Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Death of Time

The above picture is of what was, until about 3 o'clock this morning, my oldest most prized possession. It is a alarm clock that I have had for almost 22 years. I am not sure of the exact date or time (get it) that I bought the above item, but it was ages, and ages ago.  It was made by the Spartacus company of Louisville, Mississippi, and I have over the years almost written the company to thank them for their long lived product, and to perhaps see if they were still in business. I never wrote them, and today I regret that decision.

Coming home drunk last evening probably contributed to the death of my alarm clock. I was a bit tipsy when I fell into my bed, and I had to plug in my phone, as I did I pulled the extension cord that my clock was plugged into onto the bed with me. A sudden flash, a loud pop, and a horrible burning smell immediately took place, and I look over bleary eyed at my clock to find the face blank.

This is the burn mark the death of my alarm clock left in my blanket, but there is a much larger hole in my life. I knew the wires had a bit of age on them, and that perhaps it was time to invest in some electrical tape to extend the life of my alarm clock, but I had not gotten around to it until, as it turns out, it was too late.  The clock was beyond any sort of repair, and I was actually concerned that the electric outlet was about to explode, and take my entire apartment with it. Also, being a bit drunk, things were a lot more complicated to understand at the time. This is a sad report of the last moments I spent with my trusty alarm clock. I feel that if only I had been more cautious, and less drunk, or if perhaps I had not moved the cord the exact wrong way, then I would not be writing this dirge today.

Forget the  madman in the box, or any other sort of time machine. This clock was my companion for 20 years. It saw me enroll in, graduate college, enroll in, and flame out of graduate school, enroll in and graduate law school. It has moved with me to and from Mississippi, and back to my present town. It has seen me get married, buy a house, and then divorced, and sell that house. It has been in countless apartments with me, and has seen me make most of the tragic mistakes in my life.  Many a 'companion' have been awakened by my alarm clock, they were quite impressed that the clock and I had such a close connection that I would be able to say 'The alarm is about to go' and would hear me interrupted by the noise of the alarm finishing my sentence for me.  I was also very attuned to the nine minute snooze function. Several times bedroom activity other than sleeping was timed to that glorious nine minutes.

It remains probably the best ten dollars I have ever spent. It was the only thing that could qualify as an 'heirloom' in my minimalist existence. I am not someone who grows overly attached to my personal possessions, and yet this clock had survived almost as many disasters as Hercules had labours.  I know that over the years I called it several foul names, and slammed my fist down upon it telling it 'to shut the ever loving fuck up' and that 'I'm awake you whiny bastard.' It took all that abuse and still survived, managing to wake me up from the deepest (drunken) slumber with what is still the most annoying noise I have ever heard.

Perhaps my neglect of my longest serving bedroom companion is a metaphor for the neglect that I lavished upon the other companions that shared the bedroom with my clock and I.  If I had paid more attention to those fraying wires, and I had obtained the simple fix (i.e. tape) that would have repaired those wires, I would not be here sans alarm clock (and other bedroom companions) today. Perhaps fraying wires, and electrical tape are also metaphors for the overall status of the failed relationships that the clock has been witness to over the years. All these metaphors, and all the king's horses and all the king's men cannot put either those relationships, or my clock back together again. 'They' (whomever they are) say wisdom comes late, and maybe I hit the snooze button once too often when wisdom came calling. Good night sweet prince. 

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