Wasting Time

It’s Sunday, but there is no rest for the lonely accountant. I have a deadline to prepare a financial statement for Tuesday morning and twenty personal tax returns to complete by June 15 for the self-employed. I wake up at 5 am with all enthusiasm to accomplish and be ahead of schedule.

My wife wakes up at 9am. “Hon, can you drive me to Saskatoon Farm? I have some muffins to pick up.” I sigh and prepare to take her. On our way, she interrupts my growing panic at the thought of rescheduling my work. “Hon, I haven’t eaten breakfast yet. Can we stop over at Phil’s?” I acquiesce.

It’s 2pm as we near home. The traffic has been diverted. There is a cacophony outdoors. It’s the annual Lilac Festival on our street. “Hon, how about some mini-doughnuts and a stroll?”

4pm—I finally arrive at my desk. Chris has just woken up. ”Pops, I overslept. I’m late. Can you drop me at MRU?”

About to scream ”stop wasting my time,” the words stick in my craw. I recall my mother’s continuous harangues for the first thirty years of my life. “You failed your high school exams. You failed every accounting exam you’ve taken. You’re such a loser. Stop wasting time.” Thirty years of separation from her and it’s as though my mum is standing right in front of me preaching fire and brimstone.

I look around at the happiness my family and life have brought me and remember random quotes from one of my favourite childhood books—Antoine de Saint-Exupery writing in The Little Prince:

“All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it. It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important. I am who I am and I have the need to be. The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, they are felt with the heart.”

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Written by Emil Rem

An eccentric accountant becomes a writer of eccentric characters, in exotic locales, with each chapter taking us on a trip into the fascinating twisted world of Emil Rem. Born to a close knit middle class Muslim East Indian family in Dar-es-Salam in the 50’s, he is then moved to Maidenhead England at the age of five. The next twenty years are spent shuttling between England and East Africa, wearing a St. Christopher’s cross one minute and attending church, to wearing a green arm band and attending Muslim religious classes in Africa next minute. Moving to Canada, marrying a woman from the Philippines and having two boys only adds further texture to his stories.


Wasting Time