All the Time

November 24, 2009
By Figgy BRONZE, Miami, Florida
Figgy BRONZE, Miami, Florida
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
What ever dyes, was not mixed equally;
If our two loves be one, or, thou and I
Love so alike, that none doe slacken, none can die.

Sitting in the cramped and colorless confines of the dimly lit hospital room, watching his chest rise and fall with each labored breath, I listened helplessly to the roaring silence that mocked me as it begged me to consider how permanent that lack of sound could become before the long night's conclusion. The tension born of unspoken words and poorly hidden worry that had earlier charged the air with a crackle of electric current had departed abruptly with the rest of my family; gone home to their lives while I waited behind, afraid I might be the only one left to witness the end of his.

For as long as I could remember I had been the strong one, priding myself on my ability to overcome or ignore emotion and practically confront any situation with a calm head and analytical mind. Up to this point that had been my role in everything that had happened over the past few months, watching from a safe distance as he stubbornly battled the cancer that was cruelly stealing away his life like a stealthy thief on the darkest of nights. But as I sat there, pulling my sweater more tightly around me despite the relative warmth of the small room, I glanced up. What I saw melted the numbness that had frozen my heart for so long, and broke the cold shell of tight self control that I had built up around myself to hide from the world, brusquely tearing away the rigid mask of suppressed feelings that I had so long believed to be an impervious disguise.

The clock I beheld appeared to be like any other clock in every obvious way. Utterly unremarkable, a standard, black and white circle with two hands moving perpetually in a synchronized pattern that was as inescapable and eternal as time itself. As I gazed in consternation at this simple, completely common thing, I was overcome with the inexorable impression that it was trying to tell me something; something more important than anything I had previously learned or ever would come to know. The clock stared back at me with limitless depths of wisdom and sadness in its timeless glare, and spoke to me in a whispering language, every nuance and inflection ringing through my very soul. In a voice that had spanned innumerable centuries and simultaneously embraced the unknown intricacies of fractions of a second, the clock that was so much more than just a redundant timepiece helped me to find peace with time.

The reality was, time would never stop ticking. Never slow down, speed up, take a break, or desert us completely. It is nothing more or less than it ever was, and it will never change, but what we do with it has every power to change us. Never sadistic or manipulative or cruel as the bitter poets cynically portray it; time simply is. It was counting down the last moments of his life, but there was no rush or unnecessary hurry and anxiety, no subtle or malicious act of thievery involved.

I realized then that, just as the clock had taken my hand and gently but firmly shown me truth, so too had I reached out and taken his hand in mine as he lay there in the impenetrable stillness. Now as I gazed down, I saw not the face of a dying man, but the face of time. And as I leaned closer, he opened his eyes slowly and gently whispered, "We have all the time in the world".

The author's comments:
My grandfather has lived near my house my whole life, but never really been a part of my life for reasons so convoluted I hardly understand them myself. So a year ago when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, I did not know what to think or feel. At a loss, I wrote this piece, which remains fictional for the sole reason that, despite how much we may wish it or believe it, not everyone really does have "all the time in the world."

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This article has 6 comments.

DEMON said...
on Dec. 23 2009 at 4:17 pm
Ah, but I can be truthful when I sing that "All The Time" is what I have been seeking from young writers! Wonderful, sad, and well written! Florida, you have potential...rave or rant about my own writing in...


Wisps of smoke danced into the wintry air from my lips, creating ornate designs that could never be replicated. I carefully tilted the corners of my lips into a smile that I meant to be wry. Of course, it's difficult to articulate emotions that I can't feel, but I find that irony is relatively simple to demonstrate. I inhaled the toxic vapors of the cigarette casually. Its sinister, black cancer couldn't cripple a seventeen-year-old boy with no lungs, let alone a heart.

I glanced in the direction of the horizon, and flinched. The sun was dying flamboyantly, casting its radiant colors across the sky. Its last waves of light caressed my cold, pale skin. I wanted to snarl rebelliously as I felt its warmth slide against me deviously.

“Beautiful, isn’t it?”

My muscles went rigid, and I had to focus madly on controlling my shaking hands. I would know that voice, that beautiful, disastrous voice, in the realms beyond that of Earth. I grated my teeth, reeling in the disturbing sensations that she unknowingly always aroused in me.

I cocked my body towards her arrogantly, and lifted my mouth into a crooked crescent moon. I felt my eyes flashing, but I worked vehemently to fixate an arctic, hard tone into the dark of my indigo irises.

“I find the sunset lifeless and meaningless, actually,” I countered flatly, and a beat too late.

She laughed merrily, and I struggled within myself as my mind and body became entranced by the beautiful movement of her laughter as the colors of the sun played about her.

“You amuse me, Darian. How can you have such a pessimistic view of the world? The sun will not be lifeless until it disappears beneath the horizon, and the night falls. It’ll rise tomorrow, though,” she said.

I dared not think of her name. I hated the way my soul-if I had a soul-thrilled when her voice lingered over my name. It reminded me of music. I had to close my mind defiantly as I thought of music. I wanted nothing that resembled passion.

