This time I beat Time. I beat Time by sixty seven one hundredths of a second, the margin by which I eclipsed my previous best in the 800 free. My time of 10:30.84 was good enough for seventh place behind five of the fastest swimmers in the nation in my age group and one very fast Canadian by the name of Glenn Carlsen. It may or may not be fast enough for an elusive top ten ranking.
Time will win in the end, of course, because it always does. If we could bend time as space can be bent, then time travel might be possible. But time is linear, we are told, and we travel through time in only one direction. I can see this in the trajectories of my patients through space and time, and I see this in my own reflection in the mirror every morning. Yet this time, perhaps I actually was able to bend time ever so slightly, bending it just enough to swim a personal best on a perfect Friday afternoon in Southern California.
My son tells me that I only look old on the outside. This time he was right. And I can live with that.