I have a cold, and the single thing I hate most about being sick is all the time I am forced to spend inside my own head. You’ll recall that I have addressed this issue before.
I am increasingly fearful of the wall coming down. By “wall,” I of course mean the imaginary structure that separates my regular, everyday thoughts from the scary ones in the depths of my mindâ€”not scary in a “clowns singing Rascal Flatts songs” kind of way but scary in a “what if it were always 1:03?” kind of way.
You see, the cable box in the bedroom usually displays the time but last week, it started displaying the channel instead. I tried to reset it, but although the menu claimed the box was displaying the time, it was still displaying the channel.
During the hours between Friday and Saturday, each time that I woke up in the middle of the night, I spent a couple of minutes thinking it was 1:03 because the cable box said 103. (Yes, those of you who have Verizon FIOS TV in my area have likely already noticed that my TV is permentantly on MSNBC.) Then, when I realized the cable box was playing a trick on me, I would contemplate a world where it is always 1:03.
At first, it seemed like a cool idea. If it is always 1:03 a.m. (because in the middle of the night, a.m. is more logical an assumption than p.m.), I don’t have anywhere to be. It isn’t so late (or early, depending on your perspective) that I am too tired to do anything. I could watch a movie or read a novel (oh, how I longed to be reading a novel when I was reading theory and grading research papers this weekend!) or I could just stand by the window and look outside. When it is warm, I like to sit by an open window in the middle of the night and watch the neighborhood, especially if it is raining.
But I followed the 1:03-all-the-time idea too far and it lost its luster. If it is always 1:03 a.m., it’s never time to watch The Rachel Maddow Show, Coney Island and the Dash-In are always closed, and it’s always dark. I like the dark but I’m sure it would lose some of its appeal if I had nothing to compare it to.
Despite its obvious pros, my official answer to that eternal question “Should it be 1:03 all the time?” is no.
Oh, and the cable box issue has been resolved. It is back to displaying the actual time.