When To Come

What does it really mean to arrive fashionably late?
What, you’re too busy with your important life to show up on time,
live a lifestyle so blasé casual that being rude doesn’t phase you?

In Hawai’i, they call it Hawaiian Time. It’s real, here,
a sort of come-late malaise massaged into our sun-baked brains, regardless
of color or creed, many of us mysteriously genetically altered to need extra time
to get someplace, anyplace, be it a birthday party,
a funeral, even a doctor’s appointment.

One of my physicians has a policy now where
not only will your appointment be canceled if you do not arrive
within 15 minutes of your scheduled time,
but you will be charged for the appointment as well.
Well, that’s the threat on the reception desk sign.

I guess I must be someone who’s prone to being unfashionably on time.
And I do usually leave early.
Is there such a thing as leaving fashionably early?
Probably not.
Leaving early’s maybe an action just as rude as coming late.
What? Is your important life so busy that you have to be somewhere else
before your car turns into a pumpkin?

In fact, I’m usually unfashionably early.
Even ruder, undoubtedly, on the fashionability scale.
When I show up at some shindig après post time,
I’m usually the only one there, besides the host,
and I often get some variation on “Oh, you’re early.”
And the way it’s said, it’s a mix of surprise and I don’t know what.
Dismay? WTF?
Disgust? What’s your problem?
Pity? Is your life so unimportant you have nowhere else to be?
Horror? Are you insane? Diseased? The advance creature for an alien invasion?

It makes me feel bad when people comment like so on my pre-punctuality.
It’s downright disheartening, and perhaps even ruder
than if I did come unfashionably early, or fashionably late.

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