"Because time won't give me time..." ("Time" by Culture Club)
Cinderella only had to worry about the stroke of midnight.
The stroke of midnight no longer hems me in its prison. Oh yes, as a teenager and as a twenty-six year old returning home for a year, it did.
Now the stroke of each hour binds me in a chokehold. And the minute hand has just landed on twelve.
It is 8:00a.m.
He swivels around on the bar stool and whistles while he eats. Crumbs litter the carpet in a half arc. Perhaps it is a parachute of a memory escaping from the folds of dementia.
With his hiked-up boxers belted above his pants, he wrings his hands to a beat that only he hears. I set his weekly medicine organizer on the counter next to him. I clean up the kitchen and vacuum every room in the house.
I take out the trash. The stray cat curls its tail into a flipped-over question mark and perches by the green chair. An invitation to sit for awhile.
The wind chills me through my sweatshirt. A pair of birds glides through the sky, feathers flapping in sync. Three moving trucks barrel down the road, each one on a mission.
A story idea pops into my mind.Imagine that. Someone is moving on Christmas Eve. I sprint toward my room with the hopes of capturing details in chickenscratch.
Then it happens.
She elongates the first syllable of my name with the last one followed by her next demand.
The minute hand pivots past eleven toward twelve.
Damn, it is already 11a.m.
I had planned for my writing schedule to start at 12 noon each day. It doesn't look like it will happen.
With each movement of the clock's hands for the past 240 days, someone or something has been demanding my time. It no longer belongs to me.
I have made the decision to write again and no one respects that decision. I need the escape that writing provides.
But my family has always viewed writing as a hobby.
Oh yeah, it is a good talent to have when I needed to write something for them, but as a career...please. In their minds, writing does not enable a person to make money. It is a waste of time.
But I can't be everyone's everything. For forty years I have been a role, someone other than myself.
A representation of someone's expectation, not the embodiment of my own.
When the daily routine of life stagnates a dreamer's creativity, it leaves her with the task of excavating ideas buried in a bombarded mind.
I am determined to find balance.
At the stroke of midnight tonight, I become the master of my time.
I am too old to be Cinderella.