He had always said he’d finish his book, when he found the time. It’d been 3 years now. There it sat, 126 pages of the 300 needed. He knew it was good, he just needed to sit down and do it!
First it was Jen; then Deb; then that scooba diving class. It all took up his free time and he was tired of it. Sure, Deb still comes around but they’re not as close as they once were. And what a bust that scooba class was! He lives 1200 miles from the ocean! That wasn’t what his dad would call ‘Money well spent!’.
He was walking his talking trail. A trail out behind the park that nobody goes on, so he actually talks to himself. Has a conversation, his right brain talking with the left brain. But, it’s not working this time. He has to be back at the house soon for that conference call at 5. He sits down on a log,
“Why can’t I just get in a 2 hour nap when I need one?” He asks aloud.
“Because you don’t really need one.” Says a voice from the brush.
He jumps up, startled and a little afraid. A man with more lines in his face than a Los Angeles road map steps out from the brush.
“Sorry friend, didn’t mean to scare ya none.” the old wrinkly man said.
“That’s okay. I’ve just never seen anyone back here before.”
“Not many come out this far. They’re all too busy to appreciate what Mother Earth has put back here.” Wrinkly man said, as that’s what he had decided to call him.
“Yeah, I lose track of time when I come back this way. It’s the one place I can get away from it all. But, I’ve got a meeting in about 20 minutes, so I best be headin’ out.” He said.
“Nah, you got time.” Wrinkly man said.
“No, I’ve got a meeting at 5, and it’s… 3??” He looks at his watch in amazement. He had just looked at his watch, and it was 4:40.
“See? You got the time, sit down a spell.” Wrinkly man says, as he takes a seat on the log.
“Wow, my watch battery must be going out. I didn’t leave the house until four… and it’s…3??” He was beginning to lose his grasp of the time of day.
He played it all back in his mind; he got back from the gym at 3:30… took a dump… then headed out here.
“No use tryin’ to understand it. It just is.” Wrinkly man says.
“What just is?” He asks.
“Time. You just gained 2 hours of your life back. It happens back here a lot. To those that need it, anyhow.”
“No, that’s not possible… I mean… time just doesn’t… ” he’s running out of words.
“It’s just time. Can’t see it, can’t smell it, definitely can’t touch it. So, you get back a couple of hours. No one will know.” Wrinkly man says off-handedly.
“But to everyone else in the world… it’s… the two hours is….” He tries to justify time in his head.
“You’ll drive yourself plum bonkers if you try and make head nor tails of it. Just accept it, take that two hours or however long, and put it to good use. You said you needed a nap, didn’t cha? Take a nap. Them naps are good.” He couldn’t understand how the wrinkly man was making sense of a senseless concept.
“Yeah, maybe I should go lay down. It was nice chatting with ya.” He says still trying to make some kind of sense of it all. Surely the old man was just pulling his leg. Maybe there’s a weird magnetic field back here that screws up watches.
“Well, we’ll see ya back here tomorrow.” The old wrinkly man says as he himself stands and walks off into the brush.
“Tomorrow? What makes you think I’ll be back tomorrow?” he asks curiously.
“I heard ya, you said you just need some more time. Out here is where time is. When you want time, this is where you’ll come.”
“How long have you known about this? Do you come out here to save some time?” He asks.
The old wrinkly man smiles, his face wrinkles up all over again. He has obviously smiled a lot in his lifetime.
“Yeah, I spend a good deal of time out here. I was just like you, needed more time in the day to get everything done in time. But, I learned the hard way that your time is what you make of it. I found a lot of extra time from being out here, a lot of extra time.” his smile was becoming full of regret.
“It’s what you DO with that time… and trust me on this. It’s best if you just rearrange things so you make your own time. Because coming out here for a little every day is just…” his voice trails off as he ventures out into the brush.
“What?? What happens by coming out here every day?” He yells back at the old man who reappears from behind a frond of grass.
“My friend…. I’m 33 years old. You wouldn’t know it from lookin’ at me, now would’ja? But, I got all the time in the world.” With a somewhat mournful smirk, he disappears into the brush.