Unfortunately, I live in a house with other people. Don’t get me wrong, I love them. It’s living with them that gets draining. When you live with other people you have to adapt. Strike that. I have to adapt. They seem to do whatever the hell they want but if I leave my coat on a kitchen chair after bringing in bags and bags of groceries, trust me, it’s considered a war crime.
As most know, I shave my head. Have for almost twenty years. When I lived alone (ah, remember those days, my friends? When my bits were all about kitties and wind chimes? No? Then who am I thinking of?) I would shave my head in the shower. I liked it. I accomplished much in the shower. It was a time to think, work shit out, not be bothered. Along with shave and clean up.
But when you live with others you must adapt. I couldn’t spend all that time in the shower because other people also have to do whatever it is other people do in the shower. And I couldn’t stay in the bathroom to shave because it turns out when people gotta go there’s very little to stop them. So I had to figure something out.
While trying to find a solution I shaved at work for a few days. I’d get to work early, head to the bathroom and groom. It wasn’t bad, the job got done, but it seemed rushed to me. Shaving my head is a very relaxing time of my day. I’ve learned it’s not the best idea in the world to be frantic while shaving heads. So I had to figure something else out.
I got it! The basement!
It’s your run of the mill non-glamorous basement. But it has two slop sinks that’ll be perfect to shave at. At first, naturally, my idea was met with skepticism. After all, how can an idea I come up with be anything but ridiculous? But this time there are no alternatives. So I grab my shaving kit and head to the basement.
The next evening after work (when my girlfriend watches that days General Hospital – which I won’t have to now – an accidental perk) I’m looking around and I think I might like this place. I put my earbuds in, listen to some tunes, and get my shave on. Just before I lather up I’m thinking one thing is missing. So I go back upstairs and grab a beer.
Yeah, I’m gonna like this set up.
While I’m down there I notice an old wind-up alarm clock not running on a shelf. While looking at it I remember an old advertising gimmick. When clocks had hands whenever they were in ads the hands would be at ten minutes past ten. The reason is that ad people thought it looked like a smile. And it does, sort of. So that’s how it was always done. So, to pay homage to my old advertising days, I put the clock at ten past ten. And it stays like that for days.
One day I noticed that it moved. Maybe someone had to time something. I don’t know. So I ten past ten it again. Then every once in a while I notice the hands have moved. I think nothing of it and do my thing. Weeks, months go by. I think nothing of it until one day one of the people in the house has a freaky story.
“I use the clock when I’m doing laundry to make sure I don’t miss my shows.” I start to get a jingly feeling in my tummy. “And the strangest thing has been happening. No matter how I wind it when it stops it’s always at ten past ten.” She looks absolutely freaked out right now. She goes on to say she it’s her late husband sending her a message.
And I can’t laugh.
She goes on and on about this miracle of beyond the grave communication.
And I can’t laugh.
She goes on and on about how she knew one day he’d get a message back to her.
And I can’t stop myself from continuing to do it.
But maybe I’ll change it to four forty so he looks sad.