Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Passage of Time and Those Whom We See

I was going to write something along this line last week but had too many other things to write and then last night I had such realistic dreams that spurred so much thought that I thought I could combine the two.

First, 10 days ago riding back from my aunt's place in Virginia, we made the annual stop at this 7-11. The morning stop here has been a tradition now for at least six years. Typically we're there before the sun comes up and something like this, something that you may think is simply a trivial stop, for me, is one of the highlights of the trip. Why is it? I have no idea, but it is. Well, perhaps it's simply the tradition of itself that makes it such a sacred time. Whatever the case it is important and I would not feel right at all if we skipped it.

There's more to that stop though and each year I've gone in the same older man is working it. I've said many times I don't remember people in my memories, and I can't recall one bit of info about him right now, but when I see someone again I do recall them. Seeing this man each year is just part of the tradition and while I'm sure, for most people, a nameless person behind the counter is just that, for me the sameness is so important.

Last night, as I mentioned, my dreams were very realistic and as I woke up I was expecting to get ready to go to work. That's not of the norm but I was ready to head to Pioneer Bank and Trust in Maplewood to be a teller. It was the fourth job I had in my life and my dream took me right back to the winter of 2002. In my dream I was right back in my sensory deprivement chamber (aka the drive-thru in the parking lot) ready to take on the business of deposits.

The dream was more than just about the job, but oddly enough it was about the people. There was a routine with the various businesses that made deposits and those people grew to know me. It was an odd dream as it felt real and it felt as if today was December 7, 2002. Again, as with the 7-11 clerk, the people were more than just a bank account number, but it provided a consistent stream in the chaotic stream that is time.

This morning I did go to my real job and had a 8AM presentation to police officers from the City of Saint Louis going through CIT training. As I drove there though I was lost in the confusing thought of time. I used to get lost in this daily before I had direction in my life with my job, but I thought back to the days at the bank and how that was 9 years ago. Nine! Where did the time go? With my concept of time, when I experience something or am somewhere, such as the 7-11 in the pre-dawn hours in Virginia, it's like the passage of time ceases. Each time in 7-11 it's like I never left. Even though a year has passed it is like all those times are back-to-back. With my dream this morning it was like 2002 was now.

I have a busy rest of my day and I hope it will distract me from the crushing though of time. When one becomes time aware things seem harder and more difficult to understand. Also, I am thinking, "Wow, that was nine years ago, but where will I be in nine more years?" And also I think back to those I knew at the bank and I wonder where they are now. And also I think to that clerk at the 7-11; will he still be there next year? I'm sure he has no idea that I exist, but for me I'm fully aware of that he does. We on the spectrum may often appear aloof and uninterested in those around us but trust me when I say we do notice and we do care. Those whom we see in life may never know it, but we do care that you're there even if you don't know we do. Perhaps it is simply that we don't like change, for me, I think, it's more than that. Of course with the passage of time everything changes and that brings me back to square one of wondering what all those people I knew back at Pioneer Bank and Trust are doing now, and I wonder what the people of today in my life will be doing nine years from now as I wonder back to nine years ago.

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