Thursday, November 18, 2004

Timing Is Everything

If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that I'd like to do
Is to save every day
Till Eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you*

I had this weird feeling like I was toying with time today. It wasn't an Albert Einstein like feeling, or a Michael J. Fox "Back to the Future" feeling, it wasn't even a schlocky "Star Trek" feeling. I simply took my normal schedule and moved it a little. Time shifting...not in an exciting B-movie sci-fi an ordinary guy kind of way.

A dear friend had surgery early this morning, Amy and I wanted to be there, so I went into work several hours ahead of schedule and prayed for a slow news day. My prayers were answered.
It allowed me to record the news and sports for seven stations - hours and hours in advance. Most of these stations are music stations, and all of the stations get their news recorded to some degree on most days, but normally it's not so far ahead of schedule. I also made arrangements that if a major news story were to erupt, someone was there to take my place and my recorded newscasts could be unceremoniously dumped. Near as I can tell that wasn't necessary, it seems like the biggest story of the day that I didn't report was the opening of the Clinton Library.

"Did you hear the Clinton Library burnt down?" "Really?" "Yeah, it was a shame too, one of the books he hadn't even finished coloring."

Sorry old joke...actually when I originally heard it "Spiro Agnew" was the foil but if I resorted to that I'd have to spend all my time explaining who Spiro Agnew was - except to Katy who actually owns a Spiro Agnew book.

In any case, I got to the office around midnight and was able to very methodically go through my entire work process in about five hours completely uninterrupted. When my first co-worker showed up around 4 I was already recording news that would run at 9 a.m. in another city. Everything was neat and orderly, it was actually quite relaxing. I wondered why every day couldn't be like today.

It can't.

The news can't be canned in advance-at least not if you're going to present it as "news." There will come days of train wrecks, tornados or terror attacks. Events that unfold furiously will march haughtily across my dreams of time control. There's no sense even fantasizing about it. The news keeps its own schedule.

After the surgery and we were told everything went fine I mentioned that the hardest part was behind us now. I've been in enough surgical waiting rooms to know that it's that period of time of not knowing for certain - a time of trust, when someone you love is in someone else's care - that seems to drag on the longest.

Soon afterwards, I came home and sat on the couch with Amy to watch TV. We both immediately fell asleep.

I awoke to Jay Leno's monologue...

"The government issued a safety recall today on 800,000 Bowflex exercise machines. The good news... No one was hurt because no one ever actually used a Bowflex"

I panicked. I jumped up bleary eyed looking for a clock (and my glasses so I could see the clock when I found it) fearing I had slept all day and night and was probably due at work in an hour or two.

Then I realized we were watching a video tape from the night was mid afternoon. I had only been asleep for a couple of hours.

I hadn't toyed with time; I had merely slept through a pre-recorded version of it.

The irony of that did not escape me.

I looked over and studied Amy sleeping comfortably.

I realized although a couple hours had slipped away, they weren't wasted.

I had spent them exactly as I had wanted, next to the woman I love.

Tomorrow I will return to my regular schedule and things will be irregular. I suppose that's how it should least most of the time.

I also know though that no matter how irregular it all becomes, my time with Amy will always fit my schedule.

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
I've looked around enough to know
That you're the one I want to go
Through time with

*Time in a bottle- Jim Croce