Two years ago, my brother gave me a vintage alarm clock for Christmas. You know one of those real old ones that you have to wind up manually and that kind of has a pair of rounded ears on top? Yeah, that kind. And now you might be thinking that getting an alarm clock as a gift might have been a not so subtle hint to let me know I need to get my ass out of bed on time and not be so damn optimistic about how much I will be able to accomplish with the little time that’s left when I actually do, but it wasn’t. I had specifically mentioned I wanting one. That specific one, actually. Saw it in a thrift store we went to together. That’s beside the point.
What I am getting at is this; I got this beautiful, vintage copper colored clock and it seemed perfect. I didn’t want to have to reach for my phone first thing in the morning- even if only to turn off my alarm. (And let’s be real- once you reach for it, it somehow gets stuck in your hand.) This clock would be the solution to my problem.
I used it once and quickly realized that not only did the alarm sound like a fire alarm that came with the risk of not only waking you up but also scaring you half to death each morning- the actual clock was unbearably loud. Normal clocks say tick one second and tock the next and even though some people find that stressful, I find it grounding. Whenever I get stressed out and my heart starts beating fast I just listen to the never ending ticking and tocking and it brings my rate right back to normal.
Well, this clock, I came to find out, is not normal. While other clocks say tick, this one says ticktock. It runs in double time. Or not really obviously, more like in 8/8 instead of 4/4, if we’re going to put it in musical terms. But it feels like double time and if my nervous system is used to using the normal kind of tick- tock as a tuning fork you can only imagine what this little but feisty thing does to my body. Hello anxiety. Not only did this clock have the ability to jolt you awake- it would never even allow you to fall asleep in the first place.
Needless to say things between me and my new clock didn’t quite turn out the way I had hoped, but we still found ways to get along. Or one way, rather. I went back to using my phone as an alarm and the clock had to just shut up and look pretty.
It has done such a good job, so good in fact that now when I moved to a new apartment, it got the seat of honour right next to my new bed. Not for functionality- only to stand there and look beautiful.
Now we’ve finally gotten to the point of this pretty pointless clock-story.
Yesterday morning, my sleepy brain got the grand idea to wind up the pretty clock that just stood there, nice and silent. Surely it couldn’t have been that bad, it thought. Somehow, for reasons still unknown, these hands obeyed the sleepy brain, and the clock that was very good at standing there being and being pretty but way too excited about ticking was wound up as far as it would go, and just like that, the monster was awakened. Ticktock ticktock, loud and proud as ever, and my brain and everything else in me quickly but too late came to the conclusion that yes, it really was THAT bad.
The good thing with these old school clocks is they don’t use batteries but the bad thing with these clocks is; they don’t use batteries. You can’t simply pop them out and make everything go silent- you have to let it get tired. Wait it out until the clock has run out of ticktocks, and then wind it up again (but in this case, let it fall asleep and never awaken it again.)
Well, turns out this one’s a stubborn little bastard. I gave it until sundown to calm down but when it hadn’t I firmly said “enough is enough”, picked it up and hid it under a pile of sweaters in my old metal trunk. Dead and buried. Or not dead, but when you close the lid it gets so quiet up in here it might as well be.
Fast forward to now, almost two days later, and it’s still going strong. Each time I open the trunk to get a sweater or a pair of pants I listen for silence, but it’s nowhere to be found. At least the ticktocking quickens my outfit picking.
Never thought I’d waste so many words on a clock. At least it’s pretty.