I was sitting at my kitchen table doing some writing, separate from this blog, when I noticed something. I noticed how fucking loud the clock is. Up until a few weeks ago there was a different clock that hung on the wall in my family’s kitchen. It was a goose clock. This blue fabric clock with frill around the outside trim, and with a giant white goose in the middle. Which on it’s own it might stand out, but you have to understand we have a goose themed dining area.
Geese line the wallpaper, and next to the sink is a goose cookie jar. Hard to believe my mom decorated the place herself, right? If the geese weren’t enough there is also the wood paneling, and burnt orange tiles that make up the backsplash. Artistically speaking, it is a confusing room to walk into but back to the clock.
At some point the goose on our wall died and it was deemed no longer fit to be the keeper of time. So we got a new one, which has led me every few days to proclaim, “damn why is that clock so loud!” As I was writing today it made me think back to a thought I had jotted down some time ago. A thought that was more of an expression of my hatred for ticking clocks. I looked for my old journal and found the entry in the first few pages. There is no date but it looks to be about the summer of 2014, when I was spending three days a week commuting back and forth from New York. This is what it says:
There is something unsettling about hearing a clock tick the seconds away. As you physically listen to time pass, it stops being this abstract thing that you read about in articles. The lists about making the most of your time and life. When I have my arm up next to my ear, and I hear the tick it puts me on edge. I know that makes me sound like Captain Hook who fears the tick tock of the crocodile in Peter Pan, but the sound is almost like a gun going off at a race. Except the beginning of this race keeps happening. It signals a chance to move forward, and start doing something but I keep sitting, knowing that there will be countless shots fired afterwards. The sounds fades as I put my arm down and soon I can’t hear time passing any more.
It’s been two years, but I still carry the same feelings. Especially since, as previously mentioned, our new clock is so loud. I don’t have to raise my arm to hear how time is passing. I just have to go to the fridge in search of a snack. The ticking is this constant reminder of how time will not stop for anyone, which makes you feel guilty for not leading a better life. A life filled with accomplishments, and successes that you can look at.
I’m only twenty-two. I know that I should be immune to such fears or that I shouldn’t put so much pressure on myself to live a certain way, but I’m terrified. I’m terrified of the noise, of time slipping through my fingers. I’m terrified of a lot of things. I now avoid being near the clock. I feel as if I avoid knowing the time on most days. And I don’t know if I do that because I want to be more present or I do it because the reminder is too painful.