No. 9

 

I used to live in a high rise above Wilshire Blvd., in what is now called the Wilshire Corridor. It may very well have been called that back then too, but I was a mere chubby kid, who wouldn't have noticed such an adult name. I'm not sure to the reason why, but I had acquired my first alarm clock. It was a baseball — more softball in size, and softish — it had a digital clock built into it. The idea was fairly simple: The alarm went off, one throws the baseball across the room, and it would then go into sleep or snooze mode. After a few weeks of throwing the thing around my room, breaking small objects here and there, I realized the agony of getting out of bed and finding the damn thing after about eight or nine minutes.

Later, I lived in a small town in Colorado. One with a population a touch over five hundred. My class had close to twenty boys and one girl — all the boys asked her out, but she rejected us each one. Back then i loved sleeping more than anything, and could sleep for great lengths. I would also say awake till early in the morning reading giant books that were over my head, and since I've had to re-read. I didn't have an alarm clock then — I had my mom. She would walk down the stairs every morning and gently yell me awake. Yet, I was awake before her vocal alarm went off — it was her footsteps — they woke me up as she walked upstairs.

My first night in my eight by ten foot dorm room in high school was a long one. I couldn't sleep. I bought my first alarm clock the day before moving in. It wasn't purchased for me, I bought it on my own. It was an old fashioned number, with the bells on top and a little hammer in between. Eventually, I did fall asleep, and whatever ungodly hour it was when that hammer smashed those bells was the moment 20 years of my life were taken from me. I was scarred. My heart pounded. I checked my bed for shit stains. And literally threw the thing out of my dorm window into a small canyon below.

For the rest of my high school career, I bought a small, black digital clock with red numbers. It was a plug-in. I read about REM and sleep patterns, and dreaming, and came up with some crazy system of setting my alarm at these odd times to make sure I would have 3 snooze cycles — 9 minutes long — before getting out of bed (OCD here I come?). Sometimes I would purposefully set the alarm an hour early to grantee the perfect cycle.

In college, I abandoned this sleep cycle regime and opted for heavy amounts of drugs to get the optimal dreams out of my brain. Yet, I noticed after a night of LSD use, the red numbers of my clock would always flicker and twitch. To this day these red digital numbers on such clocks play tricks on my eyes, and I don't use them anymore.

From then till almost now, my alarm clock turned into my phone. I hardly turn off my phone and my phones over the years have all had reliable alarm schemes. When I was single I would set the alarm and put the phone in the empty space next to me in bed, and never use the snooze feature — there was no need. Now coupled, it rests on the bedside table, but snoozing is a must.

I am a snooze hound. My phones all had 9 minutes snooze lengths. Today, I use a fitness tracker with a silent alarm (it vibrates on my wrist) and that also comes with a 9 minute snooze feature. I do not understand the origins of the nine minutes of snooze — I'm sure Wikipedia has the answer, but I don't really care to look it up. But seriously, why not 10, a nice round number. Honestly, after a round of snooze, who wants to get up at 7:09? Is that even a real time?

I recently read users will be allow to set their iWatch ahead of actual current time. No where have a read about the ability to change the length of the snooze — how sad. The future is bleak. I will continue to have to set my alarm to 18 or 27 minutes before I wish to rise. And wonder why 9.