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so easy to be Friday’s wonder

May 9, 2012

This morning on my walk to work a guy passed me running for the bus, one shoe on and the other in hand. He jogged unevenly up and hopped one footed onto the bus, a full grin of total self commendation across his face. My smile took over my own face widely and without leave.

It’s always a thing of beauty to see another time gambler in action. We are the ones who are addicted to that most alluring conditioning schedule of all, the unpredictable, intermittent reward system known as partial reinforcement. Partial reinforcement occurs when a behavior is rewarded according to expectation or desire some of the time, unalterably at random. The memory of past successes drives us to run after the rainbow every time, and the very suspense makes it excruciatingly more interesting. Will we make it or will we not? Will it be sunset sorbets by smoothing spoonfuls or down in a blaze of glory? We are addicted to gambling with our time because that capricious, scintillating taste of victory ebbs most deliciously in the pools of cliff hang adrenaline; and because there is no better feeling than having it all and sliding into the last obligation in the nick of time on the fumes of a barren tank. The nick of time is the very best of all times; it is the glittering peak of moments and its heart of flame is its elusive transience – the nick of time is attainable only by perfection of function and form.

Perhaps the most pulse raising spirit soaring component of the nick of time power drive is the Hail Mary comeback. These occur when someone is just about to be well and truly fucked forever and they realize it; and for one or so rare and pungent seconds the chips are down and the flag goes up and there just isn’t a damn to give about the odds. The Hail Mary comeback derives its power from the pristine tip of the throwaway iceberg, where a single act of free will desperation somehow actually spirals perfectly along with reality and leaves the relevant world slack jawed in the afterglow of noble precision and witless luck.

Time gambling slides its silken self around your body and rocks you with the hushed laugher of ultimate cake; the having and the eating. It runs icy fingers down vibrating vertebrae: it is the having, or the not.

I am

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