I believe in finding love in surprising places. My husband and I met years ago on stage in Pengilly’s saloon. We both played music—he a fine guitar player and singer… me, well, I sang too. He is older than I but age never mattered as friends.
When I first came to John’s house the noise of busy pendulums and the tocks and gongs of dependable clocks took me. I entered a secret world where timekeepers talked and John listened. He was a caretaker. Clocks that told of times long ago to faces unfamiliar to his will be yet relied upon by those he will never know in years to come. It is his time, now, to keep them in good company. John and I married and now I, too, have grown accustomed to their encompassing chatter.
Every morning he rises, enters the hallway, and puts his ear up to the feminine, sweet curves of a chosen polished wood case, making sure there is an even tick… tock… tick… tock… with no odd pauses in the rhythm of the old movement. They talked to each other, he and the clock. They were old, treasured friends. It was as if those timely clock hands reached right out of their covering for his heart, and while clasping themselves around it, squeezed until the ticking of his own life’s blood was in perfect sync.
One summer John decided to expand his love for clocks. He moved to Pennsylvania for six months for clock school, but I could not go with him for such an amount of time. I stayed and cared for the house. I didn’t know how to care for the clocks, and I feared that my clumsy attempts at clock-care might be damaging. It was his role for so many years. It would easily keep until he returned. But after he left, week by week, first the thirty-hour, then the eight-day, then the thirty-day clocks quieted. The booming silence deafened my ears, leaving me famished for sound, and not just any sound, but the unnoticeable, comforting meter of tocks and gongs that silently spoke to me, wrapping their scrolling hands around my own heart. It was the first time I realized he and I were inseparably linked through his mechanical children.
I know well now the delicately carved finials, blemished ivory faces, the carefully furrowed fissures and timely nicks of the ticking clocks that clutter my halls and walls with the air of times gone by. I look upon the dial and see what John does. The connection in time binds us to the faces that looked upon these clock faces before us and eventually, after, calling them their own, as we have. It is a surprising connection of love amongst a sea of obvious ones that have wound John and I together. I believe, through time, we will find many more.
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