Unexcused Tardies

carl

Life is a difficult ballet. My parents have been late for everything their entire lives. I’ve read cultural commentary over the past few years addressing the concept of “Latino Time.” One of my education professors years ago even wrote an article on Why The Latino Students Are Always Late (shout out, Dr. Lopez). I’m convinced, however, that my parents are not consistently tardy because of a socioculturally constructed paradigm, but because they are crazy. And I say that in a loving way.

If you have a dentist’s appointment at 11:30 and it takes you half an hour to get there, and you look over at the clock and it says, 11:35, you cannot think that you should be leaving soon so you can make it on time. The threads of meaning by which thoughts are tied to reality begin to break down. Unless you are a wizard. Now if you just don’t give a shit, because you are okay with being fashionably late or don’t think punctuality is important in a particular instance, that logically makes sense – you might be a bit of an asshole, but you make sense. It’s different if you think you’re going to make it.

Over the last few years in my course towards adulthood (I believe puberty begins around 11 and ends around 29), I’ve worked hard to cultivate a reputation for hard work and ambition, and being conscientious and successful at work and the classes I am taking. I want to be the winner, you know. Being on time for things is still something that remains a bit of a psychological struggle. I was wondering about why, in terms of behavioral analysis, and I’ve decided it’s because I hate being bored.

The earlier you are for something – an appointment, work, a class, the train – the more time of your life you have to stand there, doing nothing. And it’s not enough time to be productive: you don’t have the time and focus at the bus stop to get meaningfully into a book or write a paper or wank it or anything. I need to quantify my progress at things: I know how many pages of a book I’m reading each night, how many miles I’m jogging, how many dumps I am going to be taking. It is important to maintain progress. Being early is wasting time.

The solution back in the day was smoking. You show up somewhere – oh, I’ve got a few minutes – you tap out a smoke, flick the Zippo, and look like Bogart leaning back against the lamppost. But then cancer ruined everything. Fuck cancer. I quit smoking out in New York when I lived there because the cost of everything is so high (I think it’s like $400 a pack), but also because I don’t want cancer.

I quit smoking and eat right and exercise so I can outlive all of these assholes around me – that’s winning the game. When I’m 99 and boning all the bitches that they widowed I always dreamed about, who’s going to care about that cheeseburger I never ate? The advances of Viagra will be accommodating. And no, I don’t care that they’ll be old: there’s more to love than looks, asshole.

I can’t wait until I’m old. Can you imagine the courage? It’s like if you went back to Kindergarten today, and some asshole took your blocks. Back then you were probably like, I’m anxious and sad and I’m going to the corner to cry, and then you let the block-taker make out with your S.O. What if you were in Kindergarten now? You’d be like, fuck you, kid, and totally dunk him out a window. That’s what it is like to be old. Real happiness awaits.

There’s no epiphany to this story.

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