© 2016 by Charles D. Jones

Soon

May 9, 2017

I've written about the movie Cast Away before because it's one of my favorites.  The movie speaks to me on many levels, not the least of which is how it deals with time's relativity. 

 

Early in the movie, the main character, played by Tom Hanks, is obsessed with time. As a mid-level manager for FedEx, the timely delivery of shipments is an ever consuming part of his life. Before boarding a FedEx plane that ultimately crashes, stranding him on a deserted Pacific island, his fiance gives him a pocket watch containing her picture. That picture sustains him as he endures hopeless solitude, but the watch is broken in the crash. In the midst of despair, time becomes meaningless for him while Hank's fiance, played by Helen Hunt, eventually creates a new life without him. After Hanks' rescue and return to Memphis, time restarts for him, but life is viewed from a new perspective. 

 

The relativity of time is something that inmates must learn to manage while incarcerated. Time often stands still at Bastrop Federal Satellite Camp, while "real world" time moves on. For example, my first grandchild will be born in a few weeks--a new life bringing significant changes to the lives of daughter Jana, son-in-law Matt, and Boone the Wonder Dog. But my lifetime calling to spoil this child will be in limbo.

 

The best example of time standing still here in the camp began in July 2016, when I asked our medical team to examine some spots on my face and leg. They're the typical spots on an aging baby boomer who spent too much time in the sun. I followed up in August and September and received a note from the physician assistant in October informing me that I was being scheduled to see an outside dermatologist. I again followed up in December and February. Finally in April, I happened to catch the PA at the camp. I asked her if we were making any progress in my 8 month nontreatment blitz.  After checking her computer, she told me with a straight face and spot free face, that I should be seeing the dermatologist "soon."

 

When I stopped laughing, I asked for some clarification. "Soon" to me means days and not weeks, months or years; but I was curious as to what that word meant to her. So she looked at her computer again and then blankly back at me and said, "It should be soon." Perplexed, I simply reminded her that I was hoping to leave the camp for home confinement in May of 2020 as I'll have some serious grandkid spoiling to do.

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