Tuesday, 2 July 2019

The Clock


by Steve Colori

Lady Grey tea

My Dad was over to watch the first half of the Celtics game. We cracked a couple beers and sat in front of the TV, talking sports and playoffs.

“Turn up the volume,” I said. “I wanna hear the commentary.”

“Who do you want to hear?” my dad asked. He was wearing a golf shirt from a local country club.
“Larry Steingart. Who do you think?”

“He’s pretty smart,” my dad replied.

“By far my favorite commentator. He’s one of my literary heroes.”

“What’s a literary hero?”

“You know how athletes have sports heroes. Writers have literary heroes.” I sipped my beer and placed it on the stone coaster.

“He’s not a writer though,” my dad said.

“He’s not but he’s a wordsmith so I consider him a writer. I’ve learned a lot from him.”

“Always observing,” my Dad said.

The game started and the pace was helter-skelter from the beginning. Both teams were running hard and driving the lanes.

“I don’t know if they’re gonna win this one,” my Dad commented.

“It’s just the first half,” I said. “I really like the way they play. They have games they’re not picked to win but they play just as hard.” I glanced at an old scar on my arm. The mark shined in the light at certain angles. I looked up and watched the in-game commercial illuminating the screen with bright lights.  I finished the last drop of me beer and the can clanked as I placed it on the table.

“Yeah it’ll be interesting to see if they can keep up that pace,” my Dad said. “That’s a sign of a good team. Always playing hard.”

Let’s see what Larry and Jim have to say,” the commentator mentioned.
“So the Celtics went up and down the court in a rigorous pace between themselves and Lebron James’ Cavaliers in what would be considered a schizophrenic first half,” Larry Steingart, the Celtics commentator reported.

“What did he just say?” I thought to myself. The colors on the TV seemed to fade.

“Again, the Celtics had a schizophrenic first half there. Tune in for the half time show, back at the studio.”

The couch seemed entirely too comfortable at that moment as I slumped onto the arm rest and stared at my marble coffee table. The rain was trickling from the roof, pattering the window sill beside me. Leaning towards the sill the drops hit my eyes. Their sound was a distant background to the white noise in my mind.

I looked at my Dad and he looked back at me.

“I think I’m done watching for now,” I said.

“Alright, I’m gonna hit the road,” my Dad said.

Closing the door, I locked it and sat back down to address my thoughts. “Why did he say that? He’s my favorite commentator.” I turned the game back on for the second half.

My emotions were too strong to keep watching. “Why was that even acceptable?”


“What was that like to hear?” my doctor asked. The sun was shining in my eyes and I asked him to lower the shade halfway. He flicked on the switch for the overhead light.

“It’s terrible,” I said. “It’s like having your favorite player declining to give you an autograph.”

“Yeah, that is pretty terrible.”

“There were no penalties or repercussions. The network basically made it socially acceptable.”

“Well, it’s not acceptable here,” the doctor replied.

“I know,” I said. My shoulders were hunched inwards making it difficult to breathe. I rolled them back but wasn’t ready to welcome the volume of air that came into my lungs. Hunching back inwards I clasped my hands together and looked at the clock. It was an old wooden clock that hung on the wall and spun metal dials. Although it was old the years still hadn’t weathered it.

“You like that clock?” he asked.

“Just thinking about the times,” I replied.

“Times, as in plural?” he asked. His eyes were focused on the hour hand.

“Yeah, it’s like that clock,” I said. “Things just get passed down from one person to another.”

“I see what you’re saying,” he said. “You wanna know the history of that clock?”

“Not really,” I replied. We laughed and I felt more human.

“It’s been restored several times. It’s Civil War era.” He wrote down a note and looked up at me. “It takes time for people to change.”

I looked out at the light gray clouds moving in layers. Each wave made the room change from gray to yellow. Digging my foot into the floor I breathed in deeply.

“What’s on your mind?”

“I just, I dunno. What’s wrong with people?” I asked.

“People are funny. Sometimes their hearts are in the right place but they have a lot to unlearn.”

“What do you mean?”

“I don’t think it was malicious. I just think it’s more subliminal.”

“On live TV?” I asked.

“Even on live TV.”

The session ended and I picked up my backpack and left the room. Moving to the exit I looked at a quote on the wall before taking the stairs. “Never, Ever, Ever, Give up” (Winston Churchill). I breathed in the crisp air and exhaled slowly.

About the author

Steve Colori is a New England author who has been living with schizoaffective disorder since age 19. He has worked hard to overcome the disorder and writing and literature have been an essential part of his journey back to leading a full life. His work and memoir can be found at SteveColori.com He has come to live by the words “to Improve is to Change; To Be Perfect is to Change Often.” (Winston Churchill)

 

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