April 8, 2020

Tokens, Part 1

6:34 AM

Time is a rather interesting currency. It spends itself regardless of our choices and continually empties and replenishes itself in a manner undetectable by any means besides hindsight. Rough estimates are easy to make for some things: it will take approximately half an hour to complete one game of League of Legends, four years on average to obtain an undergraduate college degree, twenty minutes for me to lose my patience writing this thing, and so on. Other things are wildly unpredictable: how long before I get married, the time I will spend working at my first job, et cetera. Because of this, time is quite hard to budget, although most people attempt to schedule their days and years according to their own desires. This too is an imprecise art, as volatility and random chance present all too many obstacles for a simple chart to accurately determine how you or I will spend time today.

I have envisioned the passage and usage of time as many different metaphors over the years, but for a while now I have viewed it as a long session in a children’s arcade, where I have received a set amount of tokens to use on the various games and activities offered in the facility. What’s important is not the amount of tokens I start with: it could be 50, or 100, or 200, but it really does not matter, as if you have been to one of these as a child you must remember having far too much fun to actually count the number of tokens you started with, or the number you have left, or how to properly “budget” your tokens. You just kept playing until you reached into the plastic bag and realized there were only 5 or 6 tokens left, at which point there was often a small tinge of worry followed by a long deliberation on what to use those final tokens on.

Recently I’ve been thinking about this subject again, as the California shelter in place order due to COVID-19 has left me with more free time than I can properly handle. Most of it has been wasted away on various video games and TV shows, which I’m not too ashamed to say has already consumed a fair amount of my tokens in the past decade of my life. But what have consumed even more time than mindless fun and enjoyment are the long periods of self-reflection and the utterly meaningless task of sitting in front of my computer, thinking about things that are totally out of my control.

But that’s a topic for another time.

I can’t gather my thoughts together. This was supposed to be something about living in the moment and not caring about lofty dreams and plans, but it has actually taken me far less time to get off track than I originally predicted (around 9 minutes).

Which actually makes me rather disappointed, as I have wanted to write “Tokens” for a very long time now. It was actually one of the very first piece ideas I came up with when I began to write these, and I had hoped to save it for a parting shot, or something very long and heartfelt. A masterpiece of sorts. However, as this is simply just my rambling train of thought, I suppose I can always retcon the Adventure however and whenever I please, if it really so bothered me that “Tokens, Part 1” was written at 6:30 in the morning after four hours of League and a few beers. I’m getting even more irritated that this is now just turning into a meta piece about the circumstances of myself writing this, so I’m just going to end it right here.

I should’ve just written a blog post and saved the introspective stuff for when I was actually feeling inspired, but it’s been a couple months since I’ve posted anything, so here. Quality content at its finest. Stay at home, friends.

- Sam