The Speed of Time

Time is strange. Scientifically each second lasts long as the next and as the one before. No day is any longer than any other. But time only really matters in the way we experience it. Time can seem to move too fast sometimes and at other times painfully slow.

I have a love of numbers and counting, quite possibly of an obsessive-compulsive nature. I particularly like to count time. Time holds special meaning to me because I ‘see’ time through time-space synaesthesia. At any given time I can ‘feel’ and ‘see’ my precise location in space on the curves and slopes of my internal yearly calendar, on the span of time, and on the waves of the time of day. Even on this internal calendar not all time is created equal with some months being larger than others in space. Yet I like to count time as if by doing so I control the experience of it. I count minutes, hours, days, months, years. I count time elapsed, I count down time. I’ll even count seconds when I think it will make time pass more quickly. This assumes that time follows the scale and patterns dictated by the ticking of the clock, but it really does nothing to affect the speed of time in the manner I desire, be that to speed it up or slow it down, and it probably often has the opposite effect.

The 5 months we waited to meet felt like years as we got to know each other so well. Yet the minutes fly by when we talk on the phone. A 20 minute conversation with you feels like just a few minutes. When we talk for hours, it feels like an hour at the most. Waiting for you to come online or call sometimes feels like an eternity. Sometimes the passage of time can be agonizing.

We waited so long to meet and finally I arrived. The happiest moment in my life was stepping off that train and running into your arms. I can replay that moment in slow motion over and over again. I remember you leaning down trying to kiss me but I had to squeeze you first and hold you for a minute with my head buried in your chest before looking up at you and kissing you for the very first time. We spent 10 wonderful days and nights together, laughing, smiling, making love, holding each other, just looking at each other in disbelief that we were finally in each other’s presence. But before we knew it, it was over. We were husband and wife but we could no longer be together. Those were the fastest 10 days of my life! So many happy memories together, but it all ended way too fast! Even our goodbye seemed to happen so fast. The train pulled up, you helped me carry my luggage on, a quick hug and kiss and you were gone. While I can replay our meeting in slow motion, our goodbye flashes through my mind in an instant. And so began the long, sad train ride home. I cried and slept the whole way home. (Good thing I took that huge wad of kleenexs from your room before I left.) The all day journey seemed so much longer than on the way there when I was anticipating joy upon arrival. I no longer had anything to look forward to in the immediate future.

I longed for you before we even met. I knew it would get harder once we had finally been together and had to go back to being apart. What I didn’t anticipate is the feeling that time has practically ground to a hault. We’ve only been married for 13 days, but the last 8 of those have been spent apart. It feels like an eternity. Every second I long for you so deeply it physically hurts. Days are going by so slowly now, more slowly than I’ve ever experienced the passage of time. I had hoped that the next 16 months apart until we can finally be together forever would pass somewhat quickly, fueled by our memories of being together, but at this rate it feels like a lifetime until that day finally comes, a lifetime of tears and pain. I love you so much it hurts, and sometimes I don’t know how I’ll make it through to next spring when all I want is for you to be here right now, to hold you in my arms everyday, to fall asleep next to you each night, and to wake up next to you each and every morning for the rest of our lives. ♥


I wish I could speed up this clock.

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