In which we steal time

For some reason, lately, the feeling of losing time overwhelms me. Time is a construct, it only has meaning because we give it meaning. And because I need to function around the structure of a clock in order to get to work when I’m expected to be there, time has meaning in my life.

I have taken to stealing back moments, and in the summer it’s a bit easier. It’s warm out and light out into the depths of the evening. So, we can walk down the beach and swim at 9:30. We can drive to the bakery that’s open ’til eleven for popovers and chamomile tea. And then we’ll fade off to sleep late into the night, and I’ll be rushing around in the morning to make it out the door on time. It’s a balancing act.

When my fiancé and I first started spending time together, these moments did not strain us the way they do now. One night, the eve of Fourth of July weekend, we decided to go for a walk. We decided to go barefoot. We walked to the beach, to the playground, to  the bridge, to the cemetery. And he said, “Do you want to keep going?” And I did, so we walked all the way to the dike — a man-made road bridging what was once a small island to the mainland. This was a three mile walk. And then we realized we needed to turn around and walk back to his apartment. Still barefoot.

I got home after two in the morning, went to work the next day, drove straight to a friend’s house in CT for the weekend, picked up another friend from the airport, and then stayed up talking under the covers of our shared bed until three a.m.

And I’m saving all my sleep for another life — Gregory Alan Isakov, Virginia May

These memories buoy me, when I feel so beaten down by the repetition of daily schedules. What confuses me most, though, is that I find comfort in structure. Being able to find myself on the map of my life, unfurled in my brain, makes me feel better. I can function without anxiety. I can accomplish goals and tasks.

But I am homesick for those lost moments. The golden moments. The ones that I stash away in my heart. The ones that probably feel better in my memories than they actually were. I heard once that every time you remember something, you’re actually remembering the last time you remembered it. Throughout time your memories become more and more diluted in this way.

That first summer, the one in which Michael and I fell in love without even acknowledging it, can only exist in our memories now. And we can talk about stories and read journal entries, but we can never truly get back that magic. So, we try to make new magic and go on new adventures and stay up late. And I’ll keep saving my sleep.

This was originally written in October of 2016.

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