Slowpoke

For Good Measure #1 (JUICE Magazine)

Buzz. Click. Swoosh. Ding. It’s 915am and I’m out the front door, besting my personal record of getting ready. I brisk walk to the train station with my morning juice in one hand, a sandwich in the other; munching away — I am a multitasking machine. The hasty pace of my heels accompany me while I balance a well-thought-out combination of “through-out-the-day” necessitates — folders of documents, my guitar, a duffel bag with a change of clothes, a tote bag full of merchandise, my packed lunch — all clasps or slung between my armpit and elbows. Swiping away on the phone with my one free pinky finger; i ferociously check my emails, twitter feed, and my watch for my crime against punctuality. Time check: 926am; Good. The train will be here very soon.

Huff. I breathed, almost for the first time today and waited in the uncomfortable pause. Forced to submit to the slows, I turned my gaze to the reflection on the tinted glass and felt the weight of all the lives i wish i could be living on my back.

Gruggung-screechhh. The train (ironically) interrupts my thoughts and I snap back to the pace of urgency. I ain’t got no time for the slows; resigning to busy-ness of the day to carry me away. Studio time, number crunching, deadlines, dealing with humans, replying emails, attending meetings, press conference, band rehearsal, media event, photo shoot, soundcheck and show; it’s a marathon of emotional output until it’s stupid-o’-clock and I finally punch the clock when my body tells me I’ve earned the sleep. I throw myself to the mattresses, feeling thankful to be horizontal again.

Silence. This is the part where the slows catches up with me and as much as i resist, emptiness weighs in. An emptiness that soon welcomes a jellyfish poke of loneliness that sends me jolting out of bed and into my running shoes for a late night dose of endorphins. Clearly, I’m not tired enough if I’m still thinking. I toggled through my list of bookmarked podcasts and settled on Star Talk Radio. I check my pulse, fastened my armband and stretched my hamstrings for the last time before catapulting out my front gate, cueing my opsimathy with astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. Today’s topic: Gravitational Time Dilation.

Gravitational time dilation is a phenomenon whereby the difference of elapsed time between two events as measured by observers situated at varying distances from a gravitating mass. It is said that the weaker the gravitational potential, the faster time passes. Simply put, the closer you are to a large gravitating mass like our Earth, the slower time runs. That’s right, gravity makes time run slowly.

The episode concludes with Dr. Tyson citing Einstein who (according to his theory of relativity) suggests that the faster one travels out of gravity, the slower one moves through time. It’s like despite gaining time, a gravity-defying traveller would also be leaving time behind at the same time.

Silence, again. The podcast ended and I remove my earbuds to find myself in the peace of crickets and the rustling of trees. How does one beat gravity, how does one beat the slows? Setting my gaze to the skies, I released the tension in my body with a long exhale, hugged my knees and search the skies for an answer.

“The only way is up”, I whisper to myself. Truth is, I cannot beat heartache, I cannot beat the slows, and I cannot beat gravity. Not now at least. So I’ll just run from it. I’ll travel fast like the speed of light and bolt out into the stratosphere where I gain time and distance. The truth is, I’m guilty of choosing the hard and fast life so that I can leave my feelings behind. It’s not the ideal way to live, but I take comfort in knowing that this is all temporary and stand convicted my head’s better beyond the clouds. At least until something worthwhile grounds me. I just hope I don’t forget what I leave behind or wander too far off into space.

I spring up on my feet anticipating the slows closing in again. I’m ready to flee. For good measure, I put my earphones, searching through my playlist for a soundtrack to accompany my ethos and decided upon the wisdom of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. The stars could not look anymore limitless as the chorus embraces me and compels me to sing out to the cosmos:

“Slowpoke, we got somethings to find,
When i was faster i was always behind.”
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