10.31.2006,2:35 PM
Father Time and Halloween

I hate delegated time changes. Time changes infinitely. Otherwise nothing would exist. Existence in any aspect is measured by observed changes; time isn’t static and it can’t go back, it can only go forward. Unless someone invents a machine to travel back in time. Thus time is relative. Our perception of time changes more than time itself. If we weren’t able to observe changes and measure time by some unit of comparison, would time exist?

Enough of the circular metaphysics. The ‘Powers That Be’ decided to change our universal measurement of time: the clock. This time, to be redundant, it was setting the clocks backwards. Invariably, this always upsets my internal biological and mental clock (which I rely on more than the change of numbers on my wrist and walls). Although the upset is transient, this time it’s been over three days.

The first day, Sunday, was inconsequential. I rarely wear my watch on weekend days and avoid time-constrained commitments, if I can. I was an hour early to the Pie Run Saturday morning and enjoyed over a half-hour of quiet warm sunshine before others arrived. Sunday I dawdled around the house and rode into town to meet other riders to view the MotoGP. The lack of bikes at the Buffalo Wild Wings indicated I was early, so I had a tasty mocha at the nearby Starbucks until I was ready to go in. I was early again, but I always carry a book to read.

Sunday night before crawling under the covers in the dark, I adjusted my alarm clock to reflect the delegated time change. Or so I thought. I woke the next morning to the alarm beeping an hour later than I normally rise. With a resounding “Oh shit!” I leapt out of bed before I realized the futility of trying to beat the rush hour traffic. So I made a pot of coffee and leisurely prepared for the day at work and checked my email. I was late to work but not frazzled by rushing.

Last night before bed I readjusted the clock and checked the time for the alarm by the light of the lamp. Feeling confidant that all was well, I slept the night through with weird dreams and all, waking slowly with my mind already in gear. Hmmm….. something’s not right. I turned to look at the alarm clock and it was seven minutes before I usually leave the house. With a loud shout of strong profanity, I leapt out of bed, dumped enough ground coffee and water into the coffee maker for my thermal mug, pulled on clothes and brushed my teeth. I had a doctor’s appointment first thing this morning; I could not be late. I was dressed, out of the house and on the bike in full gear in twelve minutes; record time for me.

I kept the face shield up to use the cold air as a wake-up call. Fortunately and carefully, I made up the lost fifteen minutes by rolling the throttle aggressively on the dark FM road and on the three-lanes of I-820 before it dwindled to two lanes of bumper-to-bumper morning traffic. I arrived at the train station only five minutes later than normal but in the morning light rather than darkness as it has been for over a month. This threw me off, too, but not unpleasantly. For once I could remove my belongings out of the side cases in the light rather than fishing in the dark. I covered the bike (yes, I cover my bike) and made it to the station platform shortly before my train pulled in. But this morning I was wearing all my gear; I didn’t have enough time to remove and stash my riding pants in a side case.

On the upper deck of the train car, I pulled off my bulky touring jacket and unzipped one of the two jackets underneath for comfort. Sipping on my still-warm coffee was a delight as I read my book on the way to work. I was finally waking up.

Debarking from the train, I walked through the hospital and into the medical center to the building where my appointment was. Since my former lab was nearby, I knew the route and arrived at my destination in time for a small coffee provided by the staff. Walking up to the counter to check in, the young man looked up, smiled and said:

“Cool; nice Halloween costume!”

I looked at him quizzically and asked: “Excuse me?”

“Nice costume. A ‘biker,’ right?”

Then it dawned on me that I was still in full gear, only minus helmet and gloves.

“Um, no. I *am* a ‘biker’. I ride a motorcycle to work. This is my riding gear.”

A flash of embarrassment crossed his face and his eyes darted about;

“Ohhhh!!! I’m sorry. I see. Um, yes. If you’ll just have a seat and the physician’s assistant will be right with you.”

In a few moments I was in one of the privacy rooms and removed my coat, two jackets underneath and proceeded to pull apart the Velcro, unzip and pull my outer pants off. Phew. It was getting warm in all this gear.

In several minutes I was arguing with the MD that I can’t take antihistamines that make me groggy or drowsy. I ride a motorcycle; I cannot afford any impairment of judgment or reflexes. Okay, so now I have a nasal corticosteroid to try.

No, I don’t care if I am at the age where “folks should be taking statins.” I don’t have high cholesterol, I am aware of the side effects and I’m a biologist; I read the literature. No definitive evidence exists to substantiate efficacy of statins for every middle-aged human regardless of health status. I’m not a mouse. I refuse medication for a condition I don’t have.

I politely smiled at the roll of her eyes. Muting my rant about the medical profession’s universal tendency for blanket prescribing unnecessary medication, I pleasantly wished her a nice day while I donned my riding gear and sunglasses.

I wandered into the lab and yelled a “Happy Halloween, everybody!!” to the lab staff and welcomed a cappuccino from the office espresso machine. Ahhh, that frothy milk-laced elixir of the Goddesses.

Life is good.

Labels: ,

posted by Macrobe
Permalink ¤