Steve Chatterton
Will Write for Food
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642 Things #1 – In a Second

April 1st, 2014 by Steve

642 Things to Write About

Lots of things can happen in just a single second.

You can inhale, you can exhale, or you could simply hold your breath. Your heart will most likely beat at least once. You could scratch your head, or blow your nose. You could take a second look.

You could blink, you could wink, or you could wink while clucking your tongue twice in rapid succession out the side of your mouth. A second is all it takes.

The person winked at with a side-mouth double tongue-cluck also has several options, many of which are doable in the span of a second. These include – but are not limited to – smiling at you, slapping your face, pretending to look elsewhere (perhaps to save you the embarrassment), tossing a drink in your face, kneeing you in the groin, turning completely around and walking away, or saying “Hi!” There’s only one way to find out what they’d do.

A second is all it takes to hiccup, burp or fart. Perhaps if you’re really on the ball you’ll find the time to slip in a witty statement like “Good tone!” If you have perfect pitch, you might even name that tone (F# above middle C, perhaps), all in the span of a single, solitary second.

Some hummingbirds can flap their wings up to eighty times before the clock advances a single step toward completing a minute, the same time it takes a Fortune 500 CEO to rake in more money than you’ll earn all day. Bummer, huh?

You can take or leave a penny, you can choose to lend a hand. Your favorite show can fade to black, and your favorite band can stop on a dime. Or maybe they can’t, but at least they have fun trying. And we can all get distracted by something insignificant, especially if it’s shiny (some of us maybe twice).

So many things take just a sec. You can stand, you can sit, you can shake out your curls. You can hop, skip or jump, if you so choose. You can appreciate the poetry in the mundane and raise a glass in cheer with a friend.

You can change a channel, you can push a button, you can change the way you look at things. You could shift your perception in a different direction. You could order onion rings.

Every second stars go supernova, lightning strikes the Earth, debt piles up, trees fall, sometimes people hear them, babies are born, people die, and new stars form.

It only takes a second to utter three simple syllables, so it’s best to choose hem wisely. You can say “Die, scumbag” or “I love you” with the same amount of breath.

Most importantly of all, and I know from first-hand experience, one second is all it takes to fall completely in love. It might take a little longer for you to realize it in your mind, but your heart made its decision before the first second could pass.

Lots of people will tell you to make every second count, but if you look at their lives closely you’ll see waste just as much time as everyone else. What really matters is that you pay attention to those precious few and random seconds that truly count, the ones that change you irrevocably without notice, the ones you can’t possibly prepare for, the ones that transform you right down to the core of your being. These are the moments that define us, shape us, and hopefully make us better, stronger and wiser. Hopefully.

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