Adele Elliott: Present tense


Adele Elliott



Strangely, my personal time gives the illusion that it is expanding. Unfortunately, I am not using this gift in a constructive way. 


Most of us wish for more time. We think, "If only there were more hours in a day, I could write the great American novel, or learn a foreign language, or just catch up on my sleep." You probably have a few hundred things to add to this list. 


Apparently, I do have much, too much, time to dedicate to the Internet. There was a time when I read; books or even magazines. Now, I waste time reading the MSN home page. It is a wealth of advice and useless information. 


This week, an article gave guidance on what to do if you win the lottery. Really? We don''t even have a lottery in Mississippi. Yes, my home page knows that I live in Columbus, Mississippi. It knows what the temperature is here, and why Highway 82 was shut down. Shouldn''t it be aware that we have no lottery? 


I can tell you what to do -- run through the streets screaming and gloating and then take a loooong vacation. This was not MSN''s answer. 


Did you know that the Queen of England is running out of money? Do you care? Once again, I live in Mississippi. Note to MSN: we have no "Queen." It''s a bit difficult to relate. 


We do have royalty, however. They just do not wear crowns (in public, anyway). In this state, athletes are treated with the sort of honor reserved for monarchs. They certainly have no money woes. Sadly, they are expected to marry their peers. This means they are doomed to wed a Kardashian clone, destined to spend their happily-ever-after with some beautiful bimbo of that class. 


A few of our elected leaders could be considered royalty. Sometimes the wives of wealthy men act as if they were princesses. Power creates a sort of entitlement, a self-endowed regal sense. Often, they do not rule their realm with kindness.  


This week I learned that you can be fired for being too sexy, or too ugly, or for having an annoying laugh. Well, who can win? We all have some flaw that will drive our co-workers crazy. 


"If all time is eternally present all time is unredeemable," wrote T. S. Eliot. 


I wonder if T. S. Eliot ever visited Columbus? Time moves at its own pace here. We are comfortable with our consciousness shattered in jagged splinters, scattered throughout several centuries. 


2010? It''s only a space on the calendar. Look around. What do you perceive the year to be? Whatever the decade, or the century, we have the appropriate architecture and attire. (If you need help, call K.K. Norris, at The Attic Vintage Clothing. She knows everything about period costumes.) 


My sister, Victoria, says, " ''Time'' is a magazine." Well, that makes everything a bit too simple. 


In some ways the present is a present. What a shame to squander it on superfluous drivel like the Internet. I know this, and still spend hours playing online games. (On Alchemy, one of my favorites, I have reached 45,264 points. My title is Grand Alchemical Emperor [it probably should be queen].) 


Maybe Colette said it best, "Time spent with cats is never wasted." Now, that''s a concept that even I can understand! 


Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina. E-mail reaches her at [email protected]



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