The Tell-Tale Alarm Clock

There might be no point to this story. But it’s all true.

There are two  alarm clocks in my bedroom. One sits on my nightstand and looks and behaves like a proper dual alarm clock. The other is a battery-powered travel alarm, and it’s utterly lost.

Every night at 3:05 a.m. its muffled, high-pitched alarm chirps gamely for exactly thirty seconds. This has gone on for three years.

I don’t remember when I got it or why, although I can picture it. It’s made of black plastic, about four inches square. It’s improbable that I set that alarm – I’m either very awake at that hour or not going to be.

I’ve searched for it many times. It’s maddening – the target area is so small it should be easy to find. It hasn’t.

What’s in the area?

My dresser. My beliefs regarding laundry require me to completely empty my dresser before doing it, then completely refill the dresser – it’s definitely not in there. My bed and the badlands underneath, where creatures known as dust bunnies gather to practice sedition or worse. They don’t have it. Metal baseboard radiators, into which it could conceivably fall and hide (but didn’t).

And that’s it, and it’s in none of those places. I’ve looked. I’ve looked again.

So I resort to a game of cat and mouse. When I’m awake at 3 a.m. and remember, I get into position, ready to pounce. When the alarm goes off I frantically listen, search, listen, search – rifling through drawers, looking behind the dresser, between sheets, between mattresses, under the bed…

I only have thirty seconds before it disappears back into the strange, silent lostness.

Is it human nature to search and re-search the same place because something “has got to be *somewhere*?” I hope so. Life behind the dresser doesn’t change much, but I keep looking back there expecting to find that clock — even though it has never once been there, not even when I sneaky pretended to be looking somewhere else in an attempt to catch it off guard.

So this alarm clock has been singing to me each night for three years, near what Ray Bradbury called the “soul’s midnight.” I always try to find meaning in things – it’s always there, even if you have to put it there. Even in seemingly meaningless mysteries like this.

Maybe it’s buried under the floorboards, trying with its piercing shrill to needle its way deep among the layers of my conscience.

I doubt it. Like I said. there might be no point to this story – except maybe that insanity is looking for something in the same places over and over, and still expecting to find it.


6 thoughts on “The Tell-Tale Alarm Clock

  1. o my…that would drive me bonkers.

    I would of already took a sledgehammer to the wall in search of the pesky and mysterious travel alarm clock..I might of even wondered if I was going crazy if I kept looking in the only places and spots where it could possible be,and each time nothing was there. >.<

    Let me know when you find it.., if you do that is haha, I hope so!

  2. That possible came out wrong on my end, I was not trying to call you crazy at all I hope you didn’t take it that way, I read your post and thought to myself…”What if this happened to me” which is something I do often after reading a well written article.

    I try to put myself in the same situation and I try to find the solution to a problem or I try to wonder what I would do in the same predicament

    Sometimes I jumble and twist my words in such a way that it ends up appearing negative or the total opposite of what I was trying to say, (I have only been writing seriously/Blogging for about 3 weeks) So I still need to hone and modify my craft and become more comfortable and knowledgeable with my abiltys and strengths and of course my weaknesses.

    Anyway, Can’t wait to check out some more of your articles and posts, You are clearly a talented writer and your passion for writing and screen plays and movies is refreshing and inspiring!

    • Hi Shane — no not at all, I appreciate the clarification but I got where you were coming from and thought it was a great comment. I was being funny :/ Hope it didn’t come across as defensive. By the way, your ability to empathize with others (“put yourself in the situation”) is inspiring. That’s really what struck me most about “Abuse” — that you must have really been paying attention to your friend’s situation, in a way that a lot of people don’t, or won’t. Anyway keep writing! Glad to meet you and I’ll be back to read more 🙂

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