Just Write: Wait, It’s Time


It is 1:16 p.m.

The thoughts that go through my mind are fast like the gnat that is whizzing past my eyes, flying in seeming zigzags so I can’t easily smack it, buzzing past my ears, here in the dirty kitchen. I turn this way and that, trying to catch it, missing. Maybe I should just wash the dishes, take out the trash. Gnats are attracted to dirt, right? Or is it bananas? Wait, no, that’s fruit flies, I think. I am out of sorts, too busy; there isn’t enough time to concentrate on gnats. Or dishes.

I spin so hard trying to kill the gnat that I get dizzy and have to hold onto the sink to stop the swimming in my head. What if I pass out? The girls are old enough to call 911 and I’m glad to have insurance, but I’d be pissed when I woke up because my hair isn’t done.

These thoughts. They are jagged like the braces were against my gums in that one spot the orthodontist never seemed to clip short enough. Braces. At damn near 40. I never would have guessed. The amount of time spent on correcting my teeth, which will never be fully corrected, makes me sad. All this time. It seems wasted on vanity. My girls both need braces. Will it seem vain then? Will I be able to teach them that it’s about more than prettiness? I had mine removed last month.

The kids are out back  I can hear them through the window. God, this window sill is dirty. Why haven’t I found time to clean it? Will the Magic Eraser even work on that? I’m tired of frowning at the kitchen, displeased. It’s the whole house, really. I walk into each room and find something that upsets me. The living room where there are toys scattered. The dining room where there is mail covering one end of the table and has to be scooted aside every damn night before we can eat. Have I really not found the time to clean this up, to make a system so that it doesn’t simply repeat itself three days after it’s cleaned? The bathrooms, they stink. The bedrooms, there are clothes on the floor. I blame time. It’s not really time’s fault. I like having a scapegoat.

I daydream too much. I sit around and create (and, oftentimes, recreate), elaborate situations and scenarios that take away from the time I need, should be spending in reality. Reality sucks sometimes. Why would I want to be reminded of that? In three  months I will be 40. I stare at my children like they’re in one of those flip-through comics. I can see them at 2, 5, 7, fast like a mental/visual age progression. I don’t remember me at their ages. I bet we are similar. And vastly dissimilar.

These thoughts, they jump into my mind and flit and spin around in a dizzying swirl motion. So many things to consider, think about, decide on, do. The amount of time I’ve spent trying to get a gnat to now feels huge, like so many worthwhile things could have been accomplished. I’ve squandered yet another opportunity to make the most of my time. Everything is still dirty and I’m going outside to play.

It is 1:18 p.m.

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