Each morning, I’m woken up by an animated 3D alarm clock vibrating cheerfully on the screen of my phone, singing ‘Like a rolling stone’. Most mornings, it does a fairly acceptable job. But the problem – and this is the problem with most of our technology – is that there are 5 ways to shut it up. Two of them stop it for good, and the other three put it on a 5 or 10-minute snooze. And I’m expected, in the middle of my often too-disturbing-to-describe-here dreams, to perform complicated swiping and swooshing gestures to find the right option.
So, yeah. I woke up late this morning.
I think I slept through the alarm, because when I woke up, I’d been dreaming a peculiar dream. I was walking to work and everyone around seemed like they were dying to get somewhere. They kept glancing up at the sky, where a big, round clock hung menacingly. The minute hand crept, tick by tick, to the top. It struck 9 and let out a screaming ring that drove everyone crazy. Cars honking madly, people running across the roads, bikes racing across pavements. The ringing kept going louder and higher, until it woke me up.
Come to think of it, it’s hardly a fantastic dream. It’s just like any other dull day, in fact.
I’ve been thinking of this for a while, and it’s absurd. People say we’re a slave to technology. No, we’re a slave to the ticking clocks. We weren’t meant to live like this, racing each other at 80 km an hour, shoving each other in trains, scared to death that we might get 10 meaningless man-made time-units late. Oh, what a catastrophe that would be.
Perhaps also because I’ve been meaning to start reading The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom. On the back cover, it says:
Man alone measures time. Man alone chimes the hour. And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralysing fear that no other creature endures. A fear of time running out.
Somewhat trite, yet potentially interesting. (Update: No. It’s a waste of time.)
So, in protest, I decided not to look at the time today. The sun was mild and there was a cool breeze blowing in from the mountains, reminding me that winter’s on its way. I did not rush to reach office on time, did not break for lunch on time, and did not troop out for coffee breaks on time, like a goddamn machine.
It’s three quarters past six, and I’m yet to look at the time. You should try it sometime. It’s delightfully pointless.