I often stand on the balcony for a good hour in the morning, and I do not say a word. I sip my coffee and stare at the hills coloured by the dreamy atmosphere of the early hour. Then, I finally break the silence of my thought and think: people are waking up and beginning their days, and here I am, putting mine off. For all that I get done in a day, I am awfully good at procrastinating. Of course, it is an empty thought, for it is taken over by another, more pressing issue on my mind. They meet me and, often, only meet me for one purpose—they need a piece of advice. And I offer it like you offer a cup of coffee and a slice of cake to an unexpected guest. When they tell you it is delicious and soft, and when they ask you why aren’t you having any, you tell them you’re not in the mood for cake, that you had a slice yourself just before they arrived, but the truth is it is the last slice, and mother always told you to offer first, if anyone showed up without notice, and to have enough for others.
All my patience and my kindness are given to other people. I have little left for myself. It does not bother me until when I sit and ask for advice, for we all need it at some point, and they tell me I should be patient and kind with myself, and I look at them and think about the specific cruelty and omnipresence of irony. I make a little joke to myself, and then I tell them I will try my best. That is the only time I prefer lying to people. There is little you can do in situations like this, but then, I believe all liars have made that excuse at some point in their life. It rarely cuts the lie; like a cocktail mix, all it does is make the liquor easier to swallow.
There is still time. I know I managed to let myself be on more than a few occasions this year—I can count those days. I am slowly learning this mathematics, this rationing of life.
Perhaps, in the coming year, I will have lost count.