I told Orso that if he wanted a “five years” post, he had to write it himself, this year. He did. And made a pretty good anniversary present out of it.
Yes, he uses words like “tardiness” and “mundane” in real life, too.
“When I met Tiger exactly five years ago she made clear from the very start that she is reluctant to compromise. The two things everyone notice when she entered the room was her overdressed beauty and her being fifteen minutes late to a social gathering at her own office. No one cared, it seemed. Mind you, I did not care: I was already infatuated.
Whenever she would have appeared in my life would have been a perfect moment where mundane time-keeping did not have a place.
It soon dawned to us that Tiger and I share an inner sense of punctual tardiness. Id est: we’re often late. We need to submit to time in order to organise our daily social life but we revolt against this restriction of individual freedom. The result is that we observe our commitments with a moderate but steady infusion of tardiness. That means: we’re both always a few minutes late everywhere.
Over the years, Tiger turned around my perception of time when we embarked into bubbles detached from daily life, where keeping track of time was futile. Or otherwise said: we spent and we still spend loads of time just the two of us, oblivious of the world around us.
She also started offering me watches. Not one, but many. In accordance with our conflictive relation to time, these watches are fashionable accessories rather than useful time indicators. They came in all colours, materials and shapes. Most are flashy and bright to go with specific parts of my garderobe. What is more, there are my personal eye-catchers. Every time I check if I am on time to be late, I think of Tiger, who will manage to arrive just a few minutes after me.
In those five years there have also been times when I messed up our relationship so much I was afraid she would not be late but really never show up again. When she did, the happiness was too great to care about how much time I had waited for that moment to come. The time would always have been right.
In South Africa, a great number of public clocks stand still, reminding us that time is after all a human invention and a moral conception, which is not universal. One says it is always ten thirty, elsewhere it is never else than three. If you look closely: if time is just a construct – can we ever be unpunctual? Five years ago, Tiger was unpunctual but she was perfectly on time for me.
She always is.”
(Tiger must be read with the German pronunciation as in “Der kleine Tiger”)