Thursday, October 24, 2013

Sounds I No Longer Hear

Both sets of my grandparents had a clock in their house that made noise. Don and Mary had a clock on the mantle that Don had built himself, it had loud ticks and chimed on the hour. If you were walking through the room you might not notice the loud ticks until they would stop. You'd stop too and take in the full silence, maybe feeling something was slightly off but not knowing what...Then you'd resume and the clock would begin to tick again.

Don and Lillian had a huge grandfather clock that went off every 15 minutes: a loud, full orchestration of gongs and jangling chains. It played a quarter of the song each time, so that when it got to the hour it was such a huge deal and was so long and interruptive you had to stop talking if you were in the same room. And this is how we lived! Every fifteen minutes it was as though someone yanked you up out of your comfortable chair, slapped you twice across the face, kneed you in the stomach, grabbed a handful of hair and knocked you into a wall. And we barely acknowledged it.

I miss that old clock.

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