As a child, I was quite adamant about not wasting time. Every moment, every second mattered to me, as I indulged in my favorite activities and games. I used to invent masterful stories about my barbie doll’s skirmishes with her boyfriend and how she eventually retaliated by embracing the spinster life in her beautiful pink mansion but then gave it all up for another hottie, courtesy of an overexposure to telenovelas.
Time mattered to me so much then as I tried to fill the hole with meaning, with stories, with my own imagination. My sister and I would keep a directory of our favorite imaginary friends, whom we would talk about constantly, as if they’d been real human beings. They were about our age and their imaginary lives were constantly steeped in drama. They had to be, for the sake of the conversation between me and my sister.
We’d devote even more time to our fantasy games. We’d pretend we were shipwrecked and floating on debris-which was made easy by the single bench in our yard-and we had to swim to scout for land-the ocean being the patch of wild grass growing in the garden-lest we’d die of hunger. We’d always come by some plantlets, which we would squash in our play pestle-and-mortar in such a fashion that you’d think we’d actually enjoy that for a career.
So much time we would spend recreating our favorite scenes, imagining stories, discovering new plants and flowers in the garden, gossiping about our imaginary friends and their ordeals. Time was sacred, it was the one thing that we valued, and the one thing we truly possessed that would never break, like so many of our toys would.
That doesn’t seem to hold true anymore. It’s a race against time as I try so miserably to imbue every meaningful moment in my mental directory. It leaves me with a desperate feeling of despair as I realize how tasteless the struggle against time can be. Every quest, every realization, every epiphany is rendered obsolete with the advent of new ones, reducing every value you ever held to smithereens.
In adulthood, time loses its sanctity as you try naively to fashion your life after your contemporaries’. It’s no longer a question of how to use your time to your own advantage, as you’d do if you were a kid, but how to use it productively, even if productivity mightn’t yield the same pleasure or mental balance. You constantly plan things and they happen quicker than you’d like, turning that whole experience into a dead-end event. You spend your time in bed with your lover, consummating the passion that ignites your senses, but owing to a strange law in this universe, the things that make you feel good, oughtn’t last.
Time is like a discursive poem. It breaks from the flow and meanders away from it, taking you with it as you try to make sense of its slapdash behavior. But there is no mystery, it doesn’t make sense. Time, this vague illusion-like so many other markers of reality-exists only if you exist but this strange world has concealed this fact from so many. Time, the only true wealth you possess, is exchanged for pecuniary wealth that depletes your spirit and vandalizes your innocence.
Time transforms the lascivious vixen into the gaunt old lady who forgets everything, and then time no longer seems to matter, when your aged mind forgets it even exists.