Only Five Minutes

It takes five minutes to get the soup to boil in the microwave–no stove for me until the weather cools. Five minutes. I have to stand there, staring blankly at nothing, counting each second while the machine whirred, the lighted interior fogging up, the bowl making familiar turnaround. It feels a long time, like those 800-meter semi long distance run I had to do long ago in school, the three and half minutes of eternity. I guess a turtle won’t mind of a five-minute wait, or even a ten-minute or one-hour wait. For turtles, waiting can be an enjoyment. It waits happily when it puts one foot in front another in prolonged deliberation–the goal is a secondary concern while the process is relished infinitely. For horses or wildebeests in those Animal Planet programs, long distance running is fun and migration is the way of life. However I don’t have the patience of a turtle or the strength of a wildebeest. I am a lazy sloth who prefers sedentary works and even a half hour exercise is an exertion. I hated those physical education classes when I was young and couldn’t imagine why I had to participate. The result of it is nothing other than making the school more unpleasant that it already was, revealing my physical ineptitude and embarrassing me in front of others. It’s bad both for the school’s reputation and for my self respect. The worst day came when the chubby girl in my class was transferred to the nearby province. She’s as awkward and slow and inept as I was, though I was tall and slim. My only solace for the hated class left and I was devastated.

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