"I don't suppose anybody ever deliberately listens to a watch or a clock. You don't have to. You can be oblivious to the sound for a long while, then in a second of ticking it can create in the mind unbroken the long diminishing parade of time you didn't hear" (William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury)
I used the above quote in an essay I wrote for an American Lit class, as it pertains to the character Quentin Compson's inability to escape his past-- the way that time and the past can sneak up and consume. Much like Quentin I, too, have a problem with evading the ticking clock of days gone by, but now it appears that I am running from an actual ticking clock--time itself.
This idea became fully realized once I noticed that I seem to have difficulty relaxing and enjoying my weekends. Why is this? I love having days off and time to myself. The thing is, I am a slave to the clock. I almost accidentally left out the "l" there, which would have been hilarious and potentially misleading. Anyway, my point is that I'm time's bitch. Rarely do I ever evade the death grip that it has on me or, rather, that I allow it to have. About a month ago, I started forcing myself to not check the time while writing in my journal (I always put the date and time at the top of the page, because I'm an OG). What I discovered, and almost immediately, is that I go crazy not knowing what time it is. It sucks! I don't want to be so rigid, and certainly don't want to be ruled by such an annoying human construction.
I'd love to put things on pause--have a Zack Morris "time out." It seems like a great idea to take down your clocks (if you actually own clocks) and put your phones away (yeah right), but the thing is, we operate according to time. I think most of us are probably unconscious of the fact that we're always on the clock. It's so ingrained that we hardly even realize what being on the clock does to us. For me, being a naturally anxious person, the movement of time--the ticking--creates a heightened state of urgency. I constantly feel like I'm losing a race. Being aware of time super-charges my anxiety; my chest gets tight and my pulse grows stronger, becoming harder to ignore. On the other hand, being unaware of time makes me feel panicked. Although, that would prove that I'm not really unaware so much as that I just don't know what time it is. So, yeah, there is it. I allow myself to be consumed by time. I rarely even hear the actual ticking of a clock, but I don't have to; it's there, waiting to pounce and devour.
This metaphor of time as predator is quite real to me, as I constantly feel the munching--teeth shredding through and snagging on thoughts and ideas, often making it impossible to enjoy the process of doing anything. If only I could become one of those characters that turns the hunter into the hunted. But, then again, that idea's pretty played out, isn't it?
I'm finally doing it--pulling my insides out and splattering them around for all to see. Here we go!