Pocket watch

April 21, 2008
By
Clockwise then widdershins (counter-clockwise) and then clockwise again, Left then right, forward but not after going back. Always one way then in the completely opposite direction, that’s how life seemed to be. How does anything ever get done? It’s like God, or Buddha, or Zeus, or whomever you may believe in has A.D.H.D., and can’t stay focused long enough to do anything without noticing something else. Maybe that’s just how things work. Yes, that can be the only explanation for the craziness of my life. As went to school last Thursday, maybe it was just my route twists and turns so much but it seemed as though the wind would blow the trees a different direction every time it picked up. I wouldn’t be surprised if we got winter next instead of summer, and have fall after that. A zephyr kept pushing me forward as though at least something wants the order to be continuously one direction. I was so deep in thought that I didn’t notice I had taken a wrong turn until I was in a completely alien part of town. Everything seemed old fashioned, I kept getting close to the conclusion that I was in the past until someone walked by talking on a cell phone, or was listening to music, and I’d realize how absurd I was being.

I figured there was no chance of getting to school on time so I decided I would check out this one shop that I found interesting. It was a clock shop, all manner of analog clocks ticking and chiming. At least all they’re hands were going in the same direction, clockwise. Call me crazy but I had to be sure they were all going in the same direction. So I must have spent an hour looking at the clocks. Soon became fascinated and began to look at the clocks more than just to see that they were all going in the same direction but to actually appreciate the design. Roman numerals, hindu-arabic numerals, evan some foreign ones I didn’t recognize. The hands were an art in there own, some were immaculate with majestic curves, others simple lines. One had crimson arrows. Oh and despite the diversity how they were all ticking in the same direction, always clockwise, always forward.

A short old fellow with a gray handle bar mustache and huge bushy eyebrows came up to me looking at me through kind eyes behind a hooked nose asked me if he could help me. He ended up persuading me to look at the pocket watches. I’m glad I agreed, they were all quite interesting. He said a young man like me ought to have a watch. I had some money on me so I decided I might get one. He told me about each one in great detail, but for one he couldn’t seem more eager to finish talking about. It was made of a strange black shiny metal, the chain was a good foot and a quarter. The cover bore a coat of arms that was intricate enough to keep ones attention for a good while, so intricate that it seemed to move when you looked out of the corner of your eye at it. The inside cover was inscribed with strange flowing glyphs that I didn’t recognize. When I asked the man about it he gave me some muttered response about ancient roman conquering and cultural blending, and tried to get me interested in another watch. The numbers, luckily, were in roman numerals so I had no trouble reading them. Mr. Salmper who teaches 10th grade history had us review roman numerals.

The hour hand was quite long and had a loop on the end that was big enough that when over a number the number just fit. The hour hand actually moved like the second hand and only moved once an hour on the hour. The second hand was quite audible and could be used as a metronome if you had need of such a rhythm. But more importantly it shined, not in the normal sense, but in a way you could feel. I knew that this was the one I wanted. I told the man this and he argued that I would rather have something in a different style, however I strongly insisted he sell it to me. Remaining steadfast he politely suggested one he thought would suit me. I also being recalcitrant, argued that I felt the one I chose was suiting in it’s own way.
But the cantankerous old man responded desperately by making up a blatant lie, “That watch shall not give you peace at night with thine ticking!” I mean the nerve of that man, It was loud but not that loud. And who says shall or thine? I guess I shouldn’t be surprised in a place like this. I finally ended it with, “I have made my decision and my decision is final now give me the price of this chronometer so that I may be on with my day!” At this he could not say anything that he can justify. So grumpily he told me it was $60. $60! He must have raised the price just because he didn’t want me to have it.

At this he looked triumphant but I happened to be the careless sort of person who actually carries that sort of money. It was I nice watch so I guess $60 was ok. After paying him I realized that I must be really late. I hurriedly searched for the door and while looking I noticed that all the clocks were in perfect synchronization! I had to go back and look for the man to help my find my way out but he was nowhere to be seen.

After awhile of searching through the store in the hypnotic ticking and having gained a sense of time, I realized I could hear my own watch through the ticking. It seemed to cut it’s way through the clutter of the other clicking and guide me with it’s own true clear ticking which rang clear like a bell almost. I found my way to the exit soon after. I was so caught up in looking at other things about the clocks, they’re hands were all rotating the right way, appreciating the unique beauty of the clocks, noticing they were all in perfect sync. I never checked the time! I looked at the pocket watch and saw I had plenty of time to get to school, even as lost as I was. Thinking this was a trick I opened up the clock to see the gears and found they were moving both ways, widdershins as well as clockwise. Left and then right, one way then completely in the opposite direction. Yet it was moving forewords always. In the same hectic sense of going in one direction then another it was constantly going in a third direction constantly. And I realized that everything was like that. But no, I this clock’s hands were rotating widdershins! No wonder he didn’t want me to have it! It broke the rules, the way things work and went backwards. I had broken the rules too, I also went the wrong way.

After studying the clockwork for a bit I realized the problem, some idiot had reversed the polarity*! At least I got to school on time because of that. It was a simple matter of fixing thankfully and had it sorted out in no time.
Now I’ve heard there are no such things as coincidences and I’m just ready to believe that. The very day we learned about AC. Apparently AC or alternating current is the sort of electricity you get from a wall outlet. The current of electricity is constantly changing direction in the circuit. Clockwise then widdershins, left then right, and in one direction then in completely the opposite way. But at the same time moving forward.


*Don’t ever reverse the polarity, nothing good ever comes of it! I’m talking to you trekies!





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