19 Clocks and Counting

Whether you're starting a company, contemplating changing jobs or just perplexed on which new shoes to buy off Amazon, your brain and internal thoughts are powerful enough to drive yourself crazy. I have serious issues when it comes to internal compartmentalizing. Not issues in the sense that I belong in a straight jacket (although a couple ex-girlfriends might disagree with that), but enough to know that I'm on the more extreme side than the masses. How do I know that? Besides my longest standing friends saying "Luke, you're crazy," it's the sheer hours I have no trouble logging to understand something. No, not how to solve the world's problems, think smaller scale, significantly smaller scale. If I were to go online right now to purchase a toilet for the RV or Mobile Podcast bus I'm envisioning building out, I would probably log well over 30 hours of research and internet scouring. Dead serious. I'd read almost every review out there, I'd search every website it is for sale on, I'd search Craigslist in almost every state and I'd go into stores that had some version of that toilet just to see, touch and feel that category of toilet. Not that outlandish you say? Keep in mind, that's how I treat a $100 purchase. So, now plug in the fact that I completely remodeled every room, every bathroom and every aesthetic outdoor inch of my first home. The house was 2,380 sq. ft. and had a quarter of an acre. It took me two years to complete and resulted in visiting Home Depot and Lowe's a minimum of five times a week.

Often times I went to each of them on my lunch break at work and then again to both after work and then a third time at different locations closer to my home at the beach, which was 45 miles south of my work. Psycho, I know. So here's a scenario I want you to understand now that you have some insight into how twisted and tightly wound my spinning mind is: My parent's home is a single level, 1,900 sq. ft., 3-bedroom house that is outfitted with 23 clocks. Correct, 23 standalone clocks. I'm not counting cell phones or cable boxes or the televisions. I'm talking 23 standalone clocks that tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, TICK. Back to my original point of being here in order to get this "company" and new venture off the ground. Now, ignore the banter my Mom and Dad have about what they are going to make for dinner (which occurs at 8 a.m., 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and then again as dinner is being prepared). Let's just focus on the clocks ticking methodically in every room. It's so consistent that even with my noise canceling studio headphones on, you still here the tick, tick, tick and my heartbeat starts to follow in sync -- tick, tick, tick.

To reiterate, yes, I'm aware that I'm crazy. But, the ticking has now become all that I focus on with its stupid double meanings. The ticking has me behind in work because the seconds and minutes are just slipping away. As they tick, it's a constant reminder of how much time I just spent/wasted/mismanaged on the previous task. The ticking also reminds me about the amount of time I'm a guest in someone else's home. It's a constant tap on the shoulder letting me know I may be overstaying my welcome. It's asking me when I'll be wrapping it up and heading out on my way.

The ticking is also interrupted by three grandfather clocks. Three. I'm serious. Three grandfather clocks that all go through their routine on the hour, every hour. The largest of the clocks looks like the trophy earned from the historic NASCAR race winner at Martinsville. That one goes off every 15 minutes and yes, a more elaborate chime at the turn of the hour. It's incredibly uneasy and startling throughout the day, but turns into utter pandemonium at the turn of the hour. The ticking also reminds me of how fragile and precious time is. These couple weeks being home are timeless. My parents don't even hear the clocks. Not because their hearing is shot, but because they aren't wound tight like me. My parents are almost both retired and they overlook the gorgeous Chesapeake Bay every day. They get up early, take mid-day naps whenever they want and they consistently have a two person happy hour at 5 o'clock daily. Time is precious. They are precious.

Long story short, the premise behind this post is two things: first, I'm undecided yet, but I'm either never going to buy them another clock, or I'm going the other route and I will buy them some form of clock every birthday and Christmas just to see how ridiculous I can get their count up to. Secondly, I had to get out of the house for my last night here with them, so we went to the movies together. They don't live far from the theater at all and keep in mind, Cambridge, Md. has a population of 12,600, so traffic is never a concern. Given all these clocks though, we punctually left the house at 5:30 p.m. for the 6:50 p.m. show...

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