In Feb. 28 IssueRussell County NewsBy Wade Daffron, Columnist
I have finally realized my life is dictated by “time.”
Oh, but not my time-it’s always somebody’s or something’s else’s
I had this great epiphany Monday, when I had to travel to Wayne County for a library-related meeting. (Yes, librarians have meetings, and it’s not just a bunch of us sitting around reading book. NOTE TO SELF-It would be neat to have a meeting where all we do is sit around and read books.)
My day started at 6 a.m., or at least I thought it was 6 a.m.
I’m never sure because I have the cautionary habit of setting my bedside clock anywhere from 30-45 minutes “fast.”
That way, I hope to “gain” some time each morning. But that seldom works when I can’t remember exactly how far ahead I have set my clock.
Doesn’t matter, though.
Whether I wake up at 4 a.m. or 7:45 a.m., I always seem to leave the house at 7:55 a.m. to be at work by 8 a.m.
OK, so, off to the bath-where is the only place I ever really get any sleep.
As usual, I fell asleep in the bath, and woke up in a panicked splash-not having any idea what time it was. (Notice I did NOT drink my bathwater this time.)
Day-after-day I tell myself I will put some sort of clock in the bathroom so I won’t suffer the reoccurring dilemma.
I always forget…because I run out of time.
It’s always a heart-pounding moment when I fling open the bathroom door to see what time the bedroom clock says.
Sometimes I’m all alone, standing there naked and wet (NOT a pretty site), sometimes there will be a confused child (may or may not be one of ours), sometimes it’s my wife, Renee’, who says, “Do you know what time it is? You didn’t fall asleep in there again, did you?”
Moving on…find some clothes…should have laid them out the night before.
Pants, shirt…shoes? Only one shoe?
ARGH! Find another pair. No wait, here’s the shoe I needed.
Gettin’ mighty close to 8 a.m.
In an attempt to be efficient, I decide to email our Assistant Director, Glenda York, so she will know I will be away today. I did tell everybody I had a meeting, right?
Better be sure. Just a quick email…which took over 10 minutes to compose and send.
ACK! It’s already 8 a.m., and I have to be in Monticello by 9 a.m.
Or is it 10 a.m.?
Shoot! I never can get this “fast time,” “slow time” thing right.
FINALLY…on the road.
WHAT?! Where’d all my gas go?
Gotta get some gas. I’m thirsty, too. But it would take too much time to get a drink.
Oh, good, I’m the only one in here.
I’m two steps from the counter when someone appears to drop out of the ceiling-right in front of me-and they want lottery tickets. Scratch-offs. A bunch of them.
And, of course, they want to stand there and scratch them off.
Great...a couple of winners…which are traded in for more scratch-offs.
The clerk sees me squirming like I have to pee or something, and takes my money for the gas.
On the road…again. Just like Willie Nelson.
Parkway…set cruise…unset cruise…those are blue lights up there.
Somerset...MUST AVOID STOPLIGHTS.
Take backroads…getting mighty close to 8:30 a.m.
But wait, it’s 9:30 a.m. in Somerset, and Somerset’s on the same time as Monticello, right?
Moving on…doing well…oh, snap.
Is that a TRACTOR up head?
Why, oh WHY is there a tractor in front of me.
Pass the tractor.
Get back on the “27” and head toward Wayne County like I’ve got fire ants in my britches.
Wait…what does that sign say?
I take the detour which is basically a steep-pitched, loop like something a deranged child would build with one of those toy racing tracks.
The “detour” spits me out on a familiar road, and I speed toward Monticello.
Hmmm…was that a police car?
“Not today,” I declare, “I’m on official library business.”
I quickly dart into a roadside convenient store.
The blue streak didn’t even slow down as it passed.
Just outside of Monticello-close enough to see signs that say things like, “Blah-blah-blah, Monticello, five miles ahead.”
Cool, OK, now where was I supposed to meet these people?
Ah…where the “old” Walmart used to be-which, is ironically, next to where the “new” Walmart is.”
And it’s 9:51 a.m. in Monticello.
I see a familiar vehicle and familiar people.
The meeting lasts…over four hours.
With my amazing vision, I can read the watch on someone sitting roughly 20 feet away from me, and it looks like “3:02 p.m.”
Is that “fast time,” or “slow time?”
I remember in attempt to be efficient, and save myself time, since I am going through Pulaski County, I planned to make a book run in…JABEZ.
Even when you are in the heart of Jabez you are still far away from Jabez.
“Miles to go before I sleep.”
Off like a rocket toward Somerset.
Hoping to avoid farm implements, I stay on “27” and hit every friggin’ stoplight along the road. I think I lost count at 104, I think.
I finally get to the parkway, and speed toward the Nancy exit en route to Jabez.
Is the sun setting?
What time is it?
I look at the clock on the car radio, and I can’t remember if I had set it to “fast time” or not.
It’s either almost 4 p.m. or 5 p.m.
It’s a l-o-n-g trip on the winding road to Jabez.
I almost feel as if I’m going backwards.
I see cows and horses walking to barns for the evening, people bringing in shirts and sheets from clothelines, people emptying supper scraps into their yards.
It’s evening time and I haven’t delivered the first book yet.
Those awaiting me have been patient, and one family even offers to have me as a guest for supper.
”I’d love to,” I said, “but I don’t have time.”
(But I did have some cherry cobbler. Yum. Really-What would you do?)
I remember I probably need to pick my youngest son, Drake, up at day care.
Uh-oh. Is it after 4 p.m., or after 5 p.m.?
By now I have totally lost track of “fast” and “slow” time.
I arrive back in Russell Springs, surprised to find my wife still at work.
“What are you still doing here?” I ask.
“It’s not time to go home yet?” she says. “We close at 5 p.m.”
I stand there looking my normal, confused self.
“Wait…” she says, “you didn’t think you were running late, did you?”