“That’s an inane notion that foolish women entertain. You want poetry, and ridiculous vows of forever. You aren’t difficult to read. If you want that sunset to mean something, then you want unrequited love. It doesn’t work like that,” I growled unmercifully, angry at her for unleashing the flood of feelings upon me.

DEMON said...
on Dec. 23 2009 at 4:14 pm

Her lovely green eyes shifted into hard emeralds.

“What do you know about me, Dare? And what’s so wrong with having dreams? And why are you talking to me like that? I was simply commenting on the sunset.” She tossed her red curls, clearly miffed.

I lifted my chin, and blew smoke in her face. It was easier on me when she was angry. I don’t know why she bothered with me. Why she was brave enough to confront me. Why she didn’t follow the laws of the superficial high school we both attended. Why she didn’t stay away from me, like everyone else.

“You’ll die from that smoking, Darian.” She glared at me. We’d had this argument a lot. I lifted my eyebrows, and turned away from her, signaling that the conversation was over.

She didn’t obey, and I sighed.

“You know, Dare, you could let yourself feel. You could understand it.” Her voice was soft, a whisper in the darkening air. She was air. My air.

I reviled the potency of the emotions I could feel pulsing through me. I ran a hand through my black hair nervously, my body skidding with strange, unfamiliar energy. I didn’t want to answer her. Why didn’t she leave?

I made a fatal mistake when I looked at her. Every nerve inside of me screamed, as though my body and internal organs were recharging hurriedly in the rare moment of my awakening.

I think I felt my heart beat hesitantly.

My voice seemed like that of a stranger. It had a rich, deep tone to it. It had color.

“Understand what?”

Something in my expression changed the way she was looking at me. It may have mirrored the arrangement of my own features. She became vulnerable in that instant.

“Kiss me.” She whispered brokenly.

Surprise jolted keenly through me. God, I wished I was numb again. Everything felt electric-too intense and too vivid. Emotions scattered across my being, a mutinous invasion of the raging war against myself. I was defenseless and an easy prey to her request. I breathed jaggedly, and there was a husky vibe to it. Want. I recognized it more clearly as it bloomed vibrantly through me.

And she was waiting. For me.

I destroyed the walls I had so warily built as I leaned towards her. She lifted a creamy hand and laid it tenderly against my cheek, the expectation making her bold. I moaned, and closed my eyes. My own hands loosened, and reached for her face greedily

Something hot-burning-ignited against my skin. I wrenched myself away, dazed by the unpleasant sensation. Had a spark traveled through our bodies? That’s when I noticed the cigarette kindling like a faint ember beside my marred hand. It had burnt me. The throbbing pain brought a wave of consciousness through me. Reality. And I stared at her face, inches from mine, and something clicked inside of me. Gears that began humming smoothly, like a tuned clock. I pulled back, and tossed her hand away like it stung. I grimaced as the vitals within me slowly resumed their state of nothingness, and shook my head to clear it of its nonsensical ideas.

She watched the change take possession of me, and tears began to collect in her eyes.

I found that I could care less.

I grinned at her, and mocked, “I taste of cigarettes, Clara.”

She got up shockingly to her feet, and backed away as if understanding for the first time what I was. Tears stained her nondescript face.

I smiled, that careful replication of a smile, and said acidly, “Did I humor your silly fantasies well?”

Her face crumpled entirely, and she pivoted away and ran sobbing from my scathing ridicule.

The sun died, and all was dark.

adamina BRONZE said...
on Dec. 21 2009 at 5:52 pm
adamina BRONZE, Calgary, Other
1 article 0 photos 4 comments
wow, that made me so sad! Great piece

on Dec. 19 2009 at 7:34 pm
OnyxDivine PLATINUM, Scarborough, Other
22 articles 0 photos 18 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Take chances"
"never regret something that made you smile"
"Forever isn't infinity. It's the time two people spent together, be it a few seconds, five minutes, an hour, days, months, or more."

You set a nice mood with the descriptions, nice choice of words, and I love the message at the end. Because "time waits for no man", its what we do that really changes everything.

Keep up the good work :)

on Dec. 18 2009 at 7:35 pm
AbysmallyAbstracted PLATINUM, Mountains, Colorado
33 articles 4 photos 13 comments

Favorite Quote:
2000 B.C. - "Here, eat this root."
1000 B.C. - "That root is heathen, say this prayer."
1850 A.D. - "That prayer is superstition, drink this potion."
1940 A.D. - "That potion is snake oil, swallow this pill."
1985 A.D. - "That pill is ineffective, take this antibiotic."
2000 A.D. - "That antibiotic is artificial. Here, eat this root."
~Author Unknown

I love this story. It's beautifully written. Wonderful job.

on Dec. 14 2009 at 9:09 pm
wishing4thebest2day GOLD, Redmond, Washington
10 articles 0 photos 72 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Giving will ultimately make you happier in life. It is rewarding for you to brighten up someone's day." -Anonymous

I started reading it then I was hooked. It was so real and alive. I was there watching this unfold. This is one of the best pieces of writing I'd read. Keep writing! :)


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