One day he is here. The next day he is not.
I am not sure how to describe a literal time warp.
I feel like normal life and abnormal life have collided. The two sets of time interfere with each other, altering the regular life I once understood. Time for me has become garbled, bent, twisted…distorted.
A few weeks ago, a photo lab technician called to let me know that I had pictures to pick up from September 6th. I froze on the phone, unable to respond. She repeated the information. I still wasn’t sure what to say. She explained that the photos would be categorized in the “old” bin due to the amount of time that had passed. I wanted to ask, "Are you sure the photos are old? Isn’t the date September 8th or 9th? I always pick up my photos on time."
My mind started to calculate the date, as if flipping through a calendar in slow motion, fast forwarding my level of comprehension to the fact that it was December 1st. Three months past due. "When did it become December?", I wanted to scream. I honestly had to concentrate on every word she was telling me. Finally, I was able to whisper to the young technician, “My husband died on September 6th. This is why I have not picked up the photos. I did not even remember they were there. I did not even remember that is what I was doing the morning that he died.” She apologized and reminded me that I had photos to pick up.
I said goodbye peacefully, even though I wanted to buy back time. I hung up the phone quietly, even though I wanted the call to linger. I wanted to convince the woman that it wasn’t winter-time. I wanted to let her know that my mind was completely accurate, that she must be mistaken. I wanted to let her know that the date must be only one or two days after I had originally dropped off my film. I wanted to cry and explain that maybe if she was wrong about this reminder call, then I would have the possibility of slipping back without notice into my normal life. I wanted to let her know that I would do anything to trade the distortion of time that engulfed me in place of regular time managed by a clock with a minute hand.
These were all of my afterthoughts. The lab tech didn’t have time for my nonsense. She had other calls to make. Time for her went forward. She couldn’t relate to me within my time-standing-still spectrum. She didn’t know how to handle a woman for whom time had stopped. Unfortunately, I am not sure how to handle a woman living in a time warp either.