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The International Writers Magazine: Lifestyles

Clock This
Abi Davis

s I stretched my arms into the sleeves of my new bargain priced jacket my eyes fell upon my alarm clock sitting on my desk. The time, according to it, was half twelve. I knew it to be more along the lines of half three. The poor thing hadn't been wound up for weeks.

It was a particularly nice clock, flung carelessly into a large blue bag whilst I trawled the aisles of Ikea. I had woken up a few times to its harsh trill, and hated the sight of its solemn face. A jeweller once told me most clocks were sold with their hands in the Ten to Two position, apparently to suggest the appearance of a smile. People like smiley clocks, they don't like clocks with hands drooping in the half past seven position.

Most people wear them on leather straps around their wrists, or ticking above their heads whilst kettles wait to boil. No smirking or frowning glass face poked out of the sleeves of my new jacket. I glanced in the mirror, my new jacket looked rather like one Kate Moss was wearing in the pages of Heat magazine last week. How many other Kate Mosses were admiring their reflections clad in the 40% off jacket? How many other Kate Mosses were poring over Heat magazine, wishing they could afford all the many jackets/skinny jeans/oversized handbags she steps out in?

Kate Moss was taking up too much of my time, I was probably late for something. And yet why should she take up my time? Doesn't she have her own? The girl who allegedly snorts cocaine up her perfectly formed nose,then is snapped up by the media, shamelessly posing on England's billboards and no one bats an overly decorated eyelid. Perhaps our obsession with 'Stuff' fuels our obsession with 'Celebrity'. These are the people who have all kinds of stuff, yet they crave our attention and our time and splash themselves colourfully all over our tabloids. Kate Moss certainly does, in a smear of red lipstick and white powder.

Tick Tick Tick. Three of my precious seconds gone as I flicked the pages of that magazine. Tick Tick Tick. Three more got left behind as I decided I wanted that jacket. Leaving the shop took all of three minutes and I was out into the flow of people streaming from other shops, all laden down with bags of things I probably wanted as well. I wanted that alarm clock once, I wanted the smooth black tinny exterior, and the archaic tick tocking that reminded me of the bedroom in my old house. I bought that clock because I wanted a part of that time. After a few days of remembering the scolding bell was annoying, and winding it up hurt my fingers. It became redundant. I would never possess the time I had lost, just as Kate Moss would never truly possess mine. I took of the jacket and opened the door. I was late.
© Abi November 2006

Abi is a graduate of Portsmouth University

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