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Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Where Did the Time Go?
“Time is your friend” is a good phrase to soothe a scrambled mind.
Unfortunately, of late, my old friend time seems to have been holding out on me. He slips away from me when I need him most.
Like this past Monday.
I had offered to take someone to his dermatologist’s office for a little outpatient surgery. Before going there, though, he wanted to take me out to lunch.
He usually does this. It’s his payback for my transporting him from one place to another. Not having a vehicle of his own, he still hasn’t figured out that filling my car with a tank of gas is cheaper than inviting me to a restaurant.
I don’t complain.
We went to a restaurant he’d heard about and wanted to try. I loved my entree. He hated his. I liked my dessert. He couldn’t finish his. He did enjoy his cup of after-dinner coffee. Mine was...coffee.
No big deal. Some friendships are based on mutual likes, others on contradictions.
But soon we had to take off to get uptown to his doctor’s office, and we did it pretty quickly, considering it was storming, and I don’t like driving in bad weather in this city or in the outer parishes where the people already don’t drive well on a pretty day in Spring.
After his surgery, he asked if I could swing by another doctor of his. This guy had some sample meds waiting for him.
Driving away, he mentioned that he had a prescription from the dermatologist he needed to fill, could we stop at the Walgreen’s on Elysian Fields?
“Any place else you need to go to?” I asked as we were pulling away from the drugstore.
“Nope, we’re done,” he said.
So I began to drive him home.
As we neared his place, he asked, “Where are you taking me?”
“Oh, no, I wanted to go to the Golden Lantern.”
“!“ I said as I took a u-turn on Rampart Street to backtrack and get him to his watering hole.
Where I dumped him.
Free at last?
Nope, not quite. I forgot to mention that during the meal I was having up there at the beginning of this saga, Bobby had called me to ask if I would pick him up a burger and fries on my way home.
So it was back down St. Claude to St. Roch, to the Rally’s that Bobby likes.
At nearly 4:00 o’clock.
How was I going to take my nap now?
Since my retirement, I have found great pleasure in daily naps. They do something to my body’s chemistry, something nice. That’s how addictions start, and I will admit that I have become addicted to my naps.
But on Monday, there was no time. I had to be at a rehearsal of our play by 6:30, and there was no way I could experience a decent sleep before having to gather my wits about me and face a handful of people who would expect me to act like the authority figure they want me to be. So I didn’t nap.
When it was time to rehearse, I was there. It went well, but when it was over, I didn’t go home.
I went to the Golden Lantern for some “me” time. For some quality time to unwind. And it was there where I found my old friend time, sitting there waiting for me.
“Where you been?” he asked.
“Dude, I could say the same thing to you.”
“I’ve been running, man.”
“You’ve been running! What do you think I’ve been doing all day?”
“Them’s the breaks, bro. Sometimes I just need a little time for myself,” he said. “You think this gig is easy? It’s not, man. It’s tough. You think most of my people take the time to pay me any mind? They don’t. They take me for granted, brother. They use me. Oh, yeah. ‘Time’ll take care of that.’ ‘Time heals all wounds.’ ‘Time will bring her around.’ It never ends. Lemme tell you something, asshat. All of y’all work for me! It ain’t the other way around. Y’all need to straighten up.”
I noticed some of the other patrons in the bar beginning to eye my buddy time. I needed to calm him down.
Putting aside my own rough patch of a day, I said to him, “I understand how you feel, bubba. But remember...time is your friend.”
He looked at me like I was crazy.
“Buy me a drink,” he said.