A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Saturday, May 19, 2018

No Sentimentality on the Time Train

On Friday, I had to use one of my PTO (Paid Time Off) days for a surgical procedure.  The days of using such time for recreation or just down time — what many would consider a vacation — are far away in the rear-view mirror.  Now I need to save my time for medical and/or surgery appointments.

This realization alone is depressing, as is the other realization that we Americans may be witnessing the last days of American democracy.  The passing of the unique American brand of life, liberty and justice for all is blog fodder for another time…

My appointment today was glaucoma surgery* very early in the morning, then a follow up with the surgeon at his office in the early afternoon.  The location of the surgery is only 20 miles away, but the most efficient way to get there is a toll road, the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  My follow up appointment was at the surgeon’s office down the street from the surgery center, but six hours later.  There was not enough time to return home, only to turn around and come back in time for the afternoon festivities.  That would not have been an efficient use of my resources (time + distance + money = ?).

Thus, I had a five-hour layover in some not-too-distant-town where I had no knowledge of where to go to hang out waiting for the office follow up.  In the old days there were such places called libraries where you could sit quietly and read a few periodicals.  I had no idea where the local periodical emporium was located in this burg. 
A bar would have been my second choice, but many do not open earlier than 11:00. I needed someplace to be at say, 8:00 AM. Also, I think I needed to be in some form of sobriety for my appointment.  

The next logical choice would be a diner where I could get hot tea and a nice breakfast, but that is only good for an hour if you’re by yourself and no one is there to help you pass the time.

I thought about all this as I waited for the surgeon to appear.  Normally I would be upset and growing more upset by the minute if the surgeon was running late, but this day was not normal.  Today I had (cliché #1 incoming) more time on my hands then I could shake a stick at.   I would not have minded if the good physician was held up in traffic, as every minute waiting on him would be one less minute I would need to (cliché #2 incoming) kill later on.

Alas, fate was against me today: the physician arrived on time and completed my procedure so efficiently that I was done by 7:15 AM!   Just my luck…

Until his arrival, I had an opportunity to contemplate the concept of time itself.  I watched the clock waiting for the doctor. 

Today’s gazing activity was the first time in my 58 years that I made a point of observing at what point the minute hand moved to its next increment relative to where the second hand was on the dial.   The more I thought about this relationship the more I began to despise the lowly second, the lowest animal visible on most clock faces.

Think about this, if you dare.   The second passes by with such velocity to get out of the way of the second coming after it that it has no time (I meant to say “chance”.  Sorry.) to acknowledge what it meant to our existence.  Imagine, it doesn’t look over its shoulder and bid us goodbye as the second-hand sweeps past them and renders their significance to our lives as moot.  The seconds are not at all sentimental about their chance encounter with us.  Seconds come, go, and move on.   Incoming cliché #3: seconds (time) waits for no one.

I began to assign rankings to each time increment.  The second would be the private to the minute’s rank as sergeant, which in turn would allow the hour to be ranked as the major of the clock and…and…and clearly, I spent too much of my own on the time train.   

The moment had arrived to get off this train of thought as the physician came through the door.   And I didn’t even think to wave good bye to any of the seconds!  It served the little buggers right!

*Another potential blog entry.  It’s a short, five-minute procedure where laser lights are flashed through the retina to improve the pressure at the back of your eye.  I must admit to deriving pleasure making others squirm when I describe the procedure as shooting laser needles into the eyeball. **

**Are you squirming yet?

(Thank you for reading.  I value the amount of, ahem, time you spent with me.)


Blogger Deedles said...

Wow! You have enough imagination bursting out of you that you can sit in a diner and make up stories while people watching for hours on end! You sentence wouldn't even be clunky (I envy that).
As for the squirming? I've been getting injections in my eyes for a year and a half, so far. My squirming button went out of commission when my balder half asked my eye doctor (as he was plunging the needle in, mind you), if an eyeball ever burst from the needle! I may have metaphorically passed out because I don't recall the answer. Nope, spiders have to be involved for me to squirm.

You are a joy to read.

May 19, 2018 at 1:28 PM  
Blogger Raybeard said...

When I first read this post about 12 hours ago I was assuming that the lasers aimed into your eyes would be much the same as the flashes one endures when they're taking a photo of the retina, an experience which is part of my annual diabetes check and isn't a great problem. Coming back and reading again, I now see that it's a rather more drastic procedure than that, so yes, I'm squirming.

May 19, 2018 at 3:26 PM  
Blogger Dave R said...

No squirming here. They fired firey lasers burning searing holes into my irises for glaucoma over a year ago. I like firey lasers rather than laser needles since it's much more violent, like a video game.

May 19, 2018 at 7:49 PM  
Blogger todd gunther said...

Thank you Deedles. I try my best, but the ideas don't come as quickly as they used to.

I have the same photo exam at least once a year, Raybeard. Yes, the glaucoma procedure is a bit more intense.

Thank you Dave R. I think this was my fourth time in the last 15 years that I had to have this laser procedure. I hope I won't have to do it again for awhile.

May 20, 2018 at 9:47 AM  
Blogger Ur-spo said...

this was a very thoughtful post indeed
I dread the day I need anything done with my eyes.

May 20, 2018 at 10:48 PM  
Blogger todd gunther said...

Thank you, Spo. i hope you're having a restful weekend.

May 27, 2018 at 8:57 AM  

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