Time | Teen Ink

Time MAG

November 7, 2007
By Anonymous

Every morning I wake up to the normal sun shooting through the left window, blinding me as I try to open my eyes. My dog, Donald, barks up a storm. He insists that every morning at exactly 7:04, he has to go outside. It really is starting to push my buttons. Can’t that damn dog just take a rest?

After I go outside for exactly 2.5 minutes, I realize I have to deal with my boss in exactly 48.6 minutes. I sit and moan for two minutes. Any more I would be late and any less I would be early: it has to be exactly two minutes. Afterward, I do my normal six-minute shower, three-minute shave, two-minute brush of my teeth – just like the dentist told me – and five minutes to figure out what I am going to wear ­today. That leaves me 4.5 minutes to sit and read The New York Times and moan about having to drive 20 minutes to a job that I can’t stand. Once I arrive, it takes 2.1 minutes to hear the lame story about what Ron, the guy two cubicles down, did last night and four minutes ’til I get to hear my boss complain that I never do anything right.

Spending 9.34 hours at my job, driving 26 minutes home (I hate traffic), taking two minutes to take Donald out and only getting 24.7 minutes to myself before lying down in my hard, cold bed and not falling asleep for another 12.5 minutes can really drive someone crazy. At least that is what my therapist tells me. But in fact it does not make you crazy; it makes everyone else crazy for not wanting to know how much time they actually have.

The thing that will make you crazy is if something goes wrong. Something that has been happening the same way for exactly 12.56 years. When that one thing goes wrong, all hell breaks loose. For instance, if you wake 45.8 minutes late because there is no damn dog barking for you to take him out. Which causes you to be late to work, because you have a 20-minute drive and only 2.4 minutes to get there. Then you ­decide in exactly 24 seconds that you have to call in to work saying you came down with something. But after the phone rings for eight seconds, the secretary tells you that something bad has happened and there will be no work today. You wonder for only one minute what could have happened, but then go and take a shower.

The shower is much longer than the normal six minutes. It takes two more minutes to wonder what is the red goop dripping from your body. Then it takes you two more minutes to realize that you probably just cut yourself shaving.

After 45.8 minutes of watching TV, you wonder where Donald is and what really happened today to call off work. You ponder this for 12 minutes, scratching your chin, noticing the red goop is also under your nails. You find that disgusting, so you walk steps, which takes you three seconds, to go wash your hands, for two minutes, in the bathroom that you never use. You look around for four minutes, noticing there is also red goop all over the walls. You quickly – so fast you can’t count the time – open the shower curtain.

In about seven minutes you realize you have to clean up. But suddenly there is a knock on the front door lasting for about four seconds. But you have to ignore it, you don’t have time, you have to clean up in six minutes. But wait, six minutes is too long. You need 4.5 minutes, but that’s too short. The knocking is getting louder and faster, every three seconds, it just won’t stop. You can’t stop either; you have to clean up, but the knocking ….

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This article has 330 comments.

cleo12 said...
on Jan. 28 2009 at 9:04 pm
This is well written, but I don't like it, the blood thing is kind of scary, especially since it doesn't make any since...

ob said...
on Jan. 28 2009 at 4:07 pm
what happened?????? i dont get it! what was with the time stuff?

on Jan. 28 2009 at 1:43 pm
i think this is a very interesting idea, with life measure into separate chunks, but your writing style seems a bit immature to me, and it didn't draw me in. i carefully read the first half of this piece and then skimmed the rest because the style of your writing is sort of choppy and unpolished. the ideas are definitely there, though, so keep writing!

YoungAuthor said...
on Jan. 22 2009 at 12:20 am
I felt that you gave the mundane routine of life another irritating twist by contemplating the time schedule so closely. (That's a good thing; it meant you got your point across.) However, the story seems a bit unfocused and coufusing towards the end, which is why your readers are asking about the "red goop". Though I'm not interested in the writing style or piece, I believe you did a good job. Keep writing! It's the only practice for a writer.

on Jan. 21 2009 at 10:04 pm
your writing is very good but i can tell you copied this idea from "the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time" by Mark Haddon, the whole emphasis on the numbers, and the dog -- hinting that your main character is autistic...

anways you are talented so keep writing, just try and come up with your own ideas next time! :)

tweedle dee said...
on Jan. 21 2009 at 1:29 pm
wow, this was strange. very creative, i liked it alot.

Maris said...
on Jan. 14 2009 at 5:03 pm
What happens?? I am so confused!!! Is the dog dead? Is that what all the red goop is?? Please explain!!

farmgirl55 said...
on Jan. 4 2009 at 1:09 am
Okay, this had a weird ending. What happened? Who was at the door? What was the red goop all over the walls?

destinee said...
on Dec. 31 2008 at 1:52 pm
Wonderful piece!