I am time. It has taken me a long time to realise this. If you ask me the time, I can normally guess it to a couple of minutes. I can know how many minutes it will take me to shower, wash my hair, shave, get my stuff together, dress and go out. This is a much underestimated competence. I know instinctively how long it will take me to walk from Edgware Road to Covent Garden or from Smithfields meat market to Holborn station. I am rarely late.
But I am not space.When I come out of the tube and the stairs turn me about I start automatically walking in the wrong direction. On the tube I can never negotiate in my mind the way in which getting out of the train on the right equates with my instinctive memory of getting out of the train on the left. My notion of a short-cut will often send me haring in the wrong direction until I bemusedly realise I am arriving back at the same church steeple I started from seen from another, less flattering angle.
A Time person should get together with a Space person. All dimensions would be neatly harnessed. It would be the perfect package. But imagine how difficult it would be to coincide at the right pub. I’d be there on time at the Red Lion all right. She’d come dashing in half-an-hour late, hoping I’d be nursing a pint having given her some margin for manoeuvre. Unfortunately, I’d be consulting my watch in the Red Lion on Lion St and she’s be looking round the empty bar in the Red Lion on Scarlet Square.