1. 5:55 each day, because you can put a snake next to your digital clock and pretend that the clock is a speech bubble. 2. That period of time between the opening and the closing of a good book that you are reading for the first time. 3. 1:01 each day, because this is the only time that the clock will laugh at your jokes. 4. 88:88, because it means that you have travelled in time and space to the dimension of broken clocks. 5. That period of time made up by stitching together every time in your life that you have said the word ‘interesting’. 6. The time between the birth of twins. 7. 6:06 each day, if your name is Bob and you like to believe that your clock is thinking of you. Do check: it is possible that your secret name in Clockland is Bob. Clocks are thoughtful like that.
Although they would live eternally, an understanding of their existence silently plagued the immortal men. Whilst many refused to speak of it, as if they feared an answer to their celestial bodies, greater philosophers put together intricate devices.
Eternal astronomical clocks, which whirred with countless hands and illustrations, were carefully pieced together over centuries; to read one would take considerable study, and once learnt would still take deep speculation. When time could not be measured by the life of a single man, it was hard to debate through philosophy or science. And so, the intangible movement of the universe could only be grasped theoretically within these gilded frames, rotating endlessly.
The most famous examples of such stood in the midst of grand city squares, their faces moving in a constant motion, never ending over the unobservant bodies beneath. They remained almost entirely aesthetic in presence, with their painted stars and beasts and women and men – symbols in gold leaf, deep blue shades and crimson arrows. And to date, not even the finest of minds had begun to discover an absolute truth through such a machine or otherwise.
And yet when he stood in the square of his own city, silent and lost in the crowds, he would often begin to stare upon the rotating face. Even when his mind was entranced within literature, searching for distraction in every corner, his concentration would drift back. His eyes peered towards the hands as if willing them to stop – as if urging those golden spheres to fall before his feet.