Perhaps no other appliance is hated so much as the alarm clock.
I recently put my phone in the washing machine (accidentally, although perhaps it was not so innocent- as you will soon see.) Since my phone is my usual alarm device, this meant buying a new phone, and thus acquiring a new alarm tone.
The tone of my alarm has become particularly important since I have been depressed because I could easily sleep for 12 or 13 hours a night, and often have. Even if I am awake, just getting out of bed can still take a good hour or two to achieve.
The problem was that the noise this sleep-disturbing robot blared at me everyday was so aggressively cheery that I began to feel very hostile towards it. It was like having one of those horribly colourful breakfast-chat-shows attack all of your senses at once.
The trouble was that, apart from being wildly irritating, it didn’t help me get up either; I was so riled by this militant wake-up call that when it woke me, I would think, ‘You… you arrogant, hateful little machine- You think that just because you say so, I’m going to get up. That’s what you think, isn’t it?
‘Well, just to spite you- I’m going to go back to sleep now, and there’s nothing you can do about it. You may ring again in a few minutes, but since you can’t tell me what to do, I’m going to make sure that I get up whenever I want. I’m deliberately going to oversleep. That’s not what I wanted to do when I went to bed last night, but now, because YOU want me to get up, I’m not going to.’
As you can see, the kind of mind game that I somnolently engaged in every morning was not leading anywhere productive. And it was the same with all the others- the radio alarm, the buzzer, the old-fashioned bell clock. Each one seemed to sing out, ‘I hate you- that’s why I’m doing this to you.’ Perhaps now you understand why my phone’s watery death may not have been as accidental as I originally thought.
You’ll be pleased to know that my new alarm tone from my new phone is working out quite nicely. It gently plays a sound like distant wind chimes or sea shells blowing in the breeze. It fades up, but not to the kind of volume that makes you wish for a sledgehammer. This makes me feel more like a quiet friend is saying, ‘Hey. You said to wake you about this time… so I’m just letting you know.’ If I get up, I don’t feel like I’ve sold my soul to some polyphonic contraption with ideas above its station. And if I don’t- well, the breeze blows wherever it wishes, so why shouldn’t I?