The Week I Warped

by Ant Stone on October 3, 2008

in Australia

Beep beep, beep beep. Auto snooze – nine more minutes. Beep beep, beep beep. Slide out of bed, kiss her cheek, and grab a towel. Turn the shower on, brush my teeth, and take a leak. Step into the shower, soak my hair through, sud the armpits, groin and face. Rinse off and grab the towel. Left leg, right leg, head, chest, arms, and back. Walk to the kitchen, and pop the kettle on. Pour some cereal, cover in milk and slowly eat. Twenty minutes to go. Finish eating. Find some clean pants, then some socks, then a shirt and bring it all together with some trousers. Grab some fruit. Twelve minutes to go. Shoes on. Sweep hand through hair. One more kiss, and click the door to. Arrive at tram stop four minutes early. Ride the tram to the train station and wait for eight minutes before riding the train for twenty minutes. Wait ten minutes for bus, then ride it for five minutes. Walk two minutes to work. Work nine hours. Walk two minutes to bus, ride five minutes to wait ten minutes for train to ride twenty minutes to wait five minutes for tram to ride ten minutes to leave an eight minute walk. Open door, pop the kettle on, kiss the girlfriend. Go to sleep. Beep beep, beep beep. Auto snooze – nine more minutes.

There is a fundamental difference between the world of the wanderer and the world of the worker. It is not the intake of cultures and cuisines. It is not the skills they gather to instil into their kin. It is not their ‘live to work’ versus their ‘work to live’. It is schedules. Skejoōls. Lack of them gives you the freedom, not only to travel but also to be spiritually free. While their presence ties you down like a scrumping old troll. A few weeks ago it took me forty-five minutes from waking up to leaving the door. Now it takes me twenty-five, and that’s because I have integrated a daily schedule into my life, and perfected it. Whilst travelling, as no day can ever be the same (unless you’re on a well-earned beach break) your life is essentially scheduleless and therefore it’s open to the chaos theory. One thing happens that leads to another that leads to another and before you know it you’re sitting flummoxed on the kerbside while a random cow saunters passed and flicks warm piss off its pendulous tail. It’s this schedule free haven that is the cause of the fact that travellers count breakfast, lunch and dinner as the main things they did that day. I hate schedules. I like lists. Lists are infinite, schedules are finite.

As springtime stutters through Melbourne I’ve tried to make the most of time, in the last three weeks I’ve taken part in the World Record attempt for the World’s Biggest Time Warp. Yes, the “Let’s do the time warp, yeah!” A week later I drank and jived at the High Vibes music festival and a week after that I sat in the blazing sunshine on Federation Square and watched the AFL Grand Final along with thousands of Cats and Hawks fans. The fact that I was grossly hungover didn’t take away from the spectacle. In between all this I’ve worked my bleary eyed head off, to the point of zombification. I’ve turned my stint of employment into a personal challenge, I was relatively successful in a previous life so the chance to prove to myself that I still have what it takes to cut it in the real world has actually become – dare I say it – fun! I’m all “Me PLC” and “speculate to accumulate”, I actually became empowered by a sales launch that quoted everyone from Malcolm X to Mohammed Ali. I hasten to add I have not been reconverted, I’m just pointing out that I’m enjoying the test of returning to real world tasks. He who doth protest too much and all that.

The downside of this test is that I am barely managing to satisfy my horizon-addiction. I can’t talk for other travellers, but I know a big thing for me is that the horizon is accessible. Be it from a beach, a mountaintop or desert, if urban hills and natural guards are in place I become frustrated to the point of claustrophobia. Melbourne is designed fantastically to satisfy my craving, its road system is loosely striped over gentle hills and hollows, and often when I’m returning home from work I catch the sun timidly retreating down a quiet city street as if it had rolled down the hill in search of the serene waters of Phillip Bay. If my impulse to travel were represented by a rippling puddle, then it’s moments like these that form the faint footprints I yearn to follow.

    Time Warrrrrrp, yeah!

    Courtesy of Some Kid on YouTube


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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Gillian October 3, 2008 at 3:10 pm

Hey Ant,
Thanks for dropping by my site, mighty nice of Christine from http://www.AlmostFearless.com to give me a shout out. I’ve been visiting your site from time to time for a while now, just have never left a comment before – nice writing.

No schedule…I have NEVER lived without a schedule. It is one of the things that I am looking forward to. I imagine it will take some getting used to as it is an ingrained condition in me at this point. I welcome the challenge!

Cheers,
Gillian

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[F]oxymoron October 6, 2008 at 10:35 pm

Schedules are like cold water splashing you in the face. Sometimes they’re enjoyable, sometimes they’re a nuisance. But you’re right. When used properly, schedules allow you to squeeze the most out of life and travel, but I can count on my eleventh finger the number of jobs that strive to make this possible.

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Ant October 12, 2008 at 3:48 am

@Gillian: Thanks for unveiling yourself, it always surprises me when people reveal they’ve been reading for a while, a great surprise at that. Schedules are like stabilisers, they’re handy, but when you take them off you have a little wobble and then wonder how you ever lived with them. You’ll love it!

@[F]oxymoron: You’re a maverick of words mate, a maverick!

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Chris October 15, 2008 at 10:04 pm

Ant, Love the writing, You have a very eligant way with words. I will be reading your blog moving foward. Dont let the PLC get you! Fight it until the end!

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