Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Clock Tower: A Love Story


Is it possible to miss a clock tower? In other words, is it possible to miss a dinging, every fifteen-minute, 24/7 reminder of just exactly how much time I've just wasted on Facebook? A couple years ago, I would have said, no. No way. It is not possible to miss something like that.

But the last time I was in the Chicago suburbs, I was lying in bed listening to silence, wishing I could hear what time it was. It was then that I discovered something: I have grown accustomed to my Swiss clock tower. In fact, I may have grown to love it.

My relationship with the clock tower wasn't always so happy. When I first moved in, I loved the Disney World looks of it from my apartment. But then I ended up cursing it, because surely, I thought, it would shut off at night, right after 10 dings, along with the rest of the city lights.

Then I started to get used to it. I never missed the train to work (2 dings). I never rang my neighbor's bell a second too early or a second too late (4 dings, then 7, for a 7 p.m. dinner). And for the most part, I stopped hearing it (no dings!).

But then hatred started up once again when the clock tower went under scaffolding for almost two years. It was ugly. It was noisy. And then, instead of a clock face, I was looking right in the eyes of Swiss construction workers, who were staring at me in my Strawberry Shortcake pajamas. Yikes.

Now, though, the scaffolding is gone, the construction workers have moved to the building next door, and it's just me and the clock, once again. And while its new white paint and blue facelift make it look even more Disney than before, that's ok. Because I'm starting to believe that despite all odds (I mean, all dings) we may actually live happily ever after. Or something like that.


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