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The Clock

Story ID:8219
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Story
Location:Caldwell ID USA
Year:2012
Person:Anyone
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The summer sun topped the horizon. My alarm clock’s bell rattled me to
my senses. Our first born child cried. Georgia slept beside me. I slapped the button
on the clock, slipped from bed and stifled a scream, as my little toe caught the
edge of the dresser.
Half asleep, I stumbled to the kitchen, opened the refrigerator door, grabbed
the prepared bottle of formula, heated a pot of water and slipped the bottle into it.

I opened the door to my little girl’s room. She clung to the railing of her
crib, stood on tiny unstable legs and smiled.

The odor from her diaper filled the room and made me gag.

I cleaned, dressed, carried her to the kitchen and retrieved her warm bottle.
She suckled. I tried to stay awake.

Georgia woke and took over baby duties. I dressed for work. As I left the
bedroom,I looked at the clock and frowned – evil annoying ringing thing.

Before bed that night, I unstrapped the watch from my arm, wound it up,
put it on the dresser, turned, picked up the evil clock, turned it over and wound it
up too. I hated it, but it did me a favor. It reminded me of things to be done. Every
night I wound it to wake me in the morning. As much as I hated its clanging bell,
I relied on its nagging clang to get my day started. Even worse, it didn’t have a
snooze button. You had to get up after the first ring.

Electronics ended the days of winding my clocks. It’s all taken care of by
amazing digital chips. I don’t need to worry about winding the clock or my watch.
Time moves on. The electronics keep up.

A battery goes dead.

The power goes out.

We’re lost. “What time is it?” I asked Ginny.

“I don’t know. The power is out and my watch battery went dead.”

“How did they manage in the past?”

“They wound the clock. Before that, they relied on the sun, roosters and
other things.”

“I remember it as a chore. I sometimes forgot to wind it up and slept in
the next morning and was late for work. Do you remember the other hand on the
clock face, the red one for the alarm?”

“I forgot about that. It was a pain. People knew what to do, to know when
to get up and when to go to bed. It was something we did every day.”

I smiled at the memories and groaned too. “It was a chore to wind the clock.
I remember trying to sleep. I’d get paranoid and wondered if I pulled the button on
the back of the clock, so the bell would ring. I’d reach out, half asleep and check
several times before I was satisfied. Now I roll over and see the red dot in the lower
right corner of the display and know it will rattle me awake in the morning.”

Ginny laughed, “I did the same.

The clock is just one of many modern conveniences to make life easier for
us, but do we really appreciate it?

We want to do what we want and when we want. We don’t like being told
what to do. However, there comes a time when we must accept our obligations.
Few are without rule. We
all need the clock.

Michael T. Smith