Conquering time-A A +A
Talk to Me
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
“ANONG oras na?” He asks as he gently shifts to the other side of the bed and leans on one arm while the other reaches for his cellular phone to look at the time. “Aalis ka na?” You answer him with a question that needs no answer. He lies back and wraps both arms around you. The fast beating of his heart matches yours as you both lie still on the bed. His kisses from a few minutes ago are still warm on your lips and on your neck. You join him as he closes his eyes for a few seconds to relish the moment. He squeezes you tight. You squeeze back. Outside, the light from the street lamps are jaded by the thick fog. The moon is blurry and the crickets are fast asleep. “Konti pa,” he whispers in your ear. “Sana mas matagal pa,” your voice disappears in a half whisper as you snuggle in his chest.
Is time on your side?
Modern day technologies may have made life easier for most of us, but it has made some relationships more complicated than ever before. The eight hour distance from Baguio to Manila may have been shortened to four, but quality time between lovers in dayshift and nightshift situations has been downsized to three.
“Mag-text ka pagdating mo doon,” you say as he slides into his sling bag in front of the door. “Oo. Matulog ka na ha?” He tells you as he plants a kiss on your forehead. This is the same scene every night. This has been the same scene, six times a week, for three years now. As he disappears behind the door, you walk back to bed and cover yourself with the blanket that still has his warmth. You search for his smell on the sheets and force yourself to rest. For both of you, sleep is the only consolation that shortens the waiting period until you are back in each other’s arms again. He works in a call center from eleven o’clock in the evening until seven o’clock in the morning the next day. You teach kids to read and write from eight o’clock in the morning until five o’clock in the afternoon.
In a world full of people driven by the obsession of conquering time by accomplishing multiple tasks all at once, love is more often than not set aside and given the least portion of the day. Today, the idea of “compartmentalism” does not work the way it used to. Work does not stay in the office. With cellular phones, you are not spared from nights out with friends. Postpaid WIFI signals keep you from quiet dinners as you check your e-mails. Having an easy life has a price. And the relationship that you hold dear pays for it.
“Pauwi na ako, asawa ko,” you whisper into your phone as you try to hold on to your seat inside the crowded jeepney. Rush hour traffic build up at Harrison Road makes it impossible for jeepneys to arrive and depart from the terminal. Getting a taxi is a lot worse. “Nagluluto na ako ng dinner,” his muffled voice answers on the other end of the phone. It is now almost six o’clock in the evening. Five hours before he leaves for work. In your head, you are computing how much time both of you can spend on dinner, dessert, television, small talk and romance before he prepares and attends his shift. “Konti na lang, konti pa…” You say in half whisper before he puts down the phone.
Time has never been on anyone’s side. It never slows down the way we want to. It never speeds up the way we do. It goes on like a steady beat that will never stop. You will always run after it. But in all your 21 or maybe 34 years of existence, you must know this by now – you can always be ahead of it.
“Happy Anniversary,” you immediately greet him as you open the front door. “Happy Three,” he catches your words as he reveals the special dinner he made. And then after that, no more words - just warm kisses and tight embraces. He brings out a box tied with a red bow. You bring out another box of the same size, also tied with a bough. With your bag still hanging on your shoulder and the kitchen towel still on his hand, you open each other’s presents. As agreed, the boxes reveal a pair of Timex wrist watches that you both meticulously selected for each other. “For conquering time,” he says. “For conquering time,” you reply.
It is not impossible to conquer time. All you have to do is to make each passing moment count. This is a real story of two people who have done it and continue to do so. It is not impossible that you can, too.
(Talk to me by sharing your stories and sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on June 26, 2012.