The 11th Hour
By Patrizia Stiegler
Another long-standing theory is that we have a ghost in the flat, who moves the arms of the clock forward when no one is looking. Unfortunately, I have yet to meet them, at which point I would like to find out when they are finally taking their holiday, to comply with working regulations. And so I can put my actual important appointments on those days.
My godmother claims it is a weakness of character and a show of utter disrespect towards humanity. Meanwhile, she is blissfully ignorant of her four daughters being notoriously early to every event ever and creating a completely different set of problems.
Whatever the cause, my everlasting fight with time has led to some hilarious situations over the years. Including being so late for my own twenty-fifth birthday party I ended up being the designated sober person. It did leave me with enough blackmail material for the next day; I could force someone else to get up and make breakfast. However, people no longer expected me to be on time anymore for anything, including weddings, funerals, and christenings.
Another skill I developed, due to being short on time, is “live make-up sessions” on public transport, as I like to call them. So far, even on the bumpiest bus ride, I still managed a semi-respectable eyeliner line and often acquired great tips from whoever had the unfortunate privilege sitting next to me. It is a fact that I have written most of my homework, papers, emails, and a rather large part of my master’s thesis on trams, tubes, and buses because I was convinced there would be enough time in the morning.
Here is a hint: there never is. And I blame all my wrinkles, destroyed nerves, hate for high heels (very hard to sprint after a tram on cobblestones while wearing them) on the fact that I somehow always cut it too short. Every single time. Even when I had sworn there was enough time to do all of the 10 things on my to-do list and load the dishwasher. Somehow the hands on the clock moved faster than they were supposed to. People don’t even expect me to be on time for my own funeral, which really is the only occasion I would not mind being late. Their faces alone would be worth it.
There is of course a scientific explanation for this. As I was informed many times, it would be better to step away from anything time and clock-related as a dyspraxic and dyslexic person. It might just not be my thing. But, well that is rather boring, to begin with as neither tram nor train really care about that. Also, who doesn’t want a ghost in their house? I certainly do, if nothing else it would keep the cat entertained.
I loved reading this, Patrizia…and now have a deeper appreciation for those times you arrived out of breath for a Sunday creative writing session. I always thought it was because you’d come straight from a big night out. Now I realise – it’s that pesky ghost in your apartment
I liked the humour in this piece a lot – despite how guilty it made me feel about my own tardiness. I thought the humour and thoughtfulness were really well combined.