“I wonder what’s taking Tommy, Mack, and F.C. so long,” Charlie complained to Fred. They said they’d leave their marks prominently displayed when they got here.”
The five old friends, having parted forty years ago due to circumstances beyond their control, had promised then that they’d get together on Veterans’ Day this year at exactly this spot, and that each would write his name where it could be easily seen.
“Maybe there’s been a mistake, or a delay because of traffic,” Fred reminded his friend, as they stood atop the boardwalk, waiting patiently for the others to arrive.
Greetings and salutations, one and all, as Rochelle , who has also so graciously supplied this week’s photo prompt, guides us through yet another Friday Fictioneers.
There are different waiting periods for different circumstances. Some things take only minutes and some can even be expected to take decades. Each individual should find out what the average time is for the specific goal he’s after and take it from there. Of course often someone may be expected to be kept waiting for an inordinate length of time. Under those circumstances it pays to be at least a bit pushy. I most certainly don’t ever intend to wait for an hour on a phone while some nasty customer service characters subject me to annoying music while they feel free to twiddle their thumbs. Still, one must accept what one must accept. Unfortunately I’ve always been quite impatient and that never works out to anyone’s advantage. The only answer to the question about how long someone should wait for something is, as long as it takes.
If I were to wake up tomorrow morning only to find out that each day would, from then on, last for twenty five hours, I don’t suppose that it would make much difference. That only adds up to 2.5 more minutes for each hour. In the long run it would make quite a difference but no noticeable change would transpire over the course of each specific day. I suppose I could sleep a bit more. Unfortunately I never get any sleep anyway so perhaps I should say that I could lie down a little more. I can imagine that workplaces, schools and other environments where schedules make a difference it would lead to quite a major change of plans, but for the average normal things in a guy’s life a mere hour, whether gained or lost, isn’t exactly the stuff of legends. The bad time change will soon be yet again upon us. With any luck an extra hour could be added to the daylight. If there’s one thing that could be absolutely guaranteed to drive me plum out of my mind it’s even more dark skies. Yet another problem may be my already nasty case of excessive impatience. As long as I don’t have to be kept waiting for things even longer, and to get even more frustrated than I already tend to get, I’m happy with it. Perhaps I could steal the hour from each day and, since I ever so bitterly despise noise, officially declare it a peace and quiet time during which all unwelcome sound would be banished.
There are several job descriptions that would drive me out of my mind. I can’t possibly do anything that involves heavy lifting or heights since I’ve always been irremediably incapable of dealing with things like that. Perhaps if I were ever forced to pick one job that would be absolutely irrevocably forbidden to me, no matter what, it would have to be anything involving a telephone. Although I can understand that it’s always unavoidably mandatory to spend at least a little time on the phone over the course of any job, or any other circumstances whatsoever, if I were ever to get a job that required me to spend a significant amount of time anywhere near a phone, I should surely go entirely out of my mind. For as far back as I can remember I’ve never been able to stand anything about this most horrible of things. I can’t stand the sound of one when it’s ringing. I can’t stand to be anywhere near anyone who’s talking on one. Whenever I’m forced to talk on the phone I always cringe with extreme impatience and anxiety, hoping to get it over with as soon as possible. To have to spend forty hours each week of my life dealing with something like that would be pure and merciless torture.
I can most certainly understand that there have always been excessively talkative people. Over the years I have been subjected to so many of them. If I should ever happen to be required to sit right next to someone like that I should hope to keep it as brief as possible. I have often been subjected to someone who starts talking and can’t be stopped. Whenever that happens I make every legitimately possible effort to humor him and to get it over with, by way of as little trouble as possible. Everyone who knows me even only somewhat knows about my notorious problems with impatience. I’ve never been able to stand excessive volume or anyone who’s too talkative. There are many people who get a kick out of having a chatterbox available, and who would even consider it an exceptional opportunity to cultivate a new friendship. All I see, though, is yet another problem with my being unavoidably backed into an unwelcome corner. Most talkative people, as far as I know, seem to mean quite well. There are also the genuinely deliberately pushy, nasty, boorish clods. The former are only annoying but it’s not unusually hard to figure something out about how to deal with that kind of trouble. The latter, of course, are exceptionally difficult to handle. My temper under those circumstances gets really nasty. Yet another major problem with someone who rambles on incessantly is that he often chooses a topic of conversation about which I know little or nothing. I have been subjected to several exceptionally annoying soliloquies about subjects from sports to politics. I don’t know the first thing about either of them, or any of several other things either, so it’s pointless even to try to get me actively engaged in a conversation of that nature. I also don’t want to hear about some stranger’s family or friends, neighbors, connections at work, or his past. It’s a truly uncomfortable experience. Although I invariably desperately want to get away from someone like that, I’m virutally always forced to concede defeat, at least temporarily.
For a very long time I have always had quite a seriously nasty problem with unresolved anger and impatience. In the sense that I’ve extremely often been treated entirely nightmarishly unfairly by precisely the very people whose trust I should have had the most significant right to count on, I’m no different than anyone else. To my chagrin, though, I tend frequently to get excessively angry. Somehow my ire has never come out in any overly drastic way. I have always had quite an extremely seriously nasty problem with hypersensitivity to noise. Over the years I’ve frequently told the story of the time I worked in the Sales Processing department at Citicorp Retail Services on Long Island. There was a department right next to ours where the people there absolutely constantly yelled and, for some insane reason, laughed incessantly without its serving any known purpose whatsoever. My notoriously bitter anger and resentment, combined with utter impatience, really seethed entirely out of control. Ultimately I should like to think that I can be considered quite an exceptionally good natured, jolly good fellow in general but when my much nastier character defects start kicking into gear, watch out, bucko! I very much like to think that I’ve always given each individual each and every single possible opportunity to treat me with a sufficient minimum degree of respect, and that I’ve always done quite a sufficiently reasonably good job of humoring everyone about all his quirks and attitude problems. There’s that nasty side of me, though, a sort of evil alter ego, that keeps bouncing around somewhere inside me. Under most circumstances I can be counted on to be quite an eminently lovable neurotic. The very good news is that anger and impatience are like fear, ambition, envy and other character traits in the sense that if they aren’t acted upon they don’t count. If someone doesn’t take advantage of a character strength of his, he doesn’t get credit. If he doesn’t succumb to a weakness, he doesn’t get any blame. That’s why I try quite hard not to act very much on my anger.
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