A Short Story About Time

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There's this picture of Pablo Picasso that I'm obsessed with.

I used to spend hours staring at it.

I said picture but I really should have said photograph.

There's this photograph of Pablo Picasso that I used to be obsessed with.

I changed that end bit.

I'm not still obsessed with it like I said at first.

But I did really stare at it for hours.

I wasn't trying to figure it out or read any deep meaning into it.

Well, I was trying to figure out how he did what he did.

In the photograph it's Pablo Picasso and a bull that he drew in the air right in front of him using a light pen.

And you see the entire bull in the photo.

Which means that he drew this bull in the air using a light pen in the time it took for the camera shutter to open and close.

I don't know much about cameras, but he had less than the very nondescript measurement 'fractions of a second.'

And he couldn't even see what it looked like.

He just did it. And a guy took a picture of it.

I'm pretty sure there isn't a thing Pablo Picasso couldn't do, is what
I surmised after spending countless hours looking at that photograph.

Not exactly countless. But I wasn't counting and am unsure how I can go back and count just how much time I spent looking at it throughout my life.

I don't think that's what countless means. Nor do I think it's what I mean.

What I really mean is that I lost count of how many hours I spent looking at it.

Uncounted hours.

Not that I was really keeping count. But after the first couple hours I'm pretty sure I was aware that I spent a couple hours looking at it.

I'm ball-parking that figure of a couple hours.

Some point though, I just stopped being aware that I spent an absurd amount of time looking at it.

You'd think you'd be more aware of how much time you spent looking at something when you spent so much time doing it.

Or so little time doing it.

Like when Picasso drew the bull in the air with the pen light. He spent the problematic 'fractions of a second' doing that.

Drawing the bull with a light pen.

That's what Picasso was doing.

Of course the amount of time that took can be figured out by people who understand camera speeds.

Or you could just ask the photographer.

I think he worked for Time Magazine.

The photographer. Not Pablo Picasso.

But I wouldn't be surprised if Pablo Picasso wanted to work for Time ever in his life that he would have no trouble getting a job.

I went over that earlier when I said, "I'm pretty sure there isn't a thing Pablo Picasso couldn't do."

Meanwhile, Ernest Hemingway wrote a book about killing bulls.
The book is over 300 pages and took longer than less than one second to write.

Death in the Afternoon is the name of Hemingway's book about bulls.

About killing bulls, in a bull ring, as a matador, to be more specific. As well as watching the killing unfold.

As though there was a revered process towards killing a bull.

Turns out there is.

You can read Hemingway's book about it if you're interested in culture behind bull fighting.

Took longer than fractions of a second to read the book.

Doesn't make it any less better than what Picasso did. Or any less worse.

It's hard to compare the two.

Probably little or no reason to do as much.

The only thing they have in common is the subject at hand is the bull.

Comparisons end with the bull.

Other than that they are completely different.

Both the book and the photograph relationship and the Hemingway and Picasso relationship which I've outlined above.

Hemingway and Picasso both died though.

Ernie Hemingway.

Pabs Picasso.

So they have at least two things in common, death and bulls.

Hemingway did blow his head off with a shotgun and Picasso did have a heart attack.

When it came time to dying, Hemingway had a flare for the dramatic compared to Picasso.

One likely would have to use both his hands and his feet to kill themselves like Hemingway did, I imagine.

I don't mean both feet and both hands. Just that hands and feet would both be involved in the process. Unless it was a small shogun or Hemingway had exceptionally long arms.

From the moment that Hemingway pulled the trigger until the bullet blew his head off about as much time elapsed as it did when Picasso drew that bull, which is to say fractions of a second.

Using hardly any time at all Hemingway and Picasso showed us that there is enough time to do anything.