And I Didn’t Even Need a Flux Capacitator

2 May

The times, they are a changin’. Literally.

Last Monday, I lost an hour without any warning. Somehow, my alarm clock changed so that the time was one hour later than it should have been. I ran around crazed, scattering dogs and brushing my teeth while putting on my shoes. (That’s not easy, let me tell you. Just try it and see if you don’t leave a minty dribble somewhere.) Then, I happened to look at the clock in the kitchen as I packed my work bag with a piece of bread in my mouth. Its time was quite reasonable—an hour earlier than the one in my bedroom. I stood there, sourdough still hanging from my mouth, as the meaning of the numbers sank into my brain. Of course, then I had to run around checking all the clocks in order to determine whether I was late or early. If before I was the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland (“I’m late! I’m late! For a very important date!”), now I was his schizophrenic, insecure cousin. “Am I late? Am I late? What time is it? Where am I? What am I doing?”

I figured out that my alarm clock was running exactly an hour fast, but I’m still not sure why. It could be that it thought it was daylight savings, and changed the time itself. I can’t decide if this is impressive or not. On the one hand, it means my clock is complex enough to change its own time. Then again, it got the day wrong and nearly made me leave for work an hour early. (That, as you must know, would have been a disaster.) The good news, I’ve decided, is that if machines rise up to rebel against us and dominate the world, there’s a good chance there will be something hinky deep inside their intelligence that will cause a robotic downfall. At the very least, if my alarm clock joins the rebel alliance, nothing will happen on time. 

Two days after the alarm clock debacle, my watch stopped. I was annoyed because I replaced the battery in December and it seems like a watch battery ought to last longer than that. Ever the technical guru, I sort of tapped the face of it—just in case it was sleeping. I pushed the little knob that sets the time in and out—just in case it needed a reboot. But there was no ticking heartbeat, so I set it aside and went about my day. But that afternoon, my watch was working. Its hands were pointing to the wrong time, so it was hours behind, but the second hand was moving like a trooper.

As if my slow watch and fast alarm clock weren’t enough, then my car’s clock changed. See, I like for my car’s clock to be ten minutes fast. It’s a ten minute cushion I’ve grown to depend on. It doesn’t exactly make sense (since you would think that knowing about those ten minutes would negate their benefit) but a lot of things about me don’t make sense. Anyway, I suspect that a well-meaning passenger changed the car clock, thinking that he/she was doing me a favor. It turned out that I was ten minutes late picking my grandma up, when I thought I was perfectly on time. I tried to explain by telling her that someone fixed my clock so that it shows the correct time, but for some reason that didn’t seem like an explanation to her.

Now, one weird time/clock incident could be a coincidence. But after endless scientific research (i.e. hours of watching Fringe, Star Trek: the Next Generation, and Back to the Future), I’ve concluded that three weird time incidents means a pattern. Three incidents means something’s up, and I should prepare for a DeLorean to take me back, back to the future.

Don’t roll your eyes, because I’m actually sort of serious about the time-travel thing. I’m serious, because I did it—I traveled through time. I was in Los Angeles last Friday and met up with four close friends from college. It’s been almost a year since we’ve seen each other and although hairstyles were different and several of us wore work outfits instead of sweats and library clothes, everything was exactly the same. For a couple of hours, I traveled back in time. We teased each other about the same things, we laughed the same way, we ordered our food family style and with the same preferences and serious concentration. I know a year is nothing in the grand scheme of things, but it was really nothing. We ate at an Indian restaurant we used to go to during school, and I could have almost believed that we were munching on naan and chicken tikka masala during finals week. Clearly, whoever said that the only constant is change never had a mini reunion with friends and watched as the same epic struggle to figure out the bill unfolded.

I’m pretty sure that all of the clocks in my life were prepping me for time travel. Yep, that’s what I got out of this. I traveled through time, and I didn’t even need an orange vest or a flux capacitator.

Now that’s heavy.  

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6 Responses to “And I Didn’t Even Need a Flux Capacitator”

  1. Jill Swenson May 2, 2011 at 6:20 pm #

    Great way of capturing that incredible mind fog resulting from our reliance upon mechanical and digital time machines to tell us what time it is. The confusion over what is the “real” time when our bodies know it and we don’t really trust our internal clocks, eh?

    • Oh My Words! May 2, 2011 at 9:45 pm #

      Yes, you could say I had a “wake-up call” about my dependence on clocks 🙂

  2. WobblyWords May 2, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

    awe!!!!!!!!!!!! Glad you guys got a mini reunion! I would love tikka masala right now and a reunion 🙂

    • Oh My Words! May 2, 2011 at 9:46 pm #

      Awwww, well of course there was a wobbly void (among others) at the table…..

  3. knotrune May 3, 2011 at 4:14 pm #

    Three times?! You definitely have a time flux field wormhole following you round! Be careful or it’ll suck you in and spit you back out three seconds earlier and you’ll be out of synch with the universe for the rest of your life…

    Or it’s just that coincidences happen way more than people expect 😀

    • Oh My Words! May 4, 2011 at 7:43 pm #

      Coincidences…possibly. But I’m voting for the flux field wormhole 🙂

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