Sunday, April 04, 2004

Lost Time

One of the things I wish I did earlier in life was to take guitar lessons. I’ve always been a music fan, a child of pop. I went through many phases where I only listened to British bands, hair metal bands, British hair metal bands. I am the kind of music fan that wants to read all your liner notes, collect your esoterica, play "air" instruments with your band.

I played at many a concert, alternating from air drums, air keyboards and air guitar in one swift minute. I was such an adept at the air instrument that I could take an invisible monkey and an invisible organ grinder to a street corner and make some serious money. If I had learned to play the guitar earlier, I might have been a rock idol, instead of a being a legend in my own living room. When I finally summoned some courage, I enrolled in my first class a little over a year ago. In that first hour, I learned to play three chords, and with those three chords, five songs.

Spring forward. We advance the clock one hour, ceremoniously going through the house, coming upon each face, moving each set of hands until each one is set and then we have lost time; the season has changed from dreary winter to exultant spring.

I think about that lost hour, and the other thirty-four hours I have lost in my lifetime. Doesn't seem so much; not even two days or a working week. But then I think about how much I learned in one hour of guitar class.

The movement of the time forward has a tangible effect. What if I watched an earlier show at the movies? What if a troubled couple spent an extra hour in bed together, talking? What if Princess Diana left an hour early that fateful night of her death?

I met Brian two years ago, this month, in a bar, at 2am--the magic hour. What if instead of staying until closing, I decided to leave an hour early? If I had given in to fatigue, I would have missed him, drunken and flirtatious. Then this spring day, I might have been sitting alone at the coffee shop, staring out the window, as he walked pass with some other guy on his arm, in some other lifetime.