Time Flies When You’re Nearing Death

There are actual scientific theories about why time seems to go faster as you get older, but I don’t have time for theories

I was driving my grueling six-minute commute home from work the other day (have I ever mentioned how glad I am that I left Los Angeles?) when I passed two trees in the park that were distinctly … red-tinged.

“What? Are you kidding me?” I remained astonished as I gritted through those additional hard-hitting minutes until I was in my driveway. How could the leaves already be changing? Didn’t summer start, like, last week?

I’ve also noticed that when I leave for work in the morning, it’s distinctly cooler outside. When you live in the South and you aren’t a humid melted pile of Wicked Witch by the time you cross your front yard, you take notice (still glad I left L.A,, though!). Also? I’ve spotted a couple slow, languishing cicadas lying around in their last gasp, like they’re doing their Barbara Hershey in “Beaches” impression.

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At this point, I feel like I’ve bludgeoned you over the head with the fact that it would appear that fall is approaching. And I cannot fathom that it’s here so quickly. Wasn’t Memorial Day just, I don’t know, the other day? Is it ironic to forget when Memorial Day was?

There are actual scientific theories about why time seems to go faster as you get older, but I don’t have time for theories, as I am obviously hurtling toward death at a breakneck pace. Plus, all that science, I don’t understand, as Sir Elton John would say. Didn’t he say that in “Rocket Man,” which debuted maybe 10 years ago?

I wonder when my sense of time transformed. I remember when I was a kid, the summer break seemed to go on endlessly. I can recall night after night watching the sun set across the vast, flat, chain-linked backyards of my Michigan neighborhood. Maybe summer seemed to go on forever because I really had nothing to do. Get up, watch some “Electric Company,” eat a sandwich, lie on the hammock and read. I mean, with a schedule like that, how COULD time whiz by?

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And yet? It could. Even if I had that kind of summer now — and I did, two years ago when I was laid off, minus any “Electric Company” viewing — it’d still go by before I knew it. It’s weird. The September 11 attack seems like it happened five years ago. My ’80s perm days feel like they were maybe seven years ago, when it was more like 25. No! It was more like 30! Oh, Lord.

But remember how much time there seemed to be between ninth grade and senior year? Remember how ding-dang long it took for Christmas to get here?

Guess what. Christmas is four months away. I know, right?

Maybe this means I should try to appreciate each day, since they seem to be stampeding past me like antelopes trying to outrun the lion of death. But I probably won’t. I’ll probably be too busy coming up with truly horrific metaphors.

Maybe I’ll appreciate each day when I’m 80, which will probably occur next week.

Tags: aging