There is a clock hanging on the wall next to the entranceway. It’s tick-tick-ticking along—but if I catch the second hand at just the right time it stays longer than a second. This, ostensibly and understandably, makes me uncomfortable. The clock is perfectly fit into its place—round and boldfaced inside the rivet its own tick-tick-tocking created in the wall over the countless tick-tock-ticks occurring since its placement, which I imagine to be forever ago and forever after—but its tilted, slightly rotated so each number is shifted forward a space. The big bold 12 is where the 1 should be. Because of how these numbers are painted onto the clock face, they are tilted by a manner of degrees, but the small lines running around in a circle still seem perfectly in place. This too makes me ostensibly and understandably uncomfortable. I feel as though each successive tock-tick-tock of the clock is a disguised form of laughter pointedly faced in my direction. The numbers being where they are, helpless to the tick-tock-tick going on between them, seem as lost and confused as I am as Time and I engage in what will eventually prove itself to be a hopeless staring contest for one of the parties involved. Time taunts me with the slight stutter as my eyes look at the face once again—a tail quickly yanked away from the ouroboros. The clock is laughing and taunting with its tock-tick-tocking, laughing at my brain’s futile attempts to make reality seem like a solid, tangible object, and taunting at my attempts to deny the fluidity of everything. I am forced to realize I am swimming; by extension, I am forced to realize I am drowning. All for a tick-tock-ticking clock . I attempt to swim against the current but only find myself going further and further underneath what appears to be to me the most vast sea in history: of history; of the future; of the present; of every moment lived and every moment unlived; of every man, woman, and child that was or is or will be or can be or can’t be. I find all this in the tock-tick-tocking of the face that looks like it may have horns firmly rooted into the top of it that point out menacingly at passersby; everything seems to me to be so pointless by comparison. I find that I am scared—terrified, horrified, frightened, anxious, panicked. As I follow the red second-hand I imagine myself sliding down it, where either way I slide—towards the center or towards the outer rim—is just as terrifying as the other. As the tick-tock-ticks pass into minutes, I imagine standing on the minute-hand as it tocks over and sends an earthquake through me. As these tick-tock-ticks pass into large tocks and eventually to larger movements of the smallest hand I find myself being falsely comforted by the slow movements of the old witch, only to find myself plunging further down the small black stem. The face of the clock refuses to stop staring intently at and in to me. But the face is made of glass; it is able to be shattered. The body is made of metal; it can be dented and dinged and melted and scratched and rusted and forgotten. The hands are nothing but extended mechanisms of the clock’s inner-workings, each themselves only small circular disks of various sizes with millions of rivets that tock-tick-tock around like insidious insects; they can be bent and broken and cut off from the source of their movement. The clock is nothing but an attempt to hold down a mercurial substance far beyond its—and our—control. But the substance itself isn’t as malicious as the things and the people that continually use it as weaponry. The substance, really, is completely apathetic about everything. It is immaterial. It is the embodiment of forever was and forever will be. It does not tick-tock-tick but only lingers absentmindedly, paying naught any attention to anything or anyone but itself. It is not to be hated or feared but merely accepted; whilst it may not care for having loathing and phobia thrown towards it, acceptance it will perceive as a kind of gift; it rewards gifts and makes what could be such as arduous experience a rather painless one. I am solaced by this thought: I can do with this substance whatever I wish as long as I treat it with the reverence it deserves; do not attempt it into constructs into which it could not ever attempt to fit; do not attempt to constrict it with rules and exacerbations which no living thing could possibly stand. Do not make it the thing that controls everything else; do not attempt to make it as meaningless as attempts at the latter. Disregard any attempts to impose a godliness or a servile nature upon it. It simply is, as we simply are; making what is given to be of what meaning can be created. This is important. It is important. We are.
There is a clock hanging on the wall next to the entranceway. I’ve turned it upside-down.