The imperfect art of impatience from the perspective of a hare (why time is never wasted for the tortoise). We discuss the art of waiting.

it-will-come-drawing

Many desperate nights in Los Angeles, with a little over $5 in my pocket, I slithered myself into a bar. I was so thirsty for a drink. Despair and unbalance seemingly the cornerstone of this lost city. All I wanted was a beer. A beer to lose myself in… To forget the missed job opportunities, or the horrible elevator pitch I made the night before. Nothing comes easy in this town, and everything becomes so fast-paced that patience is lost somewhere in the burnt forest that was once caught on fire. So I order myself a gentleman’s beer: Guinness. It was painful how the bartender took his time, polishing off a fine glass, holding it to the light, checking for any smears. “Speed up, Paco! No time for brevity!” I’d mutter. He’d find his way to the tap, slowly pouring the beer, tilting just at the right angle. He was half way there, my beer is almost here. But then, he stops, leaving it there, waiting for the distinction between the dark body and creamy head. “Fill her up, you fool!” I want it NOW!” I’d repeat over and over again in my head. But relax, I thought. Your time will come. He mingles with the other patrons, while my beer sits alone in the dark. But then, he tops her off, while the beer just kisses the lip of the glass. He ogles over it, proud, as if he just saved a boy from a furious train. My legs shake; my arms are numb, losing blood flow. “Snap out of it!” I would say! “You need those arms to drink… or do I?”  He places the coaster down, and lays that beautiful, dark Irish statue in front of me: Guinness. I want to inhale it. Molest it with my mouth. Forget tasting the cold foam caressing my dry lips. But then it finally sinks in. You may NOT have control of your life, deep in the Western part of the country, but here, right now, it’s you vs. the fast-paced reality of life. You are in control. Patience. Master the ART of waiting. So, in time, I make love to the beer. Swallowing every piece of it, like an exotic escort would her client, somewhere in the streets of Paris.

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Waiting and patience is a battle that every American faces, especially those in New York — and I’m not an exception. There was a time a batter would wait for the right pitch, eyeing down the pitcher, knowing his pitch will come. But now, all over the Majors, the batter must swing at the first pitch. Or the semi-overweight girl, who thinks “toothpick” is attractive, so she settles for the first bozo who actually has a full set of teeth. Or, in my case, anxiously wanting to sell a screenplay, knowing the script has an authentic and lucrative story, but selling it after the first producer bites, for enough money to pay rent for two months, but missing out on enough money to buy a home.

The Art of Waiting Playlist

A man once said, “Don’t cut a tree in the wintertime. You will only fail, and ware yourself out by doing so.” It’s an honest adage, and one we all should live by. Some of the biggest payouts are for those who have waited. Think of a river, any river. A river has no timeline; it knows that it cannot control the wind, the battered boats, or even the unforgiving storms.  But the river understands it will get to where it’s going, it always has, there is no doubt about that.

While I lived my life, thinking adventure comes first, and waiting comes second… Over time, I realized how dangerous that frame of mind is. Sure, my experiences have allowed me to grow and mature, and they make for some amazing cocktail stories. But who am I flattering at those cocktail parties? Business men, Politicians, Successful computer programmers, and more, those who have been waiting, understanding and persistent. They are the true heroes. My stories will fade into the warm sun out West. Like a Cowboy and Indian story that the old and used-up cowboys talk about through Texas to Arizona.

So take your time, whether it’s love, work or school. You have a lifetime to accomplish your dreams. And if you’re like me, you believe those who are truly happy will live forever. I found my happiness, in a girl, a girl I waited for my whole life.

written by JACOB N. STUART

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[illustration by Anais Lee]

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