This place is a paradox, a disjointed kind of mobius strip.
Time does not run in smooth steady streams; we do not have moments where we say, “Wow, that went by fast.” We do not shake hands or hug our loved ones and say, “This visit wasn’t long enough. We need to do this again soon.” Time doesn’t blow by.
Time here it crawls and sticks to your hand like maple syrup left over on your kitchen table. Time drags like a relunctant rabid dog about to be put down (she knows this is happening.) Time here is the last seven minutes of your senior year of high school stretched out into nine months or a year (or more, much more).
We push and prod it; and although it is the fuel and measure of our lives, we wish it gone that much faster. We subscribe to our own distractions: we play Xbox or hit the gym. We write a blog. We do a charity. We write home. We fight against the thick temporal quagmire and wade through.
But the minute and hour hand seem glued in place; we deeply exhale when the sunset comes and a star strains to come forward.
And when I come back to the non-Afghansitan, the non-war; time will speed up again too quickly. My visits with my friend will be too fast, like your favorite mug falling to the ground, like a car out of nowhere colliding with your family van.
I’d like the slow time with you. The fast time for the soldiers getting home. But we cannot have either.