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Nowadays, I can sit and wait for a bus for hours. Sometimes I wait for one with a driver that smiles – because isn’t a smiling driver more important than a fast one?

(v. collecting people)

I do try my hardest to keep the things I love close to me. This is quite difficult, as you can imagine. It is hard enough to keep track of where things are in the world, let alone keep them close to you. People employ geographers to tell them where Africa is in relation to China. But there seems to be no one to help them when they can’t find their keys, their glasses, or their favorite story. Everything ends up stuffed in a drawer or lost in a corner. This is because people are collectors, really. They love to take things out of their element and lock them in the closet with their dreams.

1.v. collecting people
v. collecting people
Of course people are different than things. As much as I would like to have them with me always, they would seem just too precious there – don’t you think? – sitting on the shelf.

The Doctor is a famous collector. She’s one of those people that collects time. She owns several watches, and binds her wrist with one at all times. In her office there is a clock on the wall, one on the counter, and even one flashing on her computer. It’s no wonder that she’s always talking about time. "When is your next appointment?" she asks. "Could you spare five minutes?" She asks me to lend her a moment of my time as if it were something precious. Yet watches always run out before time does.

What’s even stranger, the Doctor is continually worried about time being wasted. She wants me to get better as soon as possible, but she can hardly tell me what being better might mean. Although I don’t understand the Doctor, I do try my best to do as she asks. "Please come on time," she tells me.

I suppose the Doctor must collect time at home, too. Among all her clocks and watches and timepieces, perhaps she stores all the wasted time in bottles. All those minutes waiting for late patients, her impatient moments in line at the market, and maybe even the few minutes at night before she falls asleep. Her bottles must be very full.

If this is what the Doctor requires to be happy, I certainly won’t protest. Personally, I am not a collector of time. Of course, like the Doctor, I used to own a watch, too. And perhaps I diligently collected my time – in the waiting room, sitting at the bus stop, or staring at the walls. But I have long since thrown away my watch, and without it I do not mind seeing time passing at all. Certainly I don’t see any time being wasted. Nowadays, I can sit and wait for a bus for hours. Sometimes I wait for one with a driver that smiles – because isn’t a smiling driver more important than a fast one?

I have learned another thing since discarding my watch. I’ve noticed that my bottles of wasted time have emptied completely. It turns out – perhaps you already know this – that fortune and happiness often use these same bottles. You can’t have a good time, after all, without spending the time to make it happen.

Even if I have ceased to worry about time, though, I am also a collector. I like to collect things that I love and put them on a shelf in my room. I can stare at the things that I love for hours. I have no watch to tell me otherwise. And always I think that these things that I love will become useful one day.

And people, too – the ones that I love – I also like to keep close to me, even though I know I can never use them. I sometimes dream about it, but I wouldn’t really do it. Of course people are different than things. As much as I would like to have them with me always, they would seem just too precious there – don’t you think? – sitting on the shelf.

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