Time Warp

warp 0820

One of my friends heard this line somewhere, and it quickly became her favorite saying: “Is this Friday, or is it June?” She certainly didn’t have to explain the humor to me, but when you’re living it, it’s maybe not as funny as I ought to find it.

I find myself doing that multiple times, like just yesterday. Mary, the middle school athletic director (and the daughter of the late J.W. and Joanie Campbell), came in again yesterday, and this time she had exciting personal news: she’s going to be a grandma!

Now, since Mary is slightly younger than me, this seems a little wrong anyway, that we are of grandparent age, but what really threw me was she said her son Casey and wife Sammy (I don’t how she spells this) are expecting a boy in December. I thought, How can they possibly know what the sex is so early? And then had to remind myself it’s not April like I keep thinking.

This whole year is so skewed, and I am having trouble tracking where we are in it. I also didn’t do myself any favors when I forgot to take care of my unemployment forms that were due July 31. This is a quarterly payment that gets made whether there’s a pandemic on or not. I’m already imagining that these payments, which every Colorado business makes, are going to be much more expensive next year when we won’t have the wherewithal to pay more. It’s how the state’s unemployment fund gets funded.

But I completely forgot, despite putting a note to myself on multiple lists, and the state helpfully waited until the July 31 deadline passed to send a reminder. Filing this form and making the payment one business day late cost an extra $54 when we don’t have any money to squander. And this feels like a really stupid squander.

Not that I’m a conspiracy theorist, but I believe the state does that on purpose. If you sent reminders two days before the final deadline each quarter, you wouldn’t collect nearly as much revenue as when you remind people one day after the deadline. That seems a rather spurious practice. But then, I rarely expect much in the way of assistance from bureaucracies.

(I do have to acknowledge receiving substantial financial assistance from bureaucracies this year, but in terms of getting substantive assistance on a regular basis from the agencies out there that demand money from businesses, it rarely, rarely happens.)

So I missed a deadline because I missed the end of a month, even though I did get payroll done, but I just struggle with time. I mean, my struggle with time management is an on-going thing, and I’m generally up on what day of the week it is, but I am so dislocated as to where we are in the year.

It shouldn’t be this hard. It’s obviously summer by every metric out there. The days are hot and the weather patterns suggest haying season, which around here runs mid-July through August. I have to wait for several cars to pass before I can access the highway; tourists abound; I’ve been to the farmers’ market . . .  but I am still not really in summer.

I’m just about too late to catch that bus anyway. The Denver news the last two days has been highlighting the tiny town of Aguilar, which never, ever (ever) makes the news. Except now it’s the first place in the state to start back to school, opening its doors for the first day yesterday.

A bloody nose brought former Pat’s employee Doug through our door yesterday — a dearth of public restrooms had him asking to use ours to clean up and stop the bleeding.

Doug left us to work as a custodian for Western Not State, and he said student athletes are moving into the dorms as of today. I didn’t know they were planning on sports; Doug thought they are looking at shortened, limited seasons, but added it seems to change by the day.

He also said a second custodial shift has been detailed to attend to the additional cleaning required for the dorms, and that students moving in will be given half an hour to do so, with the assistance of no more than two family members. At the end of the half-hour, family members are no longer allowed in the dorm, and the student is on his or her own to finish anything that might be left.

They are still soliciting community volunteers for the “Moving Crew,” which I used to volunteer for. I stopped volunteering long ago, right after two families with their strong, able college sons rooming together on the third floor (no elevator) stood by and watched as I carted everything up for them. But even had I been of a mind to volunteer, I think I would be taking a pass on it this year.

But all of this talk of college students and dorms is obscuring the part where that means it’s August. Honestly, I have no idea where May, June and July went.

And it’s not the usual speedy passage of time, either, the kind where someone who was a little kid yesterday comes into contact with me and I wonder how it is that they have little kids of their own already.

It’s just a giant pandemic blur. And a really off year at work. The tourists are coming in and buying things, and we currently have a giant stack of boxes of shirts waiting to be printed, with Kara stressed about how it’s all going to get done in time, which seems very typical for summer, but this is happening in August with a reduced staff rather than June with an overfull staff. It’s making life rather surreal.

So while I’m pretty sure today is Tuesday, I’m equally convinced we are early yet in this year. So how people know the sex of their unborn grandchild due in December is beyond me, and why people are talking about moving into dorms I don’t understand, and any ol’ day now I’d better start getting ready for the summer rush at work.

Some year maybe it will all make sense, but right now reality is somewhere off on a distant horizon, and no matter how fast I run, I’m never going to catch it. Is it Tuesday, or August?



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