Killing Time

So here’s a little intellectual stuff: in his theoretical model, Dr. James Masterson alerted patients and colleagues to a three part cycle known as the self in disorder triad: attempts at self-activation, which include any and all attempts at real self expression, the pursuit of goals, lead to anxiety, an indicator of an underlying abandonment depression, which is in turn soothed by a defensive life strategy; a series of habitual behaviors, thinking patterns, which help avoid distress. Much of this is ego-syntonic–meaning, supported by the patient, who thinks of these behaviors as normal and natural, as well as the individual’s support network. This is especially true of trauma victims, whose self-defeating and sometimes self-destructive behaviors and thinking patterns are supported both internally and externally, leading to unhealthy collusions, stagnations that serve no one’s growth, but instead everyone’s survival. Time. Time stands still for the chronically traumatized. Past and present become conflated; the past is in the now. In Crystal From the Hills (purchase link), these alliances between selves and others have given space, but killed time. I wasted no time writing CFTH. I spent three years crafting its intricate mystery, its ambitiously deep subtext. There were good times along the way, room for a few laughs in between thought-provoking passages. The characters aren’t as quirky or funny as some–can’t rival HBO just yet for dark and hip inspiration. But hey, mine is a good book…really. Observe the following passage:

*These ruminations were killing time. Chris checked his enemy, the digital clock, registering the passing of four o’clock—his time, everyone’s time, he thought democratically—in his peripheral view. Soon Jill will be back and he’d feel a vague urge to justify himself, report upon the achievements of the day. They were few. There was something, actually; something he’d been talking about, albeit obscurely, for weeks: that revolution, as he’d cheekily put it earlier. Actually, he’d been thinking about it for years, but only recently had he admitted others to the conversation he’d been having with himself. He’d even said, “I’ve got business to do” to someone, perhaps Sweet. He’d told Jill about it, somewhat, though as he recalled, the conversation hardly generated edge of seat anticipation on her part. If it went further, she’d start interrogating as to whether this idea—which was really a joke that had grown into something else—had any legs. When she gets back she’ll ask what he’s been doing. She might seize upon the topic while she’s going through the room checks. He was procrastinating, now, thinking he had more time. In the morning, first thing, the day ahead seems long and promising; it stretches out with everlasting opportunity. Thing is time passes; opportunity passes, and procrastination kills time. It just plain kills it.


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