Schedules…10 a.m. here, noon there…was it always thus? Yet from another perspective, I cannot account for the day. I seem to recall…and stress the word ‘seem’…that human existence was much simpler. Perhaps this was the phase called childhood.
I have discovered through one friend that another lives directly across the street from my new San Francisco home. So what to do? Well, here it must be conceded, the disability rears its human head. I cannot knock on Dick’s door, which is up several steps. So what to do? Well, Dick popped up on a neighborhood chat site, I responded humorously, and we exchanged emails. Note that all of this is occurring via transmission of text at the speed of light, along miles of fiber-optic cables, through a switch or two…and I wouldn’t be surprised if my cross-street communiqué involved a satellite. All to get from one side of the street to the other. And there is more.
Drop by tomorrow afternoon, I innocently suggested…via electronic transmission, of course…doubtless involving a server farm south of Toledo. The one in Spain, probably. So, drop by? Well, turns out Dick had dinner in Berkeley, wanted to make it fairly early…so we said 3 PM. Why did we say 3 PM? Why didn’t I just say, ‘Dick, wander by and say hi.’ I used to. Life was either better then or younger then. I can’t recall. But maybe it was both.
Then with another day dawning, and Jane having an evening meeting, well, when would we see each other? Couldn’t we go out to lunch? The problem: that 12 noon appointment with the massage guy, my savior post-11-hour-flight. But why is this a problem since the invention of late lunches? Well, being extra stiff, turns out that my massage appointment might have stretched until about 2 PM…and then I had to get home to see Dick. Oh, what a dilemma.
Simple answer…reschedule Dick. So we exchanged, of course, emails, and he was perfectly happy to wander across the street…that 15 meter commute…to say hello, next morning. So, things were looking splendid…except that I had told Jane about my massage, then meeting with my old friend…and she had scheduled a lunch meeting. Well, maybe we would do something…maybe meet for coffee after my appointment. As for Dick, he was my only morning event, appointments being rather thin on the ground these days. And having only one appointment in the morning, there was no forgetting.
But there was also no foretelling. Because next day, right at 10:45 AM, the guy who was wiring stuff together in our living room wanted to have a chat. With both of us. And hearing that I was out the door at 11:30 AM for my massage and he had pressing business in the suburbs, well, it was then or never. Naturally, I emailed Dick to reschedule. I seriously considered waving at him or throwing a paper airplane out our window. But there wasn’t time.