Back to the present

Time has been behaving strangely for me since Mark returned to Seattle.

I’m enjoying a stay-cation this week — off work but just hanging around at home. The week itself is going by all too quickly — as always. But the days themselves are going very slowly.

Today (Wednesday, October 21), I got up not-exactly early at 9am. I worked on some Coursera homework until around lunchtime. Then I did laundry, dishes and took out garbage, then showered and dressed. I ate lunch and then worked with Mark on a blog piece while waiting for clothes to finish drying, after which I went for a walk and hung out in a coffee shop for an hour or so. I took the long, scenic route home — and really dawdled. Yet when I got home, it was only 3:30 pm – but felt like it should be at least 6:30.

The weekend seems like a million years ago. So does Monday night, when I enjoyed a pint of cider in a pub while watching baseball.

Time is certainly relative — and we can perceive its passage at different speeds depending on circumstances. But it’s very strange when time seems to be going fast and slow at the same time — as though I am connected with nested realities, each unwinding at their own pace.

In 2001, Mark and I lived in the same neighborhood of West Seattle for a few months — just a few blocks apart. The day after he moved in, I went out to run an errand — and as I walked along California Avenue I felt like everything was going in slow motion. Not only that, each time a car passed me, I felt it tug at me, as though I were being sucked into a slipstream. The pace of time seemed to oscillate — slowing down and then speeding up — getting very quiet at a slow pace and then louder as the pace picked up again.

In the years since, I’ve got used to re-acclimating to Mark’s presence (although it’s always traumatic when he leaves Seattle — then I feel completely abandoned for a couple of days and can fall to pieces.) It really helps to be busy – and Mark has learned to reintroduce himself gently. So even once he gets an apartment in West Seattle, he may just spend a few hours a day in it for a little while, returning to a downtown hotel at night.

It also helps me to be amongst people — seems to diffuse and disperse shifting energies. So this evening I’m meeting a friend for drinks and munchies at a crowded, noisy bar.

And I’ve still got an hour to kill before it’s time to leave!

– Alene


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