Waiting by Phuoc-Tan Diep

Waiting

12pm
I hate waiting – always have.

1pm
Memories are littered with queues springing up ambushing me whilst I rushed for trains and zoo visits in torrential rain marred by people with umbrellas leaping out from under trees. 

2pm
I wished, back in the twenty first century, that I had time to watch the tigers.

3pm
I waited in lines with other passive aggressives whilst many tigers died.

4pm
I wasted so much time that tigers became extinct.

5pm
Luckily I found the secret of eternal life by accident, whilst waiting in the Post Office.

6pm
The secret is to hold onto life so tightly that none of it can slip through your hands.

7pm
In time it became effortless.

8pm
The problem, as I found out, is letting go.

9pm
I searched for the wisest minds in all the earth and beyond.

10pm
I waited in long queues to see them.

11pm
They did not know – how I could let go. Wisdom, they said, is not holding on so tightly in the first place.

12am
I still hate waiting, even with all the time in the world.

• P-T D is a regulat contributor to IS&T – and says this latest piece was inspired by work he did on an online creative writing course at UEA.

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