annoyed look in their eyes.
It's a strange feeling, waiting. It's...boring. You tap your foot. To the left. To the right. You look around. If you have a pocket, you explore its contents. Again.
You consider talking to yourself. You pass on the tempting offer.
And the irony is that most prepared people are the ones who have to wait. Those who are consumed with precisely filling every moment, timing their punctuality impressively on the dot, those are the ones who have absolutely nothing to do when they get there. According to everyone else, early, they are right. On. Time.
It is as though the universe creates a vortex during that void and delays all of existence for a moment until life catches up.
Physicists talk of events ocurring in vacuums- speeding bullets, thundering trains, rockets, and missiles- all are useless and ineffectual examples. None of these are real.
The only thing that happens in a vacuum is absolutely nothing.
And now, a break from the nerd talk for a completely
random picture of the view today on our beach walk.
(...also conveniently metaphorical to the nerd talk.)
Nothing is exactly what exists in the space between "I'm on time. Where is everyone?" and "Almost there..."
And it's really boring.
Unfortunately, on this day, it is I who have fallen into the class of the perfectionist who is "early." For once in my life, I am right on time; it is I who have to turn back the ticking time bomb of my expectations and casually strike up a conversation with myself over speeding bullets or the arc of flying pocket change. In a vacuum.
And I have to wait.
So, my boy,
from someone who has a lot of experience in this area,
would you consider the advice of your father this once...
...and try to be on time?