Dan Chen was obsessed with two things. Time and numbers. When he discovered computers, he began to explore probabilities and statistics which led him to research the numbers associated with human lifetimes. Once we are born, how much time do we have to live? His research had brought acclaim in university and several insurance giants had offered him prestigious positions in their actuarial departments. But Dan had another idea, an idea that had made him a millionaire The LifeTime Watch, an innovative device that worn on one’s wrist, not only displayed the time of day, it also showed how long you had to live. Dan had created a program that integrated human body metrics such as pulse rates, body temperature, sleep time and stress levels, along with environmental sensors including air quality, temperature and humidity, as well as an active internet connection that monitored local and international weather, economic and political information. All this data was fed into a unique analysis program based on thousands of human life statistics to produce a current estimate of one’s actual lifetime expectancy. It had taken Dan years to perfect his program and then produce the prototype LifeTime Watch, which had been tested on real people for more than two years. And it worked. The LifeTime Watch was 97% accurate to years and months to live. Millions had been sold. He was nicknamed Timeman. But Dan’s obsession continued. Now he and a select group were beta testing a new model that would bring this same statistical accuracy down to days. Dan was checking the new Lifetime watch as he walked along a busy San Francisco sidewalk. He was troubled by the anomalies. What about the 3% who beat the odds. Did they have something in common? He stopped and looked around at the moving mass of humanity that had flooded outside for the rare summer sunshine in downtown San Fran. Who was going to live today? Who was going to die? He looked down at his watch. He shook his head, that couldn’t be right. He looked again. The display was filled with zeroes. Zero years. Zero months. Zero weeks. Zero days. Dan’s watch said his lifetime was… Failing to notice that the traffic light had changed, Dan had walked out into the busy street. He never saw the bus that hit him. Moral: Time stops for no man, and sometimes buses don’t either. tio stib You might also enjoy: Control Freaking; Life Journey Poems & Prose
I plucked it from among its friends pushed my fingers into the frigid stream felt among the hard, rounded forms blanketing the bottom and wrapped my hand around one that just felt right baking in the summer sun toes dangling tingling in icy water my mind studied the stone taken from its ancient home how many years how many millennia had passed to wear away its imperfections grind down its edges how much time tossed against other stones before all were worn into oneness how long will it take to wear away my ego how much time grinding against life to smooth out arrogant delusions until I am humbled into oneness smiling I toss the time traveler home splash! tio stib You might also enjoy: “If”; Life Journey Poems & Prose
There is a clock sitting on the shelf near our bed. It belonged to my mom’s dad and was passed on to me, making it my grandfather’s clock. Over a hundred years old, this timepiece is relatively small, meant to be set on a fireplace mantle, but it has a surprisingly vibrant chime. There are no batteries within, its mechanism driven by a coiled brass spring, which I wind weekly with a dozen turns of a key. For this effort, I am rewarded with a melodious chime counting out each and every hour.
I take comfort from these chimes, from the tick-tock of the ever swinging pendulum, an aroused awareness that time is now. I wonder if my grandfather, my mother, other family members, felt a similar connection.
I’ve lived more than 600,000 hours so far, a surprising number when I attempt to remember the breadth of my life experience. what happened to all those hours? The more important question, what will I do with the hours I have left?
Each tick of that clock is a moment I will never have again.
How many more chimes are left in my life?
How blessed I am to have had so many hours of being.
As my wife sleeps peacefully beside me, I again find comfort in the tick-tock of time, past, present, and future, and I drift away in hopes of hearing the morning chimes once more.
There’s an old folk song that beautifully expresses my sentiments, perfectly named, “My Grandfather’s Clock.” Here’s a link to a Johnny cash rendition
You might also enjoy My Dementia Diary 11 – Morning Bliss