It’s eleven PM. I finally turn off the TV and find myself resting my eyes in the quiet and listening to Aunt Erma’s grandfather clock. It ticks and tocks and ticks and tocks away the seconds, as it always has. But they are not ticks and tocks””they are chinks and kachinks, its own unique language that, in any event, says the same as all clocks””tick and tock, tick and tock.

And I listen. And I become uncomfortable when I discover that the chink-kachink, chink-kachink seems to have somehow become in sync with my heartbeat. Systolic-diastolic, systolic-diastolic””the language of life.

And I am frozen momentarily. What if it stops? I feel as though I dare not move.

And then, a dog barks in the neighborhood. I look up. I Rub my eyes, rise from my chair and head for bed. But I can still hear the chink-kachink, chink-kachink out in the living room. I can never escape it.

Eventually, the rhythm of time that startled me earlier gently takes me by the hand and escorts me into a deep slumber. Just as it does for small children and puppies.


Clyde’s dale

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