It’s 3:16 a.m. on the morning of March 11, 2012. Seventeen minutes ago it was 1:59 a.m.
I tossed back my second gin martini somewhere around 5:30 p.m., slept a few hours and, as is my custom, woke up around 1 a.m. to begin work. I’m in the middle of a particularly intractable scene in a dramatic work of my own devising, trying to cope with a character I need to do this certain thing who simply refuses to do it.
This always happens at some point: characters cease being extensions of your imagination, instead turning into living, breathing creatures with all the annoying attributes of real people, and right now this bitch won’t cooperate. I’d fire her voluptuous mid-40s lower middle class ass on the spot, but then everybody else in the piece would grumble and mill around aimlessly.
Anyway, I was awake (and sober) at the moment the clocks jumped ahead an hour, heralding the spring arrival of Daylight Savings Time. I actually watched the little digital clock on the computer screen go from 1:59 to 3:00: the forestalled hour to be held in suspension until Sunday, November 4, 2012 when it will magically reappear – quite unrecognizably.
Everything this hour might have been will be no more, because none of us will be the same. Some people will die and never experience it. The rest of us will have attended plays and movies, argued politics, shopped, made love, burned our fingers, gotten parking tickets, gained or lost weight, resolved to improve ourselves or continue down roads of depravity and indolence. Come November, the prodigal hour will return to find a world vastly different from the one that sent it packing.
This made me wonder at the enabling legislation of this manufactured anachronism. Why 2:00 a.m? Why not 2:01? In California, bars must close at 2. At the moment 2:00 a.m. might otherwise have rolled around, was every drinking establishment suddenly out of compliance? And if they are required to close at 2 and there is no 2, should they have to close at all really?
In New York where the pubs shut down at 4 a.m., bar hoppers hoping to score before closing had to up their game. If they were working on sealing the deal by last call, they had to pour it on doubly hard. Of course the lounge lizards will get an extra hour of wooing eight months from now, but the girl of their dreams — tonight at least – probably won’t be there.
In the meantime, now it’s nearly 4 a.m here. So they tell us. And little Miss Attitude is still standing there with her paper hands on her paper hips defying me. Tell ya what, honey: do what I tell ya or you can perform your next goddamned scene in the nude. How you like them apples, toots?
What? WHAT? Oh, for chrissake. While I’ve been off on a tangent writing this, now the miserable cow has decided she wants to appear in a bar scene twenty pages earlier. Ironically, in the context of this play, the particular establishement she’s talking about has a moveable closing time. If it didn’t I would have a minor continuity issue, just as I do with Daylight Savings Time.
That’s it. Screw it. I’m going back to bed for whatever’s left of the night.
Maybe I’ll have a little nip first.
About the Author: TREVOR THOMAS has reviewed theater for both Drama-Logue and the Los Angeles Times. He is a past contributing editor for Edge Magazine.