Impatience

IMPATIENCE.pdf

Title

Impatience

Creator

Jacob Schlitt

Description

"A useful piece of advice I heard a long time ago was: Know thyself." (Unfinished)

Date

2010/2011

Format

application/pdf

Type

text

Language

en

Identifier

IMPATIENCE

Text

IMPATIENCE

A useful piece of advice I heard a long time ago was: Know thyself. And Fran, who, through years of therapy, feels she knows herself, recently accused me of being “impatient.” My first reaction was, “Moi?” I became defensive, and tried to deny it. Then, I tried to rationalize and explain why I may, on occasion be impatient. Then, I thought, of course I am impatient, because Fran takes so damned long to do anything. Then, I thought that I should not be impatient, because Fran can’t help it. Then I thought, Fran was never aware of time, and always took so damned long, even before her illness. Then I acknowledged, even when Fran isn’t in the picture, I am impatient.

And so my life flashed before me, focusing on my behavior from the time I was a kid, until today. I saw myself “on line” at school, in stores, at the movies, at banks, in the subway, at airline terminals, wherever lines are formed. I was always impatient. I was always trying to figure out how to move through them as quickly as possible. I transformed the situation into a contest: me against the world. Thinking about the issue of “lines,” I made the clear distinction between honest and dishonest behavior. Impatience drives both behaviors, but sneaking into a line is dishonest. Figuring out how to identify the shortest line, or when there will be no line, or when a new line will open up, is honest, and it requires perspicacity.

In restaurants.

Waiting for the subway, bus or trolley.

Security at airports

Toll booths

Leaving a parking garage when a performance ends

Walking with someone who walks slower than me

Original Format

application/msword

Citation

Jacob Schlitt, “Impatience,” Autobiographical stories & other writing by Jacob Schlitt, accessed July 14, 2024, https://tsirlson.omeka.net/items/show/114.