Last night I dreamt that Ben Vereen showed up at my house with an object wrapped in a silk scarf. It was his Chicken George hat from Roots. He asked me to study it as an object, complemented the cleanliness of my home and asked for a cup of coffee. My kitchen suddenly turns into the set of the Tonight Show. It’s the old school Johnny Carson version and I’m in Johnny’s seat chatting with Ben. LaWanda Page is the only person siting on the long couch. The hat, glowed an etherial green but everything else was in shades of gray. I don’t know what the hell could have happened after that thanks to my stupid alarm clock.
Yeah, I’ll admit that I have a strong personality. I’m extremely passionate often bordering on dramatic. However, as much as I can love something or someone, it’s rare that I hate anything. In my head, it’s really difficult to come back from hate. I can get sick of something or someone in a minute, but hate is hard. I just don’t give up that kind of energy easily. I HATE my alarm clock. I tried to like it, really I did, but I hate my alarm clock. See, because I am prone to dramatics, how I wake up in the morning is crucial. Honestly, I don’t like to wake up. I prefer to gradually increase my level of consciousness. I’ve tried every alarm clock I could find. I tried the old school clocks with the two bells on top. I tried alarm clock radios but the buzzers were annoying and I slept through the music. Bird sounds,gentle winds, sea gulls and bubbling creeks did weird things to my sex dreams. Digital alarms left me feeling robotic.
After spending way too many hours shopping online I found the perfect alarm clock. It’s shaped like a pyramid. Connect your pointy fingers and thumbs to form a triangle in the center and rest your wrists on your desk. Extend the lines from the tips of your pinky fingers until they intersect. That’s how big it is. The owner’s manual says that its deep mahogany cabinet is made from sustainable and eco-friendly woods, harvested by a magical hippy. Ok, maybe not the hippy part. Anyway, aside from its internal workings, it feels hollow and weighs maybe five pounds. Across the bottom of the pyramid in a slight concave channel there is a shiny silver bar. According to the brochure, its a “pure tone acoustic chime,” easily adjusted by two thin, black elastic bands suspending it a quarter-inch away from it’s resting place. Making a tight fist will give you the size of its face. The numbers are simple, the hands are black and live above an antique background. Even thought the clock is made of wood, the corners are surprisingly sharp. A big pointy pyramid isn’t something I want next to my bed, the promise of “progressive awakening,” cause me to turn a blind eye to that red flag.
That damn clock promised me all kinds of stuff. The first line of the introduction says that the overpriced piece of crap threatening to poke my eye out is actually “…a consciousness-raising tool.” Later in the manual it promises to take me from theta to beta brain waves, increase my self-knowledge and improve my self-esteem by eliminating bad habits. I thought that if I can’t find these qualities in a boyfriend, I should at least buy them in alarm clock form. The manual is the size of a cd case and is thirty-five pages of lies. It’s not that I think the makers of the clock are malicious. They just didn’t account for the resounding click the striker makes before it hits the “pure tone acoustic chime.” It’s not the peaceful, gentle tone of the gong that wakes me up. On NO! It’s the click that gets me. It’s the click that makes me want to hurl the eco-friendly,theta changing, consciousness-raising, eye gouging, over-priced piece of crap across the room. I make it a point to wake before it chimes, hoping that it’s somehow a sentient being and I’m preventing it from fulfilling its destiny. If my apartment suddenly burst into flames, burning the house to the ground, I wouldn’t try to save it. My alarm clock is unintentionally one of the most evocative objects I own.