Having an alarm clock helps you wake up on time, and it helps keep you productive, feeling like you’re doing the right thing every morning. You get used to waking up to the same mechanical alarm sound, no matter the circumstance. It begins to feel like home, like you’re used to the sounds that emit from the clock every morning at 6:40am. Some people wake up earlier, later, it doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. You do what you can to survive and that’s what sticks around.
So when I opened up the box of things that Alex had prepared for me, the last of the last bits and pieces, I scavenged around, hoping there would be some memento to hold onto, something small to remember our relationship by. I had already kept the purple teacher’s apple we made at the Yankee Candle emporium in Massachusetts, even though I probably shouldn’t still be holding onto it. It’s one of those things you just can’t look away from, like a natural disaster or a cringe-filled television show or drama production.
When I looked through the box of things, I saw the alarm clock, and it stuck with me. Not because it was inherently significant on its own, but because I didn’t expect to get it. It’s like the blue sweater; you see it enough times for it to be significant to you, and you forget it was ever once yours. Divvying up the items in the apartment by who owned what, the vacuum, the blender, the moon tapestry, the posters and art prints and framed photographs and poems from Valentine’s Day 2019. She took the batteries out of the alarm clock before giving it back to me. I guess she had to conserve everything possible.