Fiction logo

Relative Waste of Time

Not high octane action, but inner turmoil...For Just a Minute Challenge.

By Paul StewartPublished 2 months ago Updated 2 months ago 3 min read
Relative Waste of Time
Photo by Danielle-Claude Bélanger on Unsplash

"Time is relative; its only worth depends upon what we do as it is passing." - Albert Einstein.

Every second that passes, is another second that could have been spent doing something worthwhile. Another moment where I could have used this beautiful body and mind of mine to do something that mattered. Instead, I'm sat here, letting the seconds tick by as the clock reminds me of my mortality.

10 seconds gone and still I'm sat here. I guess, it's the fear of failure. That well used excuse. That people like me play as often as DJs play Murder on the Dancefloor by Sophie Ellis Bextor following the success of Saltburn. I can't move forward and reach out for what I really want, who I really want in life, because it might not work out. I admit, when you break it down and really chisel away at it, it's a pretty solid argument on one hand, but on the other it is a massive cop-out. Nothing would ever be achieved if we just sat around, accepting what we have as what we deserve, would it?

20 seconds gone or was that 25? This is a problem I have. I lose count very easily. 10 seconds become 20 seconds and they in turn become a full minute. A minute hasn't passed yet, though, has it? No. According to the clock, I still have 30 seconds left.

30 seconds to decide. A simple yes or no will suffice, but it is one of those times when your whole future hangs in the balance. Although I am just sitting here, with the dishevelled look of an aged rockstar or actor who has done way too much coke, late nights, and booze for anyone person, this decision could make the world of difference. Sitting with a Jack and Coke in one hand and my phone in the other hand. Trying to decide. My hair is a mess and I stink like a sewer rat...that's what happens when you don't sleep or wash for days. I've been running through this decision for so long now, one more minute doesn't seem that important.

I better down the Jack and Coke quickly. One gulp, gone. There. 45 seconds gone and no closer to a decision. If only I could slow time down...or just make better use of the time I already have. Then, I could figure out what the hell I am going to do. Rather than doing what I always do. Leave it to the last decide. Slowing down time would be an awesome superpower. Ah the chance to dream a little longer, to imagine and plus, people would look ridiculous when angry if they were in slow motion. Alas... I am stuck living life at normal speed and even that feels too quick for me.

Yes or no, it really shouldn't be this hard. Really shouldn't take all this effort. I wonder, if everyone struggles like I do. Wonder if they have sleepless nights for days about trivial crap like this. Wonder if they rock themselves back and forward and scratch at...well, anything at all. Or if they just fly from the seat of their pants. Is that the phrase? I will need to research that later.

10 seconds to go.... Okay, I'll just type "No, sorry I can't!" Sent.

Now to look up that phrase before that gives me a sleepless night...


Thanks for reading!

Author's Notes: My unique take on the Just a Minute Challenge. Not high octane, but sometimes...okay a lot of times, I wrestle with making decisions...and spend...waste many 60-second periods working through even the most trivial of decisions. So this stream-of-conscioussness fictionalised tale is my tribute to that.

Here is some more stuff:

HumorStream of ConsciousnessShort StorySatirePsychologicalMystery

About the Creator

Paul Stewart

Scottish-Italian poet/writer from Glasgow.

Overflowing in English language torture and word abuse.

"Every man has a sane spot somewhere" R.L Stevenson

The Accidental Poet - Poetry Collection is now available!

Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

Top insights

  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  2. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

Add your insights

Comments (10)

Sign in to comment
  • C. Rommial Butlerabout a month ago

    Well-wrought! Not a bad policy, really. "It'll be fine!" Famous last words! I take the time to exist and realize accomplishment doesn't mean much in the grand scheme. "Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!" Says the statue of Ozymandias buried in the sand!

  • Novel Allenabout a month ago

    For me it comes with age Paul. I am putting off decisions for days at a time. I do the rocking back and forth to burn calories, so a positive there. I used to do sleepless nights, I now just try to take it a day at a time. I am babbling, but no, you are not alone. Embrace the changes.

  • Hannah Moore2 months ago

    Oh god, this was so painful - because it was so me!

  • Grz Colm2 months ago

    Was your character seriously just sending a text message? Suddenly this traumatic experience become so funny and relatable! Ahhhhh!! 😆😅 Fun entry!

  • John Cox2 months ago

    Sometimes you need to give yourself permission to just be. A wise man once told me that if you are struggling with something, meditate on it just before you go to bed and in the morning you will know the answer. I have come to believe that the wisdom of experience, both good and bad, is mostly expressed unconsciously and experienced largely through emotion. Listening in the stillness for the still, small voice of our unconscious is a way of life. Sometimes you have to turn everything off and tune all of the distractions out. But with practice you will learn to trust that voice and eventually rely on it for all of your decisions. Tell yourself when you are ready. "I have value. I'm worthy. I matter." That's my still, small voice speaking. I encourage you to listen to yours. I guarantee it will be time very well spent.

  • How many sixty second debates have we all had? Excellent truth in this one Pual well done!

  • Ameer Bibi2 months ago

    You wrote a true challenge for some natural responses just like you explained yes no. Excellent natural and original style of writing


  • Heather Hubler2 months ago

    Wow, this felt so authentic and real. Amazing stream of consciousness piece :)

  • Belle2 months ago

    Beautifully written AS ALWAYS!

Find us on social media

Miscellaneous links

  • Explore
  • Contact
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Support

© 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.