The Speed of Time

Bret - Eagle, Idaho
Entered on January 13, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: change


If money was time my investments as a child failed two times over. When I was young time was nothing but a math assignment, a test to see if the second grade brain was capable of telling time… but it wasn’t. We didn’t know a thing about time because we thought that it was simply reading the hands on the clock. I never realized that time was a pick pocket, always stealing behind my back, getting the best of me when I wasn’t looking. My teachers taught me time in second grade, but I never learned time until the end of my senior year.

Starting anew at Eagle High School was like being dropped into a field of fresh powder, where I could make my own tracks and build what I wanted to build, mold and shape how I saw fit, and trample the unimportant. When I think hard I can remember my earliest memories of high school, and the word “small” comes to mind. I felt like an insignificant speck of dust in the sandstorm that surrounded me, and if I screamed nobody would notice. My locker was conveniently placed on the bottom row, right at my level. At lunch us freshman would huddle around our table and watch the seniors, and listen to them, idolize them, and wonder how we could ever be one. We stared mysteriously, wondering how four years made midgets into giants, and bottom lockers turn to top lockers. In our tiny freshman minds four years was a quarter of our existence, and that was a big chunk of time that we never thought we would complete.

I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that I would one day carry a calculus book and sport a mustache. I never thought that the doors at school would feel light when I opened them, and that one day I would feel crammed inside the school. Not in my wildest dreams could I have ever envisioned my last football game, nor could I see my self even playing on the Varsity squad. I never thought of anything past high school because it was like a mirage in the distance that never seemed to get any closer. But as I’ve experienced, tomorrow will blow away with only a slight breeze, and my next breathe is suddenly next year, and before I even knew it I was a senior.

A senior without a mustache who didn’t want to take calculus. I had learned the school; the ins and outs, I knew every room and the teachers that occupied them. I knew that on Fridays the eggs in the burritos would be green and that pizza day is always the best day. After buying four years of lunches my friends and I found a very extraordinary lunch lady who would give special discounts to hungry senior boys. I studied the high school girl’s brain and concluded nothing. I have been in and out of love. I took algebra 1 twice and faked learning French. I got my drivers license and since then I’ve hit a cat, a mailbox, cars, and two signs. My dad’s beard has gotten a few more grey hairs, and I’ve made my mom loose a few. I’ve floated the river with two tubes and four people, and started a camp fire from scratch. I have made best friends, and lost good ones. I have slept on my trampoline and in a hammock. I’ve sat in a duck blind at four a.m. looking at the bright moon and stars with a coffee and a best friend. I’ve scored four touchdowns in one game. I’ve been taught Newton’s laws of gravity the hard way. I have cried from adversity, pain and joy. The past four years I’ve been so busy doing, running, thinking, and walking that time has never caught up till just now.

My dad is forty six years old, and even with his grey hairs he still tells me he feels sixteen, and still has the jittery excitement that that stirs before a journey. And yet he is more than half way done. When I was a freshman, my dad told me time flies.

He was wrong. Now, in my highly developed senior mind I have realized time does much more than fly. It hurdles, sprints, drives, reaches and scratches its way towards the finish line. Like a 747 bound for the end, time goes so fast that the little details down below are often over looked. Sometimes my parents ask me where time goes, but I’ve never had a good answer for them, because I had never heard the roar of its engine, smelled its exhaust, or saw the black cloud time’s burning wheels make. I just know that I’ve finally realized its unflagging speeds, and that time obeys no speed limits, and no law will ever enforce it. This I believe.