I look at my watch, so pretty in its pink Zalora box, and it damns on me that this is the second watch I got in the last month.
I stopped wearing a watch long time ago, after I lost the one I always wore, probably for good.
I used to feel so free going watch-less, checking the phone if I really needed to know the time, but otherwise relaxed, carefree, not worried about half an hour here or there, for who cares so much about time?
And here I am, puzzled, looking at my two watches, shocked by how obsessed I have become with time.
How much time Valentina sleeps when she takes a nap, how much time has passed since the last time she took a nap, how much time I managed to sleep since the last time she (and therefore I) woke up in the middle of the night. How many minutes I wait for the tuk tuk at home, how many minutes it takes the tuk tuk to cover the short distance to the metro station (normally 5 minutes but it can take up to half an hour if there is traffic). How long then to get to the office metro station, and how long it takes to get from there to my office by foot or using the free shuttle provided by a nearby hotel. And then, when I sit at my desk, I check at what time I arrived, and how much time I have before I have to go to the first meeting of the day or attend the first conference call. How much time before I need to pump again, how much time till lunch. How much time I have to find between meetings to finish that presentation that I didn’t manage to complete yesterday.
And so it goes, and soon it is time to go, and I run again, from office to shuttle, from shuttle to metro, from metro to tuk tuk, from tuk to tuk to the pool at home.
And to you and Valentina.
I kiss you both and I run again to the changing room. I change into my swimming-suit as fast as I can and I come back, and we get together into the water, shivering if it is too cold, sighting with relief if it is one of those typical Bangkok days.
And then it finally stops. I finally stop. I stop running, I stop thinking about time.
For you start swimming and laughing and shrieking in delight at being at the water.
You laugh out loud when I go underwater and resurface again. You smile in wonder when you see the bubbles at the jacuzzi, which you always try to catch without success. You contemplate the world with avid eyes, staring intensively at other swimmers, other kids.
And I stop, and let go and relax and see the world through your eyes. And I forget about time, work, commitments, obligations, responsibility.
I forget about everything but you, for this what I run all day for.
To get that extra half an hour of time with you.
Because it is precious.
Because it is all.
Because it means the world.