15 May 2016

Super fun post about waiting

(The title is sarcastic inasmuch as this post is not quite “super fun.”)

Dear diary,

So much of life consists of waiting. Doctors and dentists have “waiting rooms” outside of their offices. Is waiting enjoyable or not? I think that it can be anything from unpleasant to terrifying.

Some people choose to study law. Some people choose to study accounting. Some people choose to train physically, in hopes of competing in the Olympic Games. But what if you choose to dedicate your life simply to waiting? Will you be any more or less important than all of the other immensely successful careerists?

A waiter who works in a restaurant is different than the kind of “waiter” I’m thinking about. Yet, any member of a restaurant’s staff could participate in my type of waiting, if they were to (for instance) wait for the bus to pick them up after their shift ends.

Is waiting the same as wasting time? I’m not sure. How can one know if time has been “well spent”? Time is not, after all, like coins that you keep in a purse; you can’t pay time, it just passes. And what about those souls unjustly jailed, blankly waiting, doing time? For it to pass, one must kill time. Serve time: wait.

Off the subject, I thought that this was interesting: since I wanted to use the word “restaurant” two times above, knowing that I always misspell it, I quickly researched it and found this etymological note:

…early 19th century: French, from restaurer “provide food for” (literally “restore to a former state”).

That last phrase in parentheses is what sparked my fancy. However, lest I confuse myself by straying too far afield, I’ll return to waiting:

Now I’m trying to think of how to signify the opposite of waiting. Maybe it’s industriousness… hustle and bustle…

Relaxing on vacation seems different than plain old regular everyday waiting, but both activities surely have at least one thing in common. (I wonder if you can extend your vacation so long that it becomes tiresome, and you need a vacation from vacation.)

Do atoms rest? Do they wait, or are they always active? Why am I speaking of atoms as if they are all equal? Are they each unique enough to deserve their own proper name, like Eve? Maybe certain atoms wait while others toil. Maybe the feeling of boredom is one’s body’s atoms’ way of voicing the complaint: You’re depriving us of our requisite sublimity!

Even if it’s incorrect, I want to make this statement: When you look at a huge slab of limestone, it appears to be at rest; but the atoms that comprise it are perpetually jiggling.

They say that the Earth is round and that it’s not only spinning but also hurtling through space. I myself am just sitting here writing this diary entry: I don’t feel like I’m moving much. Maybe I’m the center of the world.

I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space—were it not that I have bad dreams.

Those are of course the words of Hamlet (from Act 2, Scene 2). Now I wonder about his part in his play: is Hamlet waiting? Or should we call it procrastinating? Shirking a duty that he does not believe in, feels too good for?

I suppose there are many people out there in the world who are waiting for love… waiting for fame… waiting for inspiration… waiting for the first or the second coming of…

Why did I choose to harp on such a dull theme? I wish I would have changed the subject early on. I could have sermonized on the virtues of swamp creatures, aquatic humanoids, lagoon-dwelling mermen; I could have speculated about bigfoot or the abominable snowperson; I could have used my Urim and Thummim to predict the next U.S. president; or told you about my old Pontiac Fiero automobile, whose body was plastic and whose engine was mounted in its trunk. But no, I wasted my words on waiting: perhaps the boringest topic in the universe. This is what happens when you commit to recording your whims on a daily basis: some days are more interesting than others.

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