Wasting Time

I hate to waste time. Ideally, my time should be spent with family, friends, pursuing investments, exercising, reading, sleeping, on the computer, or on a host of other things that are productive, including helping others.

I am not driven. I like to relax and watch the NFL on TV. The time I hate to waste is the kind that occurs when I do something stupid and time is needed to undo.

Having a heart attack, which I've had, and spending five days in the hospital, which I've done, is not considered by me a waste of time. That's just life.

However, falling in your home and breaking a body part I do consider, possibly unfairly, a waste of time. I believe that, if one does daily balance exercises and is careful, one will not seriously fall. And I have not. If you fall, it is your fault I will believe that until I fall.

Getting hit by a car while jaywalking I also consider a waste of time or worse. Jaywalking is stupid and I stupidly do it. I am, however, careful in my carelessness. It may seem strange but I am more concerned about wasting time than about the possible injury itself. So far so good.

Recently, I stupidly wasted a whole day. I was on my computer when a message appeared blocking my email. It was from Microsoft, filled with dire warnings and commanding me to call Microsoft support. I called and somebody led me through a series of clicks. "How do I know you're not a hacker?" I asked. "I'm just trying to help you," he replied with exasperation. I am pretty slow in the
click department.

Stupid question, right? And stupid call to begin with. Yes, the villain got control of my computer. Then he wanted me to pay $300 for virus protection. He wanted my credit card number. That's when this sucker woke up. I shouted an obscenity at him and hung up. In the blank space in the upper right of my computer a message appeared. It was succinct. "Fuck you," it said.

I guess that was proof positive.

To undo this damage, I lugged the computer to an Apple Store and spent a whole day trying to convince Yahoo Mail that I was me.

This is the kind of time-wasting that I deplore. I hope I don't fall for that again. But I may do something else foolish, like rushing to make a departing subway. The mistakes I could make are legion. Even little mistakes can be costly. For I am a bleeder, an eighty-nine-year-old with thin skin taking two blood thinners. Look at me cross-eyed and I might bleed.

Back to time, an extremely valuable commodity. I do so hate to waste it. I don't think that is a function of age. I've always felt that way.

But I think I would not write this piece if I were on food stamps. I have the dubious luxury of impatience. I must be spoiled. A really nice guy but definitely spoiled.