RECENTLY, I had a milestone birthday that sort of coincided with the advent in my life of computers. As a result, I thought about what my life would look like if you could quantify it -- push the button and get a printout of the way I have spent my time. I just spent 2.3 minutes writing that last sentence.
I have spent 11 months of my life waiting for other people to get out of the bathroom and 3 years in the bathroom itself. I have spent half of my life asleep and 4 years trying to get awake and 2 years pacing the floor in the middle of the night trying to get to sleep.
I have spent 4 years worrying and 3 months laughing and 3 weeks and 2 days in sexual ecstasy. As a result, I have spent 12 years in guilt. Four and a half years of my life have been spent waiting for the phone to ring. I spent 1 month answering wrong numbers.
I've been drunk for a week and hung over for 2 and depressed for 7 months. I was underweight for 22 years and overweight for 18 years and just right for a week and 2 days. I have spent 39 years thinking about sex and only 1 year giving it no thought. It was my first year.
I have spent 4 years walking my dog, 2 hours burying goldfish, 13 minutes looking at tropical fish and 15 years and 4 months thinking about what I should have said to certain people. I have spent 1 hour and 12 minutes saying exactly the right thing.
I have spent 10 months in elevators, 4 months in line at the supermarket, 4 years on line in the bank and 1 year and 2 months paying bills. I have spent 23 years reading newspapers, 3 weeks reading Consumer Reports articles about things I would never buy, 3 months listening to strange noises in my car and 6 months worrying if the noises will cost me money.
Five weeks of my life have been spent saying I'm sorry. Two years of my life were spent asking what's new.Four years were spent asking, "How are you?" and 2 seconds were spent waiting for the reply. I have said the word "fine" enough times to amount to 16 weeks and I have accumulated 1 year's worth of "its no problem." I have never said the check is in the mail but when I was younger, I spent 2.3 years talking girls into sex and 23 minutes having what then passed for sex. That's been my ratio with a lot of things.
I have spent 1 week so far wondering if Ronald Reagan is right about the economy and another imagining a stack of thousand dollar bills 67 miles high, and yet another week imagining the unemployed standing three feet apart and stretching, as Reagan said, from Maine to California. I imagine that this is his plan for the unemployed.
On the good side, I have spent 14 years listening to Mozart and 13.1 with Cole Porter and the boys. Books have taken 39 years and good friends 37 years and terrific relatives 14.7. I'm going to do better from now on. I have spent 2 years just watching the ocean and 14 years just peering into fireplace fires and a lifetime hugging the people I love. I spent 13 seconds sinking baskets that went swish and 2.3 seconds feeling the sensation of a home run and half of a second landing an uppercut on an opponent's jaw. Oh, how sweet it was!
I have spent 11 months and two days looking for keys and 2 years waiting for my car in the garage across the street and 3.2 years staring at the coffee pot in the morning, waiting for the coffee to be ready. I have spent 4 months calling for cabs on the phone, 5 months listening to busy signals and 4 days and 3 hours recently listening to dopey songs about yellow ribbons.
For 14 years I thought the Left had all the answers and for 2 weeks I thought the Right had all the answers and for 2 minutes once I understood economics. I have spent 4 months trying to remember things I forgot (maybe it's more) and 3 weeks early on telling my mother that if I knew where I had lost something it would not be lost. I spent a lot of time losing things. h
I have spent 14 weeks just wondering about time -- what time it was, where it went, what I had done with it and what was I going to do with whatever I had left. I don't do that anymore.
I no longer have the time.