I usually get out of work at 6:30, but that afternoon I packed up my stuff and left with two hours to go on the clock.  There was little labwork to do, and even though I could have stayed to organize data or do some productive reading, I could not make myself sit still.  Outside my window, I could see the warm golden sunlight bathe the rusted, corrugated roof of the abandoned warehouse next to our lab building.  The seagulls are back this year and roosting in pairs.

It’s funny how you can live and work in a beautiful city, but never take the time to appreciate it.  Flocks of tourists crowd the Boston streets every summer to visit the historic landmarks, riding around in city trolleys or waving their hands from those ridiculous Boston Duck Tour vehicle-boats.  I live within a few blocks of the Charles River and work in the Charlestown Navy Yard, but everyday I eat lunch in my lab building and I walk straight home after work–too busy to take the time to see the sights that tourists fly hundreds of miles to see.  I tell myself that I live here so I can do all that stuff when I have time for it.  Well, what about today?  No, today’s no good, I have laundry that I need to do.  How about tomorrow?  Well, I would but there’s dinner to be prepared, you see.  And bedtime is at 11:30 PM and you want to at least catch up on some episodes of How I Met Your Mother, so who has all that time to go tramping about aimlessly?

It feels good to wander around sometimes.

I took this picture on my afternoon walk.  It reminds me of how often I’m caught up in the passage of time.  Not just on the days where it feels like time is stagnant and I’m painfully waiting for 6:30 to roll around.  But also on those busy days where all my time seems to be sectioned up into 5 minute, 10 minute, half hour, one hour, three hour increments and all I’m doing is rushing from one segment to the next.  At least, that’s how being in the lab feels like sometimes.

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