Saturday, April 23, 2011

Give Me Your Time

By Brian Polk

With all the depressing shit that has come out of my mouth over the years, you might be surprised to hear that I am totally and completely in love with life (not in a hippie, “I love life because it’s special and everyone’s beautiful” kind of way, but more in an “I love life because the act of making art and playing games in the park is so fucking satisfying, it’s beyond words” kind of way.) I love doing things like making zines, throwing the Frisbee around, riding my bike, and playing and listening to music. I love waking up on my days off with the promise of endless bliss just waiting for me to find it. It’s like a scavenger hunt where the fun is just as much in the search of hidden gems as it is in actually finding them.

But, of course, with every patch of blue sky, there are always splotches of pollution that just mess everything up. And the splotches of pollution that get in my way are all related to time—that is, there just isn’t enough of it. When I embrace the gigantic smile on my face after making stencils for t-shirts, or laying out my zine, or making noise with my drums for an hour or two, I always have one eye on the clock, because time is the enemy of the lover of life. Since I work forty hours a week, I have all sorts of obligations, so fitting in all the things that make life worth living is an eternal struggle.

So every time I see people wasting their free time watching TV or complaining about being bored, I get utterly offended. Free time is a gift, and if you’re going to waste it in front of the television watching bullshit programs or playing ridiculous video games, then you might as well donate your time to someone who will actually appreciate and use it.

For example, your roommate wasted an hour complaining about how there’s nothing to do, when he could have been walking the dog (who, incidentally, would love to go for a walk; hell, she’s been waiting for someone to take her for a walk all week). But since you’re just going to waste your time complaining, I’ll take that hour off your hands and the dog and I will run around the park like a couple of crazies.
Or, let’s say, you spend two hours flipping through the channels, grumbling about how there’s nothing good on TV while an idea you had for a comic strip goes unrealized. Why don’t you tell me the idea, give me those two hours, and I’ll draw the comic strip even though you’re a much better artist than me. At least two hours and an idea won’t go to waste.

Better yet, if you’re so tired of finding ways to whittle away your leisure hours, you could volunteer to take a couple of my shifts down at the library. Then I could take your dog to the park, draw your comic strips, and concentrate on music and making more issues of this zine. Our little arrangement solves all sorts of problems.

So before you go squandering the precious hours of your life, please consider donating to the time-needy. There are people in your own city who try to fit a lifetime-and-a-half in a single lifetime. Meanwhile you watch yours pass you by from your spot on the couch. Don’t be time-greedy. Give today at your nearest time donation center.

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