Two minutes thirty four: a fictional meditation on consuming time.

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Two minutes thirty four

 

 

Brittany Taylor

Melbourne, Australia

GMT + 10

Local time Tuesday 3:53pm

 

…except Mrs Fitzpatrick is always nicer to Penny than she is to me. It’s because Penny has perfect pigtails and is…does this pencil need sharpening? Legs crossed…uncrossed…

oh, it’s Tuesday…Mum said I could watch that new show after school if I get my homework finished on time, with that girl detective on it…that circle becomes a swirl becomes a flower with leaves that weave in through the margin…

When I’m eleven me and Penny are going to start our own detective agency, and then we’ll get so famous that Justin Bieber will come to us when his money gets stolen and the police can’t find it…legs crossed…

Except Justin will like me better than Penny because…

what is seven times nine, I can’t remember…colour in that flower …why will he like me better?

is that meant to be a six?…oh eleven is so ages away…wish I could just click my fingers and bam! It’s the future!…because then I’ll have much longer hair than her…

If Mum won’t let me be a detective I’ll be a ballerina…

 

Precious Mgabana

Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

GMT + 3

Local time Tuesday 7:53am

 

…yelling because I can see his mouth move in big, slow streaks across his face but there is so much noise…get that boy off my peppers… chicken squawks in my ear hope it sells soon, some tasty fried chicken is good for market day…yes that is my eggfruit, grows in my garden, very good, I give good price…

            aaaiiiieee…these whitefolk they hold their noses and wrap their faces…come, taste my bungo fruit, it is good, yes?…

            …the mouths are moving again…Mzumbe’s boy has his bongo today…wears his American cap the wrong way on his head thinks he looks so important…

            Akili is smiling like her face is carved…what she hold?…where you get that money…aaaiii…they like the good chicken…my girl is clever at market…you go, go find Andwele…

            that girl…she dream of going to university in Johannesburg when she is old enough…like I used to dream when I was her age…I don’t tell her yet that every day is the same in Africa…there is no tomorrow but for next market day…

           

Elaine Paterson

London, England

GMT (0)

Local time Tuesday 4:53am

 

…why watches and me don’t go together. How many have I had in the last few years that stopped working…more hot water…where’s that new shampoo bottle?…

            Jim says he simply can’t drive me in so early…is that enough… lather…rinse…oh God did I call and arrange the taxi last night or did I decide to do it this morning…why did I buy that conditioner it always makes my hair fluffy and today of all days I just don’t have time…lather…comb…I didn’t. I made a cup of chamomile and went to bed…oh HECK…rinse…quick…

            if I miss that plane…water off…oh blast that sticking door slider, why hasn’t Jim fixed that yet…towel…quick…underpants…well I just can’t miss it, that’d be my job gone and then how would we live…hairdryer…lipstick on…shoes on…is that the taxi beeping…no…he doesn’t understand there are still bills to pay and we’ve still got that second mortgage…did I put those documents in my bag already?…

            it’s not like I can simply step into another job at my age, and after all I’ve invested in the company…Jim’s just going to have to miss his morning coffee…

            I mean it’s not as if I enjoy getting up before dawn really, just to go to a conference…but in this day and age we live…

 

Shirley Long

Boston, USA

GMT – 5

Local time Monday 11:53pm

 

…but really it was too late to talk…breathe in…out…

Stephanie said she’s coming in the morning…baby girl, all grown up…

my first grandchild… breathe in…She married a man…

a mathematician. Eric, that’s his name.

He kept talking about the hours we spend, counting down my years in days…breathe out…and minutes

so many. Too many to count any more, I don’t want to know…

Funny…for the young that bank of hours seems so much less precious. Minutes and whole days consumed like saltine crackers, eaten up without thinking…breathe in…

Lord…teach them to number their days wisely…breathe out…

I see it all so much more clearly now that it’s nearly gone. No pain now…no movement…breathe in…

All I have left is these two things, and soon – soon please Lord – time will be gone…breathe out…breathe in…and prayer…oh to see you face to face at last…will be no longer needed…

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9 thoughts on “Two minutes thirty four: a fictional meditation on consuming time.

  1. I like Brittany’s thought train best; it took me straight back to when time crept and I had/took time for all those weird and wonderful thoughts. And the African market bit, with all the days the same. And then how time slows in the end. Okay, I guess I just I really like this all, Megan.

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