He’d been observing that for the past 22 minutes. And in roughly a minute, the spinning, eternally circling hands of the clock would all overlap each other. Within the vision bounded by those thousand and odd ticks, he realized that 22 minutes were just… gone. He smiled. It would be noon, soon.
He stood up, looked around his cubicle and relaxedly slithered back into his plush, padded chair amidst a euphoric rush of slackness. It seemed safe to loosen his tie. His tie, the ostentatious piece of clothing that tied him down to rules, regulations and belligerent bullshit. Everyone seemed to be busy. Busy, with this so-called pretentious word. Work. A society-invented obnoxious excuse designed to obliterate all knowledge and feeling, and fill that void with an insipid romance novel having platitudes on every page.
And as he thought these thoughts, he found himself tiptoeing to the wall, stealthily sliding the clock off its anchor and bringing it back, soundlessly, to his own cubicle. However, when he looked around, he found it odd that no one had heard a thing. Or even looked his way.
Upon examining the clock and having prised its face plate open--his proud face exhibiting a self-satisfied snort of derision--he said to himself - “Thank you Mr. Clock. It’s so easy to mess with time, and escape scot-free.” The second hand was just three ticks away from being overlapped by the other two hands. The moment they overlapped, he trapped all three hands between the thumb and the index fingers of his own.
And time slowed down till it settled into a standstill. People around him no longer moved. The silence was abnormal, albeit very gratifying. Mouths wide open in the midst of guffaws--the topmost button unhooking itself off its groove, of a white shirt a size too small for that well endowed corporate bosom--a drop of glistening black coffee originating from a mug pressed across a clumsy mouth, defying gravity, suspended in mid-air.
With those words he pushed the hands of the clock, all together, with his index finger, in a delicate clockwise motion. It had to be clockwise. The very thought of anticlockwise motion was to him an anathema, an unjustified fear. A stomach clenching jerk, set in motion the mechanical whirring of all the gears, sprockets and other fine circular components that flung time into action.
And like video that’d commenced playing, he saw electrons spinning around nuclei, atoms and molecules spinning around to form living cells, himself circling the block for a morning walk, the earth spinning around the sun, the sun spinning around the supermassive black hole at the centre of the milky way, the milky way spinning around the centre of the galactic cluster, clusters of galaxies spinning around the centre of superclusters, and superclusters spinning around the center of the universe. And the universe, crunching itself into obliteration and reverting back to that single omega point from whence all life was born. And as he felt himself being sucked into the video, into the whirling inferno--flesh, bones and his very existence fragmenting--the sound of a sharp rap on a wooden surface caught his attention.
He spotted young, strong knuckles on his desk. The whirring of the fans in his computer, the electronic hum of copying machines, and the collective noise of the people around percolated into his senses. Perplexed, he turned to look at the face that belonged to the knuckles.
An exhausted sigh met his eye.
“It’s noon. Smoke?”
“Ah, one of the supposed “breaks” from the mundane.”
He shook his head, and said - “Coming. Give me a mo’.”
The clock still hung on the wall. The guffaws had subsided. The drop of black coffee had been absorbed by the red-hued carpet that protected the floor from their merciless soles.
Half-hidden in the grasp of young, strong knuckles was a silver lighter with a mellow blaze. As he graciously accepted the gift of flame, and took a deep drag inside, he observed the topmost button of her shirt.
He said to himself – “Well, well. The shirt is a size small for that corporate bosom.”
“Loser.” She said, catching his eye and grinning.
He smiled back at her.
So you see, no matter what one does and where one goes, it looks like there really is no escape from the mundane and the boring.
So far, the constructs of society are winning.