This originally appeared in The Inner Swine Volume 12, Issue 4
FRIENDS, as loyal readers of TIS you know well that I am obsessed with time and its ravages upon me. All intelligent beings should be obsessed with time, because that’s time behind you, fucking you in the ass on a daily basis. And then you’re dead and buried, my friend—because Time finally killed you—Time will still be there, and will still be fucking you in the ass, for a while at least, as it takes your comely form and transforms it into a horrorshow of bugs, rot, and general decomposition.
So, normally I go around whining a lot about wasted time. I hate to waste time. I hate to stand in lines and will gladly go elsewhere to avoid it—people who will stand in line for things mystify me. Like taverns—who in fuck waits in line for a bar? Idiots, I think. Idiots who don’t realize that the same booze and the same quality of drunken, morally-loose people exists just about anywhere that a bottle of Jagermeister is kept. Or coffee—the lines at Starbucks enrage me. The other day I was at an airport and went seeking coffee, and the line outside Starbucks was wrapped around the fucking concourse, while two or three other coffee sources were abandoned. Starbucks coffee sucks balls, but if you actually like it, is it really so much better than all other coffee in the world that you’d rather stand in line and waste some of your precious life staring at the ass of the stranger in front of you than just take a chance on another brand of coffee?
That’s the power of brands, I guess, the lure of having everything be exactly the same all the time, guaranteed, but that’s the subject of a different article, isn’t it.
No, I go to great lengths, usually, to avoid wasting my time—but it can’t always be avoided. Sometimes you have to sit in waiting rooms, or on airplanes, or at your desk at work. Sometimes you have to speak with your fellow humans for long periods of time during which all your mental energy is used up maintaining faked interest in the conversation and imaging your head exploding, splattering brains and blood everywhere. Sometimes you’re informed that you’ve already called in sick twenty-three times this year and one more will mean your dismissal. Sometimes, like it or not, you simply have to waste some of your precious time. Think of time-wasting as if Time were blood. Imagine you sometime have to tear open a vein and spill some blood, and that you could never regenerate the blood you lose, so that someday you’d spill too much, run dry, and die. That’s the way to think about wasting time.
I’ve gotten pretty good at avoiding time-sucking scenarios, or at least at modifying them to my advantage. Once you realize you’re an adult and can make your own decisions, you can trim down the wastage pretty fast simply by choosing not to do things—like waiting in lines unless absolutely necessary. You do, after all, have full power over your life in some sense, so you can structure everything around not wasting time, from your job to your home life. Go for it.
Me, I’m too sleepy. I handle not wasting time by transforming it into time well-used. While I firmly believe I am the first human smart enough to have thought of this (a few ultra-smart Dolphins have probably already invented this), there is always the possibility that other geniuses are applying this technique quietly across the globe. I will ignore this possibility, however, and claim it as my own. The trick is simple: Always have something constructive to do with you. Me, I’m a writer, so I bring a notebook, a book, and sometimes a laptop. These amazing tools allow me to transform just about any otherwise wasted moment into a productive one, doing something I love.