THE CLOCK TELLS NO TIME
By Toni Kief
With no respect for my responsibilities the clock stares, cheerfully mocking the last 2 hours of my vexation. It marches around a measured dial, taunting me with the next odd number. Click. I toss, beat my pillows, kick my feet, and fold my covers; this should surely add comfort to lull me to the fantasy of blissful slumber. Click. The blinds bleed with the silent blackness of the night that embraces the world. Seconds and minutes stare at me with an unblinking blue eye. Minutes tick as a voice, the only sound in the quiet night to amplify my dread of the pending sunrise. Click.
Hours pass and I pad through the house in woolen socks and a baggy T, searching the corners for respite. Even the cats sleep undisturbed in this silent home with dreams of treats and naps. Click. I swear the world sleeps while I creep. A trip to the kitchen, then to the bath, and back I climb between cold sheets. Click.
I appreciate the clock has no judgment or power it is simply a measure. The dial is only a witness to what has passed, it has no control of the future. It coldly stares at my frustration, ridicules my desire for unconsciousness. Click. In this moment, I pray for time to stop computing my exhaustion. I can feel the town’s sweet dreams as my mind reels with weariness. Am I this night's only witness, stared at by the jeering luminescent face? Click. My eyes close and my thoughts fill with uncontrolled scenarios yammering at my failed meditations. Another tick tocks as I mourn the loss of a midnight. I blame the clock.
My distressed trance is disturbed by a snore which jolts me to awareness. Was that my first or 100th breath? I check the watcher and 30 minutes have passed. I ponder the math to determine the hours until the shriek of the morning alarm. Click. I remember the nights that I dreamed of adventures and inspirations that emerge from flights of fancy. The dreams feel like a wisp in a garden just out of reach, with all the potential of a seed and no soil. Tonight I roam the desert with wasted hours as I watch the face counting elongated moments. Click.
My swollen eyes don’t recognize the sun creeping through the shade. Forty seven minutes to go, as a dull unconsciousness embraces my spirit. The alarm’s dreaded buzz ends the dance, with a promise of rest in another 16 hours.