I think everybody’s late. Yep. That has to be the case. Everybody’s late. Have you seen how people behave? How they drive? How they rush through the stores? How they watch their watches when they’re on the beach?
Everybody’s late. For something.
I first noticed this at the Norfolk Botanical Garden, as I walked along, and took pictures of everything, daisies, roses, lilies, magnolias, camellias, squirrels, birds, ducks. I took pictures of everything. And while I wandered through the garden, I listened to the music I liked, playing on my MP3 player. I was always there at least two hours, and sometimes over three.
I never had a schedule while I was there. Never thought, “I need to see this, and then this, and then this.” Never thought, “I have to be home by this time.”
You do know, don’t you, I don’t wear a watch. I don’t even own a watch.
As I walked through the garden, I noticed other people walking. And almost all of them were walking for a purpose. Walking to an objective, or a goal. They were running a lap around the garden, or walking a lap, and when the lap ended, they left. They didn’t stop to look at the flowers, or the trees. They marched straight through, until they wound up back at their cars.
It made me sad. Made me feel sorry for them. Because I knew they didn’t see the things I saw. Didn’t see the beauty of the camellia trees in full bloom in January and February. Didn’t see the pinks, whites, or reds of those blooms. They stayed to their paths, and got done with what they were doing. And all the colors, all the blooms, all the beauty of the place, wasn’t on the paths. It was between the trees, hidden from the paved walkways.
They didn’t see the delicate beauty of the roses. Over 1000 rose bushes, and most of them walked through. They looked side to side, saw the colors, but never stopped, never took the time to look, and see the velvety texture of the petals, or the morning dew on them.
Always, they returned to their cars, and left. Right on schedule. Right on time for whatever they had next on their schedules.
They race to work each day, don’t they. I know, I’ve watched them. I’ve seen them wait until the last possible moment, then dash to their cars, many still getting ready for work, drinking their coffee, eating a muffin, or pop-tart, or cereal bar. I’ve watched women in the car behind me, as they put on their makeup, eye-shadow, toner, lipstick, and whatever else they use. Makeup is a mystery to me. I found it interesting to watch. But I also knew, they put it on in the car, because they were late. They didn’t have time to finish at home.
I’ve watched men shave with electric razors, as they drove along the highway, at 65 or more. One hand on the wheel, one on the razor, dragging it all over their face. And I’ve wondered how they get where they’re going without crashing.
Always, they rush. Always, they’re late.
Late for work. Late for church. Late for the opening of the store. Late for breakfast. Late for lunch. Late for dinner. Late getting home. Late, late, late.
Did I mention I don’t have a watch?
In the first year I was in therapy, the receptionist said to me, “You don’t have a watch, do you.”
I held up my wrist, no watch on it, “Nope.”
She sighed, and looked puzzled, and asked, “How come you’re never late?”
The simple answer to her question? Because I always leave on time.
And I wonder, why does everyone rush so much? Why are they in such a hurry? Why do they always look at their watches, and the clocks on their phones, and in their cars?
Why are they always late?
I have a doctor’s appointment in June. I know the time. I know the date. I know I’ll be there with time to spare. I won’t be late. And I won’t have to rush, or hurry, to get there. Just like I never race to get to work, where I’m scheduled to be five times a week. And no one remembers when I was late, or if I ever was. I’m not there on time. I’m there early. Always early.
And so I wonder. Why all the rush? Why all the insanity.
Is everyone late?
It’s April 16th, and I’m a still two days behind on the A to Z Challenge for 2016. Only 14 more letters to write stories for this month.
Please, go explore the A to Z Challenge, and the sites of others who are participating in this adventure.