I loved my wife. She was the most beautiful person I had ever seen. Her eyes twinkled blue like the sky, her cheeks were rosy pink like a cherry blossom, and her hair glowed red like a roaring fire. Everything about her was perfect. And she was mine.
The hospital kept me in observation for a short while afterwards, but quickly enough I was given a clean bill of health and sent home to the awaiting news crews. As it would turn out, my story would have quite the impact on the world in the coming months. My dysfunctional Life Clock caused irreparable damage to the manufacturer’s reputation. They even offered to have it replaced or disabled if I kept quiet. But it was too late for them.
And then I woke. To jostling. To voices. To a sterile, white light. To a variety of things plugged into my body. To cables and tubes leading to and from various machines. Even in my alcohol-induced stupor, I knew this was a hospital bed. Haha, I thought, it happened again.
Suffice to say, I was on edge the very second I woke the next morning. It was one thing to have an unexpected traumatic experience and deal with it afterwards, but it was another thing entirely to know about a future trauma. The thing that hit me the hardest was having no idea what to do about it. What could I do? I didn’t know what was coming, or how, or where, or why; only a vague prediction as to when.
Not all that much of importance happened for a while after that. I had no choice but to recover from my surgery, learn to walk again and reclaim a sense of normalcy in my life. I had to move into a different apartment that facilitated wheelchair access, and my workplace had some renovations done to accommodate me. My boss was gracious enough to put down my time away as paid leave and keep my position open for when I came back. With all he did for me I couldn’t be mad at him for sending me home that day. If not for the unfortunate circumstances that had got me into that position in the first place I might have enjoyed all the attention and support.
Have you ever heard of the Doomsday Clock? It’s actually not a clock, per se; it’s more of a metaphor. You see, mankind used this clock to measure not the passage of time, but the human race’s proximity to probable destruction. In this metaphor, time began at 00:00 and ended at 12:00—one complete rotation of the hour hand about the face—where 12:00 was symbolic of imminent disaster. The hands of this clock didn’t advance linearly, either; they were adjusted forward and backward in relation to the state of global affairs at the time.
I am in a box.
It is four metres wide, three metres long, and two metres high. The box has a door, a window, and a light. There is a bed to sleep on. There is a cupboard filled with clothes. There are shelves stocked with things to do. There is a computer at a desk through which I can access the world. And there is me.