I see from comments that many of you folks are interested in learning more about me. I can sure appreciate that, since I was never very forthcoming about myself in my previous incarnation as Paul Krendler.
So…where to start?
I guess, for a guy who spends so much time online, you wouldn’t figure that I have many hobbies. I’ve found though, that if you have one really interesting distraction to take up your idle time, you don’t need more than that. And what occupies my time is timepieces. More specifically, and if you want to be completely accurate, I am completely obsessed with clocks.
I just adore clocks. I have loved clocks as far back as I can remember. I fondly* remember days with my monoplacental twin brother, sitting on our beds and showing each other our clocks. We’d play with our clocks, the way boys do. Sometimes we would trade and play with each other’s clocks, and see which of us could wind up the other’s clock first. The first time Robber’s alarm went off I was so surprised my mouth just dropped open as I took in all the noise. We laughed and laughed! Then Rob would up my clock too. It was so exciting, waiting for my alarm to go off next.
Oh, those were happy days! When my brother passed away, I asked if I could have his clock for a keepsake, but everyone told me that was weird. I don’t know why. I think it was weird that they buried him with his clock clutched tightly in his cold, dead hands.
My dad had a great big clock, bigger than anyone else in the house. Sometimes he took it out and sat it up on the mantel for everyone to admire. Mom never let him do that if we had guests, but I never understood what the problem was. It’s not like anybody had never seen a clock before, right? Rob and I asked if we could play with his clock all the time. For a while, he wouldn’t let us. But then one time when Mom went to visit a sick friend, he took as both out to the barn. He took his clock out its hiding place and told us we could take turns. He said playing with his clock was a special treat and we should never talk about it around Mom. That was how I learned that big clocks are much more fun than small clocks, though even small clocks have their good qualities.
It wasn’t until I was in high school that I saw a clock that didn’t belong to someone named Parvocampus. I thought we were the only ones who carried their clocks with them everywhere they went! Then I realized EVERYONE DID! (I would find out later that I was still wrong about that.) I was so excited! It was when we were getting dressed after gym that I realized how many different shapes and sizes of clocks there were. Some were about the size of mine and Robber’s, a couple of clocks were just a bit smaller, but most of the boys had clocks that were a LOT bigger than mine. They were sort of scary looking, but I still wanted to wind them up and see what happened when the alarm went off. I was too shy to ask, and I suppose I will always regret that. But to speak the truth most of the boys with the bigger clocks were older than me, and I have always been more comfortable handling younger kids’ clocks.
As I became a man, and especially in the Navy, I learned how to handle all sorts of clocks. I even went to classes to learn how to be a better clocksman. I learned to appreciate all the fine details, the gears and springs, the bumps and indentations that are so essential to a properly functioning clock. To this day, there are few things more intoxicating to me than that slightly greasy aroma from a well-lubricated clock.
Nowadays, I don’t get to handle as many different clocks as I used to. I’m not as happy with my own clock, either. Sixty years of abuse will leave a clock old and wrinkled and angry-looking, hardly fit to share. I still invite the neighborhood boys in to see if their clocks need to be wound up. They usually aren’t interested, but once I start talking about the science behind how clocks work and offering them King Size Snickers bars they come around pretty quick. And on those rare days when someone wants to share their clock with me, especially if they’re afraid it’s not working right, I’m always happy to give their clock a good winding and set them straight. My late wife…oh, now that’s ironic. One of the things we shared was a deep, abiding love of clocks. She loved clocks so much when she was alive. She was never late for anything. I loved touching all the parts of a clock and giving them a good winding; she was much better than me when it came to polishing someone’s clock. She loved going out to rummage sales and thrift stores on weekends to hunt for new and interesting clocks. Sometimes she paid as much as $100 to get her hands on a good strong, sturdy clock. Eventually she figured out that folks would pay her to give their clock that excellent polishing she’d become so well known for. Sometimes she brought clocks home and charged a little extra to stick the clocks through a hole in the wall where I would wind them up good before she polished them. It was…GLORIOUS!
I really miss those days.
Every once in a while my wife would get just a little bit selfish. When she’d find a big black clock on her clock-hunting trips, she would try to keep it to herself and not share with me. It was really the only thing we ever fought about. We both could never get enough of the black clocks, and they were awfully rare where we lived. Plus, they seemed to wear out so fast! I tried not to be too upset about not getting my share of black clocks, especially since she was sweet enough to let me share my little white clock. My two previous wives were never as understanding about my need to share my clock, though to be fair, they liked other clocks just as much or better than mine.
Now that she has departed this world, my wife has a clock of her very own, and it’s not weird at all! I keep her cremains in a battery operated clock so I don’t have to keep winding her up (now THAT would be weird). We’re so close together, sharing our mutual love of clocks even though her alarm will never sound again. Now that she’s gone, though, I have been thinking about getting a big black clock for myself. I’ve been searching the internet, and YOU WOULD NOT BELIEVE how many pictures come up if you enter a search for “BIG BLACK CLOCK!” The first time I saw those pictures I fainted. Since then, I’ve been photoshopping pictures of big black clocks into various places in the apartment to see how they look. Picture a room with huge, throbbing black clocks hanging everywhere you look, and me in the middle of it, and that’s me at my happiest.
But right now, it’s just me and my wife’s clock, plus the pink plastic one I tuck into a hole in my mattress at bedtime, the one that vibrates all night until I wake up screaming.
So that’s my hobby. What are some of yours?
Oh, and I know I have urned a bit of a reputation for oversharing about myself. Please let me know if I have crossed the line here. I won’t be offended.