A Bend in Time

I stand in a dark coffee shop. In here, it is the colour of coffee itself. It is early morning but the shop is already full. People are writing, chatting, thinking, reading. The silver of the machines glistens, reflecting the light from the windows through the thick, oily air.

The smell of rich coffee tinged with chocolate rises, swirling around my head and making me giddy, dizzy.

I can taste it, from the tip of my tongue to the back of my throat. Sweet and bitter, thick and creamy.

I’m hungry, cold, and the anticipation is almost too much as I wait for the chocolate to melt into the coffee, to be mixed and poured. A dark magic.

I glance at the clock as time slows to a halt, the second hand creeping from one line to the next, barely moving across the clock face.

Can time slow down? Can it bend? Can it then speed up again, like a movie reel staring to move, colours and music and picture a momentary blur before becoming clear, right, and making sense once more?

I have seen time stop before.

As I stood before those moments we stole, 
the time in between stretched out, 
and in those glimpses of you 
it seemed 
as though the clocks had all stopped, 
conspiring,
granting us moments that did not exist. 
Time within time.

Lines of poetry begin to surface in my mind as I watch them pouring my drink. It is almost ready. I reach out to take it, repeating the lines as they come at me, repeating them like a mantra I must hold onto tightly, before all concentration vanishes.

In the time it takes to grasp my steaming cup and cross the room, to pull out a paper and fish for a pen, time jolts forward, speeding up. I try to catch it, to catch up to the lines before they are yanked beyond my reach. My mind and breath click into gear, warming up, speeding up, following the words around and around.

I am torn, torn between the anticipation of the thick, sweet treat, and the desperate need to capture the poem.

I am not a patient person, not a person who can sit and wait. In the end, I sip my drink and try to hold the lines in my head as I pin their remnants to the page.

The slowing and speeding of time has distracted me. It is like an elastic band, mesmerizing in its movements. Unbalancing.

I sit, staring out of the window. Trance-like. The coffee dregs have gone cold, the poem is only partially written.

Inspired by today’s Daily Prompt, A Bend in Time: When you’re giddy with excitement, does time speed up? Slow down? Tell us about the experience of anticipation.

More on anticipation:

Does Pie And Milk Speed-Up Time? How I Got There In A Flash (short fiction) | The Jittery Goat

A bend in time | Geek Ergo Sum

Excited kitty | Never Stationary

Giddy with excitement? Giddy? Really? Giddy? « RPMAS

Waiting from afar | Now Have At It!

A Second Chance….(wp daily prompt) | Daily Observations

Juliette, Juliette, Wherefore Art Thou Juliette – Daily Prompt: Waiting,  Ese’s Weekly Shoot & Quote Challenge: Desire, and Feathers on Friday | Babsje Heron

Waiting Is Hard | Flowers and Breezes

A waiter’s perception of time: | Rob’s Surf Report

A bend in time | Shelley Wilson

For the record | The verbal hedge

Affecting the Passage of Time | Nerdy Woman

Who is the boss | crookedeyebrows

Excitement (1): Eagerly Waiting

Excitement

Noun

1. A feeling of great enthusiasm and eagerness

I had been calm for the full 12 days. I hadn’t been nervous or excited or worried, much. No butterflies. And when I went to bed that last night, I fell asleep easily. I simply drifted off to quiet, undisturbed dreams.

When I awoke on the day, however, I felt a little stab of something near my heart. An eagerness. As my brain began to churn, my heart  started to beat a bit faster and I recognized the feeling of butterflies taking flight in my stomach.

At breakfast, I was almost too excited to eat and as I poured my second coffee, I wondered at the wisdom of heaping caffeine on adrenaline. But I drank it anyway.

A faint shiver gripped my hands as I cleaned up after breakfast, causing me to move clumsily and too quickly. I was jumpy and at the least little sound, my breath caught in my chest and my heart beat faster still.

There were hours left to wait.

I skipped my yoga class. I tried again to read, unsuccessfully. I sat down to write but across the blank page danced disruptive visions, until I was watching them as if they were actors in a movie, and could not pay any heed to the words appearing on the page.

Last minute errands called to me, seeming urgent in my excited state of mind. I rushed out of the house, trying to keep to a self-imposed schedule and was home again with time to spare.

I paced on pins and needles.

I did not even try to eat lunch.

I wandered on edge from room to room, straightening things that didn’t need to be straightened, picking up invisible pieces of fluff.

I finally admitted to myself that I was excited and eager and thrilled and happy. And that I couldn’t wait.

And then I headed out, almost an hour early, to wait there instead of pacing around the house again.

I parked the car and, in an imitation of calm, went to sit under a nearby tree with a book. I flipped through the pages, but I couldn’t tell you what the story was about.

Cars roared along the busy street by my tree and each one sent a thrill through me, causing me to look up expectantly.

And then, fifteen minutes early, it appeared. A bus with tinted windows pulled into the parking lot, drove at an excruciatingly slow pace to the end, and carefully swung around.

I found myself standing with others like me, watching the door eagerly. I felt a lump in my throat and my face flushed as my eyes prickled.

The door opened and one, two, three faces appeared as the boys descended – and then, the familiar but extraordinarily changed visage of my son materialized before me, all smiles and a bigger grin than I have ever seen.

Calm and mature beyond his eight years, he crossed the distance between the bus and where I was standing to give me a hug. He looked up at me and smiled and I knew then that he really had had the best time of his life.

In that instant, I relaxed completely, happy to have him home but thrilled for him that he would have the chance to go back to camp again and again in the years to come.

One of two responses to today’s Daily PromptTell us about the last thing you got excited about — butterflies-in-the-stomach, giggling, can’t-wait excited.