I had somehow become locked in a conversation with a clock.
While it is true that I spoke first, I don't see it as being my fault.
Why do clocks need to tick like that? I'm trying to read a book and I can quite literally hear time passing. How can that be a good thing?
There is goes. A second. And another one. Seconds ticking by. It'll be a minute soon. A few of them and it'll be an hour. Not too many of them and it's a year and then guess who's dead? That's right, it's me, and all I was doing was reading a book.
Usually I would simply stand up, traverse the distance between my position and the objectionably loud time keeping device, remove the batteries and return to my previous activity.
But this time I had questions.
So I asked them.
Of the clock.
'That is you making that noise isn't it?'
The clock didn't answer.
I thought of giving the clock a name for a brief moment. But when the first name to come to mind was Tim I decided to forget it.
'Why have you been purchased? Why would someone buy you and put you in a relaxing, peaceful cabin?'
Still no answer.
'You know the worst thing? You don't get noticed for hours because there is other stuff going on. But once I sit down to finally get some peace and quiet, that’s when you come in. Ticking and tocking.'
I'll admit at this point that I was not really in a conversation with a clock. I was talking at a clock. If you are hanging around here in the hope that the clock will start talking, I can say now, quite confidently, and I haven't even come up with the idea for the end yet, that the clock will not be speaking.
But hey, not long to go, so stick around and we'll see if we can make something out of this.
I have always been on the side of noise. Noise is great. Love a bit of noise.
But it needs to be stoppable.
If a noise cannot be stopped, like the ticking of a clock with access to battery power, then chaos ensues. How can we allow such things to occur? A noise that cannot be stopped?! Madness lies that way.
Maybe I'm already there.
After all, I am talking to a clock. At a clock.
And now I am correcting my own thoughts.
Not only that, but I don't know what time it is. I consider asking the clock but go with a different tact instead.
'Do you get offended when someone takes your batteries out?'
The clock's face was expressionless. Just clear glass. It ticks again.
I allowed myself a moment to consider if a clock had ever attempted to learn Morse Code. What a frustrating experience that would be for it. After a moment I moved on, never to have the thought cross my mind again.
Suddenly I thought about it from the clocks point of view. Maybe it was just trying to be noticed for the thankless task it has been condemned to perform. Perhaps it just wants some recognition of a job well done. That's fair, isn't it?
I look at the clock. It glints in the artificial light. It is winning me round.
A second’s silence while I weigh up the arguments.
It ticks again.
I take the batteries out.