The Secret of the Old Clock

I haven’t been motivated to do much this week, because I’m still struggling with the same health issue as last week; in fact, I was at the hospital again on Friday, I’m exhausted, and I still haven’t seen the object of my disaffection. The only bright spot in the whole ordeal happened after I had seen the doctor. I was getting dressed and overheard this conversation with another patient. Apparently, half the population is having kidney issues as well, judging by this, and the two other women in the waiting room who were also there with suspected kidney stones:

Doctor: So what brings you in today?
Patient: A few days ago, I peed in a snowbank and the pee looked really dark.
Doctor: And…
Patient: I got worried so yesterday I peed in the snowbank again. This time it was red.
Doctor (completed unfazed): What shade of red? Dark red, bright red…?
Patient: Pretty dark. At least it looked pretty dark against the white snow.
Doctor: OK, I think we’ll need a sample.

I just hope the guy wasn’t freaked out by having to go in a cup instead of on his favourite snowbank. Aside from that, the only thing that really made me happy this week was my new clock. ANOTHER CLOCK? Yes, another clock and mind your own damn business, KEN. But this is a really nice clock and I couldn’t help myself, even though the circumstances of my acquisition were bizarre. I was at the side door just about to go in to work the other day, when a guy pulled up and started to unload a van. I didn’t know who the dude was, and I didn’t really care because my attention was IMMEDIATELY focused on the gorgeous clock on the top of the bin he had put on the ground:

Me: I like your clock.
Dude: It’s for sale.
Me: How much?
Dude: Forty bucks.
Me: Great! Can I buy it?
Dude: If you want it, you need to take it NOW and put it in your car. GO. NOW. Before anyone sees you! RUN!!
Me: How do I pay you for it?
Dude (looking around wildly, for what I wasn’t sure): You can e-transfer me later—just go!!

Psst, wanna buy a clock?

And even though I had no idea who he was, or how I could e-transfer a paranoid stranger, I picked the very heavy, 2 foot high clock up in my arms and hightailed it across the parking lot like a middle-aged Nancy Drew. You would have thought I was buying cocaine rather than a 75-year-old timepiece, although to me, a 75-year-old timepiece is as good, if not better, than cocaine. I safely stowed the clock in the back of my car, covering it with a blanket just in case the clock detectives came by. I didn’t see the dude for the rest of the day and was wondering what to do about paying for my illicit purchase, when he suddenly appeared. He wrote something quickly on a piece of newspaper and handed it to me surreptitiously.

Me: Awesome. It was forty dollars, right?
Dude (looks around to see if anyone is listening): SHHH. Don’t send the transfer until you get home, in case anyone sees you.
Me: Uh…okay.

Dude: By the way, the clock doesn’t work.
Me: Do clocks ever really work? Time is a human construct…
Dude: We can’t be seen talking!

But then I looked at the piece of paper and I couldn’t read his writing. I wasn’t sure what to do, but right before the end of the day, he appeared again:

Me: I’m having trouble reading your handwriting. So is your last name–
Dude: SHHHH!! Come this way with me. Is anyone watching?
Me: No…?
Dude: Pretend you’re walking with me to the back to open the door.
Me: Am I opening the door for you?
Dude: That’s what we’ll tell people if they see us.

So I went with him to the back and he whisper-spelled the email address to me, then disappeared out the door. I never saw him again.

That night, while Ken watched TV, I lay in bed next to him staring at my new clock, which I’d placed on a table in our bedroom alcove, along with some of my other favourite things: a small Persian mat, a Paris painting, a lamp with a stained-glass shade, and some old poetry books.

Me: Sigh. I love you.
Ken: I love you too.
Me (confused because I wasn’t actually talking to Ken): Yes, right. Do you know what else I love?
Ken: What?
Me: That f*cking clock. But I love you, Kate, and Atlas more. Obviously.
Ken (laughs): Obviously.

50 thoughts on “The Secret of the Old Clock

  1. Apparently that clock was supposed to be evidence for some very important criminal trial. Now you’ll have the police, a criminal gang, and probably a bounty hunter or two all on your trail to get that clock back!

    My Dad always thought cold weather brought on kidney stones… and my major ones (that have required surgery) have all hit in the wintertime. I’d imagine peeing on a snowbank wouldn’t help matters if that were true…

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I have a funny suspicion the clock guy recognized you and wants to be featured in your next story collection. Although the whole “we can’t be seen talking” act sounds more like something out of a spy story than something supernatural, but maybe it’s part of the curse. Or he’s just an eccentric character who didn’t just want to get rid of a clock but wanted to give a stranger an interesting story to go along with it.
    I like to think the former is more likely but if the latter is true Ken might want you to change jobs because who knows how many more clocks that guy has?

    Liked by 3 people

  3. See….yo have adventures every single fucking day! That’s so awesome, well the clock watcher/secret agent selling dude I mean. Not the fact that your still having those “stone” issues, I’m sorry about that it still hasn’t come to pass…yet. The clock is absolutely precious, it looks like it was meant to be in your home. Tell Ken I said so, lol. 😎

    Liked by 4 people

  4. That was so bizarre first of all didn’t that guy have a toilet, why on Earth was he doing it in a snow bank 😳 then the guy with the clock which is beautiful by the way. Do you think he could have stolen it and you are now in possession of stolen goods 😳
    I’m sorry to hear that you had to go the hospital again, are you drinking enough water not wine. Take care of yourself x

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Looks like some sort of manually updated calendar too — is there a set of inserts behind that November one?
    Soon you’ll be collecting Antikythera replicas, planning your future around solar eclipses. Provided, you know, you can survive past Xmas. I hear kidney stones make interesting earrings.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Wow! That was intense! I need to hear more about the secret clock man. Also, could heavy lifting help dislodge stone-like objects? I hope so–but I wouldn’t want it to be painful. Sending positive thoughts and hugs:)

    Liked by 2 people

    • We went to a concert last night, reluctantly, but it was a band I’d been dying to see and I’d bought the tickets months ago. Was hoping the wine and frenetic dancing would have shaken something loose but no such luck.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh wow–kidney stones! Ugh. I had one years ago and I swear it feels just like childbirth all over again. It really does. I hope you’re able to weather the storm. On another note–HOW MANY MEN PEE IN SNOWBANKS? What the heck was he thinking? Is this a regular thing?

    Liked by 2 people

  8. The clock it charming, but the table it is sitting on is beautiful. Hope the stone passes soon. They are so painful. I had an experience with them, but they passed quickly. Your clock purchase story left me wondering whether this Dude’s acquisition was questionable. Hey a clock! Another clock! Why not?

    Liked by 2 people

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