The Clock Tells No Time

By Toni Kief


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 alarms dreaded​​ buzz​​ ends the dance, with a​​ promise of rest in another 16 hours.​​  ​​​​ 

About The Author

Toni Kief, a child of the 60s, Midwestern by birth, Northwestern by choice, Toni challenges the boundaries for women of a certain age. After a long career as an insurance adjuster, she fell into writing through a challenge from a friend. She has released her first book, Old Baggage, with two others in the grinder. Toni never dated Mick Jagger, but marched for civil rights, shared bread with icons of politics and art. She is spending her retirement, gathering stories prime for embellishment. Writing has taught her inspiration without perspiration is just a good idea.