I was parking my car last week when it occurred to me that this was a pain in the butt. I couldn’t find a space that wasn’t reserved or held in some fashion, on pain of towing. I tried one space after another, only to see a motorcycle or sub-subcompact parked in. I contemplated property damage. I just wanted to nip in and get some lunch before going back to work. The struggle to find parking in that deck was not panning out. I had to cut my losses and try a different parking deck further away. Finally finding a stall for my 2013 econobox, I came out into the light.
Parking took 5 minutes.
Time passes differently depending on what you are doing. Time flies when we are having fun, but it can stretch on for houses when the sakes are high. The act of parking in a lot involves the ever present danger of a thousand dollar body work bill, a lawsuit from the car you hit, or a long taxi ride to an industrial park to pay the going rate to get your car back. None of these rare pleasant prospects.
This is why strip malls, shopping malls, and pretty much everything built in America offer he last 80 years puts its best parking forward. If most of their assumed customer base is coming by traffic, then their offer of plentiful parking is the most important product they can offer to their prospective customer. Of course its a loss leaver, often taking up more of the property than the store itself, but if it get them int he door then it is the cost of doing business.
The different value of time extends to all acts. Transit passengers famously have little problem with the time spent moving in transit, but they will cry holy hell about the time spent waiting for a bus or a train. Uber, Lyft, and whatnot are outcompeting taxis because their distributed bud model f dispatching offers nearly instantaneous service, not dispatching form a central office. The act of writing, as I am doing here for the first time in almost month, is much less arduous than the sort of writing and research I’ve been doing instead.
Just as we are poor judges of the future because of unforeseen events, and poor judges of the past because of poor documentation, we are poor judges of the present because our attention and time is different depending on what we are doing. It might be more useful for me to talk to everyone in this here cafe at 7:50 in the morning, but I’d rather throw my fingers at the keyboard like a narcissist. We choose how to live the present, and how fast it passes us by.
Bristol, Virginia, Market Street, c. 1899
Last month was taken with a topic that disappointed me in my findings and myself. Therefore a great learning experience. I hope to write the next stage of it on these pages before the summer is out. I found that the dawn of humanity 6 million years was an OK place to abruptly stop the world-history tour, but I did have a bit more to write on that. It turned out that not nearly as much happened in 2 million years as happened in 200 million years. That I can’t find 500 words to write about 1,000x the time since Christ is indicative that I need to crack a book on the subject. Since I will only have my book to work on by the end of this week, I have all kinds of pent up plans for these pages.