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Obsessive Clock Disorder by Sofia Mendoza
Beep Beep Beep!
I shot out of bed and turned off my phone alarm. I quickly glanced at the time: 5:50 am, perfect. I entered the bathroom, brushed my teeth and...
I continued to get ready for the day and after each task I did, beeping. Each alarm set at specific intervals to assure that I was optimizing my schedule to the best of my ability; none of that 5-minute interval time nonsense. At 6:42 am, I walked out the door and off to school. I prefer to walk to school because traffic can cause unpredictable arrival times. If I rode my bike, I could get a flat tire or lose control and ride into a ditch. Walking gifted me with the most predictable, point A to point B, travel capabilities.
You may think I'm being obsessive but think about it, if I wasn’t following my schedule to a T, I'd fall behind. If I fall behind, I'll face consequences and who knows what spiraling pit of despair those consequences would throw me into: unthinkable problems and a life dysfunctional beyond belief! I pity those who are unable to be as systematic as me; those who live their lives lost and undisciplined, unable to realize the peril they’re in!
Once I arrived at school, I was no longer able to rely on alarms due to... the bell. Ugh. The bell was always late unlike my alarms. Sadly, it has to suffice since my alarms were unable to dismiss me from class.
After school, the beeping on my phone resumed, reminding me of the ever-looming presence of the schedule. Right as I was about to leave, I felt a hand on my shoulder.
“Hey” said a girl’s voice.
I turned around to face her, “Oh hello, need something?”
“I was wondering if you want to hang out tomorrow” asked the girl, “since it’s the weekend and all.”
“I'll need to check my schedule” I replied “I’ll text you if I’m open.”
I look down at my watch, watching the valuable time needed to get home tick away.
“I have to go,” I announced as I quickly turned around again and hurried home to ensure I wasn’t late, leaving behind a disappointed girl.
The moment I opened the door to my house the beeping started once again. I knew that I must start on work. After each completed assignment, beeping. The worked submitted, beeping. Packed my bag for Monday, beep. After I finished, I had 1 hour and 13 minutes before dinner to relax. Of course, I instead used that time to ensure all of my alarms were correct and selected a free time from my schedule to hang out with my friend. I texted them that I was free at 12:27 pm to 2:19 pm.
The next day, I headed off to the movies to meet my friend. I arrived right on time as my alarm indicated and shortly after, my friend showed up. We went inside, got popcorn, and watched the movie. When it ended, we went outside.
“So, what did you think?” asked the girl.
“It was nice.” I replied.
“I enjoyed it too. Want to do something else?”
“No, sorry, I need to get home. Can't be late!”
I headed home, once again leaving behind my disappointed friend. As I strolled home, I decided to check my phone to make sure I had my alarms were set. As I reached into my pocket, nothing. My other pocket, nothing. I froze in place. I had left my phone at the theater. I looked at my watch and saw that if I went back, I'd be late getting home.
Panic set in. How could I forget my phone? MY ALARMS?! I started to hyperventilate. If I went home now, I could see if I could fit returning to the movie theater tomorrow into my schedule. Someone was bound to find my phone, right?! No, I needed my alarms back now. I had to go back.
I started sprinting. Each step that hit the ground grew into ticking of a clock. Tick tick tick. I felt as though I had just knocked down a delicately structured and organized beehive as negative thoughts surrounded me like a swarm angry swarm of bees.
Suddenly, I tripped and tumbled onto the ground. I breathed heavily as I sat up. Out of nowhere, a Frisbee landed in front of me. I looked at where it had come from; a park. Inside the park, there were people leisurely enjoying their day as they walked around, had picnics, read books, or played games. No one in a rush. It seemed as though they had all the time in the world. I saw two kids watching me, the owners of the Frisbee. I got up as tossed it to them. They excitedly ran off to play some more.
My panic reappeared as I remembered that I still didn’t have my alarms and that I wasn’t going to make it home in time if I head back. But, did I really want alarms? I mean sure it's good to have a schedule so that you stay productive but...... was this too much? Too much to let my life go from one alarm to another? To never have the control in my own hands? To never improvise or take risks? Was I really even living at this point or had I just been a slave to time?
I pushed aside all thoughts of alarms, clocks, and time as I stepped into the parks. I was no longer going to let my fears control me. I sat down on a bench and looked up at the peaceful blue sky. Soft, fluffy clouds spread across the blue and the sun felt welcoming and peaceful. I had forgotten that the face of the sun felt much warmer than the face of a clock.