Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Sands of Time

The sand in the hourglass trickled slowly into the lower chamber. It wouldn’t be long now until the last of the pristine white granules made their way through the slim conduit into the mounting heap below. She felt it mocking her. She knew what would happen next, once that last grain of sand exited the top chamber. It had happened many times before.

She had bought the piece in a thrift shop filled with things owned by people from another time. The proprietor of the place was an elderly man who reminded her much of Gepetto, he with the bulbous nose on which a pair of granny glasses rested; he with the virgin white hair and full, white mustache. At any moment she had expected a wooden boy to appear.

The hourglass piece had intrigued her. Unlike other hourglass pieces that were capped by wooden circles on each end and three wooden spindles on its sides, this one was made entirely of glass. The pieces connecting seamlessly into one unit. She was in awe of its flawless craftsmanship. It was stunning and as the bright morning Sun touched its surface, it fractured prisms of light into the dark, dust-covered room. She knew then she had to have it.

She learned it was a one of a kind. Gepetto informed her the timepiece was unlike any other and did not measure time in the usual way, but instead measured time in years. Twenty to be exact.

“Twenty years?!” She humored the old man and smiled fondly at his eccentric and comical nature.

He informed her that if she ever tired of the piece she was not to dispose of it, donate it or give it to anyone else. Instead, she was to return the hourglass to him and he would refund her money in full regardless of how many years she had owned it. He said this was a condition of the sale and noted it on her receipt. She thought him sweet but daft and she kindly and politely promised she’d abide by the purchaser’s responsibility and left.  The following day she sat at the kitchen table staring at the hourglass. The sand was still running through, yet the heap in the lower chamber still appeared to look the same. It had not grown in volume. Not one iota. It was obvious now that this was some kind of trick gadget. Noting the old man’s wicked sense of humor, she laughed and loved the piece even more.

And today, reflecting once again on that day and of the old man's ominous words, she waited for the the last granule to filter through.  She no longer felt the sense of nausea or extreme panic she once did at the anticipation of what would happen next.  She no longer felt fear; only resignation and an overall sense of exhaustion.  And as the top chamber finally emptied, she once again blacked out and woke to  find herself in her old apartment in Brooklyn, the hourglass in front of her, its top chamber full. And she was thirty years old again. And on her fourth life.

September 26, 2015

1 comment:

Rose - The Center of My Self said...

Oh! The ending! It completely surprised me. Love!