The Alarm

I have a wind up alarm clock that I really like. It’s simple.

Black metal body. White clock face with black hands and numbers. Tiny metal hammer that oscillates back and forth between two shiny metal bells.

It’s a wind up clock, so every night the clockwork gets five or six turns before I go to bed. The hammer runs off a separate spring, but it’s always wound up very tight.

The frequency of the sound that erupts from the clock is somewhere within the range of “Get your ass up now,” and “Painful between the eyes.”

I have heard it ring perhaps twice in the time I have owned it.

I wake up an hour before the clock ever rings. The alarm is primed to go. There is a small lever that restricts the movement of the hammer.

Every evening, I arm the clock by pushing that lever to the right. This frees the hammer to wreak all sorts of mayhem in the half inch space between bells.

Every morning, I wake up and push the lever to the left, restricting the movement of the lever. I can imagine the lever is pretty disappointed about this. All wound up and nowhere to go.

At this point, it is about 5:45, maybe 6:00 and I get out of bed. When I start getting dressed for work around 6:45, I hear an impotent “ding” from the clock.

I think it’s the best alarm clock I’ve ever owned.