Time is an illusion

May 1, 2010


Meet the masters of my morning, Alarm Clock, Bathroom Clock, and Kitchen Clock. Together, they perform the amazing feat of getting me out the door and to work relatively on time.

I???m lucky that my office is pretty flexible about arrival time. My bosses only ask that we are there by 9:30 and put our eight hours in. Some people get there much earlier, some of us get there right around that time.

I am not a morning person, and even though I adore sleeping and wish I did more of it, I often stay up later than I meant to; case in point right now, though I did just get home from a show. But you will notice that I am not going right to bed, even though it is midnight:30 and I want to get up promptly tomorrow morning to fit some things in before I need to be someplace at noon.

So in order to increase the chances that I???ll do the responsible thing day after day and get to work on time, I engage in self-trickery with my analog clocks. You know, the ones that are willing accomplices because they aren???t governed by a network time server. Alarm Clock is set five minutes fast, and Bathroom Clock and Kitchen Clock are set about seven or eight minutes fast.

When I use Alarm Clock, I rarely don???t set it for on the hour, whatever hour that is. I don???t believe in the seven-minute snooze???what use is that? You can???t work up a good head of sleep in seven minutes. No, I work with sixty-minute snoozes because I reset the alarm time, and that???s easiest to do in whole hours. Very occasionally, I???ll reset it for half past, but not usually because that would take, like, fifteen seconds to wait for the minutes to get to 30. I want to be back in bed, man.

By the time I stop at my computer to check in with my peeps on the way from my bed to my shower (because I???m so pathetic that I can???t wait half an hour until I could multitask it with eating breakfast), it appears to be about twenty after the hour. I get anxious and move fast.

Summer is a wonderful thing because I can ride my bike to work, which takes about eight minutes less than walking to the light rail station, waiting for the next train, and enduring the seven minute ride. Work is 1.75 miles away and the bike ride takes about 10 minutes. I know how to hit the traffic lights.

But if I do take the light rail, I know that my preferred carriage, the 9:11, almost always comes two minutes early, so I???m doing alright if I???m walking out the door when Kitchen Clock says 9:10.

The light rail platform clocks are obviously on a network time server because they match my iPhone exactly. For the rest of the day, then, I???m on precise time until Alarm Clock takes back over at bedtime and I think, uh oh, I???m getting to bed five even more minutes later than I meant to.

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