Humanity Man: Time

Time. Is there anything more mysterious or paradoxical in our lives than time?

Time is both friend and foe. It is loved and despised. It’s yours and it’s mine.

Time will leave the party way to early during happy times and overstay it’s welcome during unpleasant ones. Time will pull us from our warm, comfy beds during wintery mornings and send us back to that same bed before we want to. Time will cause most of us to feel anxious when we’re not on it and it will make us feel our mortality when we’re in it.

Our writers have written about it, our singers have sung about it, and for those of us who had to learn about time on a clock with a big and small hand, it was our second proudest moment of our young lives when we were able to tell it. (The first was learning to tie our own shoes.)

Time is so all-pervasive we needed to segment it into decades, years, months, weeks, days, hours, and minutes.

Yes, those three and sometimes four numbers that are on our stoves, cell phones, televisions, etc. dictate our lives with the brutality usually reserved for third world dictators. Time makes us feel hungry when we realize it’s nearing dinnertime, it will make us feel tired when we realize how late it is, and it makes us feel old when we realize how much of it we have used.

All of this raises a very intriguing query. Although time has made us believe otherwise, we can actually get by just fine without it. Think about it for a moment, my fellow zombie. All’s we really need to survive is air, food, and water. Everything else is strictly comfort.

But can we live without it? That’s a tough one to answer.

Yours truly tried it, though. Here’s how the experiment went:

My Auntie Sue and mom bought a trailer in the lovely little town of Birch Bay, Washington for themselves and other family members use as a getaway. Lisa, my travelling companion and I took advantage of their generosity and headed down there for a week. As we drove, we listened to a song by Arizonian singer/songwriter, Roger Clyne. In the song, Roger sings “I’m in a place that’s not a where in a time that’s not a when and there’s not a why in sight at all.”

It is a well-liked lyric of Lisa’s and mine. Once we got to the trailer and were unpacking, I noticed the lone clock on the wall was way off. I reached to fix it, but caught myself and smiled.

“What?” Lisa asked.

“Wanna live in a time that’s not a when?” My smile grew wider.

“You’re on,” she responded.

We left the clock the way it was and hid our cell phones. We ate when we were hungry, we drank when we were thirsty, and we slept when we were tired. As best we could, we ignored time entirely. (I say ‘as best we could’ because time is a wily old bugger. If we drove anywhere, the clock on Lisa’s dashboard assaulted us. Hence, we limited our driving but it was impossible to not know the time for the entire week.)

We did pretty good, though, and we learned some pretty cool things.

For example, do you know how hard it is feel guilty for drinking Coronas on a sandy beach at 10:30 A.M. when you don’t know it’s 10:30 A.M.? It’s also perfectly fine to barbeque steaks at 10:00 P.M. because time didn’t remind you that you were hungry at 6:00. And naps? Please. A little siesta at 2:00 in the afternoon does not mean you’re lazy because you have no freaking idea you’re in the middle of the afternoon.

How about it, my fellow zombie? Are you up for the challenge of going clock-less however you can?

Try it. You won’t regret it. Lisa and I did it and we had, well, the time of our lives.

Humanity Man resides on this beautiful yet quirky planet we call earth. He likes peace, happiness, and clock-less holidays. He dislikes war, hate, and watches.