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.

on Aug. 3 2013 at 5:29 am
ViraDash BRONZE, Sungai Petani, Other
1 article 0 photos 8 comments

Favorite Quote:
Sometimes, evil drives a minivan.

I like the way you used time to emphasize the character's role in his daily routine. (Hmm...sounds just like me...)

on Jul. 8 2013 at 6:56 pm
kingofwriters BRONZE, DeWitt, Michigan
1 article 0 photos 196 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Books are a uniquely portable magic." - Stephen King

I love books, and I love technology, but I don't want to see the latter overwhelm the former. I just think books are meant to be pages you turn, not screens you scroll through.

Wow, this is really good! I love the build-up and how you used time to emphasize this person's problems. 5/5

on Jul. 1 2013 at 5:15 pm
GreekGoddess BRONZE, Andover, Connecticut
3 articles 0 photos 182 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The unprepared rebel dies in the fire."

That was great, I love the amount of suspense building, and how it escalates at the end. This was wonderfuly written, how you say nothing for sure, but everyone still knows whats happening, and who this person is. The cliff hanger was done wonderfuly, you didn't lose their character at all.

on Jun. 6 2013 at 11:04 am
EmmaClaire0823 GOLD, Bay Minette, Alabama
13 articles 0 photos 102 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Be the change you wish to see in the world."

The suspense was suble but incredible. The use of time (going into tenths of a second, hundredths of an hour, etc.) I though was a great way to understand the character. Without saying anything you realize that he is a control freak, and probably has mental issues. The ending was also great using a cliffhanger and not telling what happened. Overall, it's wonderfully written and thought through.  

on May. 15 2013 at 9:55 am
cool story bro tell it again

jojo321 said...
on Oct. 25 2012 at 4:49 pm
jojo321, California, Florida
0 articles 0 photos 3 comments
the red goop is the blood from cuting himself(on acident) with the shaver

jojo321 said...
on Oct. 25 2012 at 4:46 pm
jojo321, California, Florida
0 articles 0 photos 3 comments
me to it was a nice read defently on th end

on Oct. 12 2012 at 5:24 am
Savannainthesky GOLD, West Suffield, Connecticut
11 articles 0 photos 107 comments

Favorite Quote:
"It may have been in pieces.. but I gave you the best of me"-Jim Morrison(the doors)

That was soooo good! it was super suspensful and reminded me of the movie Psycho!

on Sep. 19 2012 at 5:11 pm
KenKenForeverz BRONZE, Tomball, Texas
3 articles 0 photos 7 comments

Favorite Quote:
“we accept the love we think we deserve.”

She said 9.34 hours. It makes sense just because all the minutes are down to the tenth but an hour being bigger needs to be a little bit more percise.

JoshuaChen said...
on Jul. 15 2012 at 6:32 pm
JoshuaChen, Westborough, Massachusetts
0 articles 0 photos 20 comments

Favorite Quote:
"All this philosophy Confucius me"

Also, you might not want to be soooo precise with hour numbers. To count 9.34 minutes would literally force you to divide into milliseconds which is a tad (and some) unrealistic. Publishers in a more manstream magazine probably wouldn't like that.

JoshuaChen said...
on Jul. 15 2012 at 6:27 pm
JoshuaChen, Westborough, Massachusetts
0 articles 0 photos 20 comments

Favorite Quote:
"All this philosophy Confucius me"

Not bad. A few suggestions: 1) You might want to divide the first sentence of the third paragraph("Spending 9.34 hours working, driving...") into two sentences to make it more coherent. It's not too big a deal, as far as run-ons go, but it might help anyway. 2) I personally wouldn't describe the blood as "goop." Goop reminds of thick and bubbly. In my experience blood flows rather easily. Maybe "red ink?" All in all, it was an enjoyable piece. And I love reading about characters with OCD or schizophrenia and other mental disorders. Thanks for the read!

on Jun. 14 2012 at 9:08 pm
Pika_Princess, Escondido, California
0 articles 0 photos 118 comments
I feel like looking over my shoulder. The ending was amazing! It left so much unanswered, but in a good way. You left it all up for the reader! Nice.

on Jun. 8 2012 at 1:28 pm
tammysaurus101, NYC, New York
0 articles 0 photos 8 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Everything has been figured out, except how to live." - Jean-Paul Sartre

"Men talk of killing time, while time quietly kills them." - Dion Boucicault 

on Jun. 1 2012 at 8:52 pm
BlindlyLaughing BRONZE, Markham, Other
4 articles 2 photos 10 comments

Favorite Quote:

ohhh man the way you ended it off made me soo paranoid, awesome work, this theme of time reminds me of the movie stranger than fiction, check it out :)

J1029 SILVER said...
on Jun. 1 2012 at 6:44 pm
J1029 SILVER, Tampa, Florida
5 articles 0 photos 73 comments

Favorite Quote:
Sing like no one is listening,
Dance like no one is watching,
Love like you've never been hurt and
Live like it's heaven on earth.

- Mark Twain

yeah that happened to me to! I kept reading faster and faster!

irishlass317 said...
on May. 10 2012 at 8:20 pm
irishlass317, Jefferson City, Missouri
0 articles 0 photos 134 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I asked Jesus 'How much do you love me?' He answered 'This much.' And He streched out His arms and died."

OMIGOSH!!!!! This is so amazing, you are a truly gifted writer!! I love this short story! Please, please, please write more!!

Lindsey31 GOLD said...
on Apr. 18 2012 at 3:20 pm
Lindsey31 GOLD, Rockford, Minnesota
11 articles 11 photos 52 comments

Favorite Quote:
LIVE life ~ LAUGH always ~ LOVE lots

I think you are an incredibly gifted writer. I can relate to this piece, which adds on to my admiration of you. If you have a couple spare minutes, it'd be awesome if you could take some time (haha) and just sift through my articles. My favorites are "Beauty Isn't Skin Deep" and "Keep Smiling," but that's just me.

Isaac99 said...
on Mar. 27 2012 at 2:26 pm
I agree but this is slightly more vague and that basically says what happens.

Isaac99 said...
on Mar. 27 2012 at 2:23 pm
I really like how every thing is exactly timed instead of two and a half minutes it's 2.45 minutes i think that really add realism. I also like that at the end it (atleast for me) it makes you read faster and faster then BAM! the story ends. I also like how it makes you paranoid and connects with the audience

emmpps16 said...
on Mar. 16 2012 at 11:02 am
emmpps16, Hardwick, New Jersey
0 articles 9 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
I'm the one that has to die when it's time for me to die, so let me live my life, the way I want to. -Jimi Hendrix

wow.. thatw as intense. good:)