Monday, March 17, 2008

Blue Moon

Life is uncertain without an alarm clock. Although despised, at the same time, being free of one means being tied to insecurity and wondering if you will ever be on time.

Our alarm clock decided to deceive us the past couple of months. Perhaps it was the strain of the constant brown-outs that our neighborhood is prone to. Or it could have been frustration with always being set fifteen minutes ahead so that our day begins when it should. Whatever the reason, the clock began to race ahead without notice or even a consistent amount of time.

The first day that I woke up to the alarm going off at nearly four o’clock in the morning, more than an hour ahead of time, I began to mistrust our old friend. I would re-set the time, and most of the time my efforts were thwarted by the errant timepiece. I took to using my cell phone as an alarm clock. Hitting snooze gives only five minutes at a time on the old Samsung. Even when it’s time to go ahead and get up, the delicate move of opening the phone and choosing the correct button to stop the alarm, unless done correctly, will get you a snooze and the sound will begin in another five minutes. Not the optimal way to wake up and start your day. Each morning I looked askance at the AWOL clock, now unbound by the constraints of time.

Traitor.

Sunday, the unfaithful clock went off the clock. My wife bought a new one. She said she wanted big numbers so she could see them in the middle of the night. So she chose one with numbers an inch and a quarter tall. In a lovely blue light.

At this juncture, I feel compelled to tell you all that the alarm clock has resided on my side of the bed for the last fifteen years or so. There is another story about the alternate arrangement that I will relate at another time.

When I plugged in the new clock, I noticed that the blue light was quite bright. It was late afternoon, and the glow was unmistakable. How nice. Blue. That will be restful.

When I came to bed, my wife had a wall built up between her eyes and the clock. It was reminiscent of neon at a jazz club. I went into the normally darkened room that is only illuminated by the backyard neighbor’s stupid porch light burning 24/7. I didn’t need to feel my way around or anything. I saw a dime on the floor by the sink. It was an ’84.

After my bedtime routine, I laid myself down in bed ready to sleep. I had already fallen asleep on the living room floor watching Globe Trekker, so there was a head start working in my favor. As I relaxed into the semi-curled-right-side sleep position that I normally take, I realized that the enormous numbers were but fourteen inches from my eyes. Surprisingly, the blue light still seeps through the eyelids quite easily. It was almost like having the moon rise right in my face all night long.

Onetwentyfour, onetwentyfive, onetwentysix...

There is no question about what time it is at any given moment of the night. Sometimes you don’t even need to open your eyes.

4 comments:

Falcon said...

I guess I'm in the same league as your stupid neighbor. Some of us (who have a Field behind our house) leave the back yard light on all night for the extra security.

So there. By the way I have a big number clock but the read out is in red, much darker.

aA said...

Sr Falcon, this guy don't have a field behind his house, he has ME! The light is at about seven and a half feet and my fence is seven. It streams straight into our bedroom winder.

We are looking into into ways to filter the 80,000 candlepower light, and I also have a plan to quiet the 110 db alarm!

Rob V. said...

Due to fear of power outages, I will only trust an old-fashioned alarm clock. Mine is the Plain Jane model -- big and round with a big hand, a little hand and a second hand. Both the clock and the alarm must be wound up by hand and it makes a very pleasing, rhythmic tick-tock sound. The alarm sound is as simple as the clock itself -- just a very loud, clanging, steady RINNNNNNNNG. No snooze feature, coz the ring is loud enough to raise the dead. Nothing fancy, but it works every time (as long as one remembers to wind it every night).

Connie Helgerson said...

I about died laughing reading about the clock, outside light and reading the dime on the floor..you painted a great scene..and thanks for visiting my site..artworkbyconnie...the gogo dancer..now another old geezer too..I have updated photos..visit