I am transfixed by clocks. Not the digital ones but those where the seconds hand slowly ticks away. I watch without blinking as it does its round circling a centre, each moment a heartbeat.
You rarely hear clock sounds in the day - and you almost never hear heartbeats. Other noises take over and seem to silence Time. It is like life superimposing itself on Life. Then, when it is quiet and night muffles sounds like a blanket held over the mouth, the tick-tick starts. What was a beguiling possibility now appears grating to the ears. Like a snore or nails scratching naked walls.
If I am awake, unable to sleep, I sit up in the dim light and watch. It is a sight to behold every second being kept track of as Time changes in a tantalising striptease, the large minutes hand moves, followed by the hours in pursuit.
Once a cuckoo clock held pride of place as though nature had descended behind closed doors. With the passing months, though, it began to show its souvenir store traits - of being a passing memory. The metal bell that hung low started rusting; I would shake it and delight for a while as it swayed, an artificially induced movement. The wood too had begun to feel damp and the decorative plant that curled was fading. The green now had patches of white. The ku-coo hourly chime became scratchy and desultory. A tired bird exhausted to just tell us that 60 minutes were going by every 60 minutes.
It became a mere memento, something to justify the nail in the wall. One day, the bird itself fell, broke in two. Nothing could put it back together. I waited a couple of days and realised that it made no sense to hold on to something that did not work, did not want to be there. And where was the cuckoo that gave the clock its name?
The empty nest did not even have leftover straws.
These days I don't wear wrist watches. I have a few, from nice ones to nicer unbranded ones. I really like these. They stop running after a while as though they are giving me time to catch up with the world. Occasionally, a little tapping on the dial gets it started again.
I smile. Again. Time to rush and chase another dream. Doled out in seconds.