Real Time

Real time. Watch out for it. In fact, watch out for real anything. This very morning Elisheva, currently my absolute favorite rabbi, explained that a Jewish wedding without a ketubah…well, it isn’t quite Jewish. The wedding agreement being intrinsic to the experience. I thought about this weighty matter and hit upon the only contemporary solution: a virtual ketubah. Elisheva smiled wanly. What the hell. It’s a serious matter, if you’re presiding over a wedding. Let alone being the groom. Having been groomed for groomhood, at least twice before. A mild anxiety-provoking moment when Elisheva asked about the get, a.k.a. Jewish divorce, from the first wife…long gone and pleasantly so. Not to worry. It wasn’t a Jewish wedding..not get-able. Where was I?

Oh, yes, real time. The supposed reality of overly contemporaneous time can easily do one in. Because they come at me, all day long, these things to do. And when they are not coming at me on my computer screen, they are coming at me elsewhere. Only yesterday, terribly pleased that I had actually found some missing securities certificates from my landlord’s estate, damned if I didn’t roll into the lawyers’ offices rather pleased with myself. One of those mildly triumphant moments when I actually do what is expected of me. Here they are, you lawyer guys, those documents you thought I couldn’t find. Not that I did find them, really, but looked on fondly while Menchu, star player on Team Filipina, dug them out of a manila folder. Not that it mattered just then, for I was prepared to take full, if only implied, credit for finally producing the long-discussed stock certificates. Except that neither attorney seemed all that impressed. They had bigger fish to fry, and within minutes I was in the frying pan. They had cooked up another approach to liability, inheritance, taxation and other matters that all add up to one simple issue, which to be short and sweet, involves the Grim Reaper and his swift approach.

No, I did not like being ambushed by the lawyers. But in fairness, they weren’t expecting me. And I wasn’t expecting them to be ready to burst into legal song just then. Thing is, I want refuge from all this stuff coming at me. Unfortunately, all this stuff is also known as life. It’s just that it needs to be turned off now and then. Which honestly, is quite simple to do. You just don’t look at your email. Leave it alone. There’s nothing there but stuff you expect, and as for the stuff you don’t, well, it can wait. At least a few minutes. As for the stuff you’ve forgotten, the stuff that was only supposed to lie dormant for a few hours or days while you decided what to do, how to respond, etc. Yes, that stuff has slipped out of sight, hasn’t it? And that’s the problem. Out of sight, but not out of mind. The only person out of his mind happens to be me.

Which brings us to online-Scrabble dementia, one of the things that afflicts me in this particular time of crisis. Trouble is, it’s in that email queue. A little reminder to play your move. In fact, miss a few of these reminders, you not only have one move, but several. Because your opponent, a.k.a. Jane, has tired of your nonresponsiveness to the first game she started. So she has opened another. And by the time you get back to the first game, you’re also getting reminded to make a move in the second. And it must be noted that there is nothing billable about Scrabble. Nor does it particularly help with the Palestinian caterer for the wedding reception. And the architect really doesn’t gain very much either. Still, it’s very compelling, Scrabble. All it wants is you, and a few words. That’s not really asking too much, is it? The trouble is, that an hour after you thought you’d just have a quick glance at the Scrabble board…damned if you’re not still there, still glancing. A glancing blow to the head, that’s what it is. But real enough. Real-time enough for anyone.

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