With my extended family today. A blast from the past, a ramble I wrote for the June 1999 Blender of Love and forgot about. But I'm glad to have it here on this site.
I've already written about how inanimate objects can take on new
significance in the context of romance. (An idea wonderfully explored in
Tom Robbin's "Still-life with Woodpecker") One of these tokens is on the
verge of leaving my life and it's sad, in a goofy sort of way.
My family has had this Sony "Dream Machine" clock radio for years. It's a
practical, almost feisty little cube. Throughout high school it dutifully
sat in the bathroom, its turquoise LED showing the time to anyone who took
the time to look, and tinnily playing the Cleveland Oldies station for me
and the NPR station for my mom. (Since then, I've realized that my mom had
much better taste in radio programming.)
This service, however faithful, wouldn't be enough to earn this memorial
in the Blender of Love. Not until college did it the clockradio play a
role in my romantic life. College was where I first got the chance to
sleep with (in the non-biblical sense) the people I was in love with, and
the Sony Dream Machine was there to wake me and my beloved so that we
could face another day of classes. The fact that there is more than one
woman I woke up with during this time somehow strengthens my bond with
this little machine: it proved to be a more constant companion than any
romantic interest. In fact, you could say that I was fairly intimate with
that clockradio (in the non-biblical sense,) able to set its alarm in the
dark, able to turn off its alarm while still slumbering. I'll remember
some of those early morning tableaus for the rest of my life.
But now, it's time to move on. The clockradio is looking pretty grungy.
Years ago the plug for its 9-volt backup battery broke- when the power
goes, so does its sense of time. When you shake it, there's a very
suspicious clunk and rattle. Still, I would probably be able to squeeze
more years of service from it, but currently the bedroom has no room for a
bedside table, so I had to get a new alarmclock, one with a giant readout
that I can easily read from a distance, even without my glasses. I'll
miss the little cube, however, and am grateful for the job it's done, and
the role it has played in my romantic history.