My alarm clock talks to me. It’s a cell phone, a warhorse Nokia that you can throw against a wall and it flies apart into pieces that you can reassemble in your sleep. My roommate and most of the city has the same one. A tiny British dominatrix lives inside mine. Or, more accurately, the factory settings made the alarm clock a tiny dominatrix Mary Poppins, and I never bothered to change it. She tells me in a stern voice: “It’s time to get up. The time is now SIX AY-EHM. It’s time to get up.”
This is not my first talking alarm. When I was very small, my mom and dad got each of us kids talking alarm clocks for Christmas. Mine was something stupid, but my sister’s was the best one. A rooster. It said: “Wow, yeah, hey baby wake up, come on and dance with me” in an Elvis-like croon. Ms. Nokia is not so kind or groovy.
When I woke up this morning for an early meeting, I hated my tiny British dominatrix. Ms. Nokia, I thought, you can go right to hell. I did not sleep last night; I imagined centipedes with Doberman heads attacking me from the corner of the ceiling, chained around their miniature necks and snapping at my nose. GO THE FUCK AWAY.
But Ms. Nokia did not go the fuck away. She persisted. It’s time to get up….
FOR THE LOVE OF JESUS.
I hit snooze, and I swear to GOD she was supposed to give me ten minutes and, this time, she gave me two.
WHO HAS TIME TO SNOOZE IN THE SPACE OF TWO MINUTES. I AM STILL IMAGINING THE BLEEPING CENTIPEDE/DOBERMAN ATTACK.
I was drifting in and out of consciousness, but I swear Ms. Nokia then scolded me thusly, a long rant in British English about how I should do laundry and sweep the floor and wear your helmet and button your lip and ignore liars with shiny teeth and plan my future and show self-respect and give up on assholes and stop drinking so much coffee. Drink. Tea. You will be fine. You will be fine. It’s time to get up. The time is now SIX THURTY-AY-EHM.
So I threw her against the wall. Got out of bed. Re-assembled the pieces.