Time is flying, you know this. It’s weird and unnerving, this whooshing. As the rolling of the days accelerate and the years start to blur and, OK, you get the picture. However some units of time will always feel like Double Physics:
You lovingly draw yourself a bath, with epsom bath salts because insomnia. And you’ve got a book, not a traumatic one like A Little Life but maybe a Mitford or some Wodehouse and you get into the tub and you are going to have a delightful extended moment with yourself. The salts say you need to stay in for at least 20 minutes. But you are so hot. And there are itchy undissolved salt crystals under your bum. And your phone is all the way over there. Why is this treat feeling like an eternity?
Time has slowed down to a virtual halt. What is this inching pathetically towards 5pm? How will you stay awake, focussed, sane, in employ? Those afternoons are actually a lifetime spent fighting doughnut cravings and trying to avoid caffeine and a growing dread of the looming 6pm Express Yo’Self dance class you foolishly signed up for because you never go actual dancing anymore.
Ah, the Midult on the open road. You can go for hours, days, with just a Burger King Loyalty card and a family sized bag of square crisps. It’s you and the car. Love the car. But in traffic OHMYGOD. The minutes become hours, everyone offends, you are boiling with terrible feelings, the car is actually steaming. You may be hitting it.
You lie down on your mat and you think this is going to be the best hour and a half of your life. Then you look at the clock again, you are sweating, everything hurts and all the blood has gone to your head and you have been in the class FOREVER, and it’s been 7 minutes. How is this even possible? You feel so angry. This anger is why you need to be here. You realise an hour and a half is a stupidly long time. Can you pretend there’s an emergency and make a soft, spiritual exit?
You’re here. Tick. The tickets cost a million pounds. You are so worthy and culturally authoritative and everyone knows that this is the theatrical experience of the year. The moments crawl. It’s hell. If you make it to the end you get the most enormous endorphin rush. Is this because you’ve just had a profound experience? Is it a sugar high from all the Maltesers? Or is it just tearful relief that its finally, finally, finally over. You talk about little else for three weeks. You are probably post-traumatic.