We are waiting on a man to come and fix the grandfather clock in the hall, next to the table with the phonebook and the scribbled unfinished notes from an unfinished conversation with a man on the phone.
He rang to say he cannot make it – I think it was this morning – because he himself is a grandfather and he is sick and wants to spend more time with his sickness and his grandchildren. We are expecting him later now, though we cannot be expected to know when later is, because the clock is unpredictable. Sometimes it will chime every minute instead of every hour.
Furthermore, I sense that The Hare is troubled. His mutterings have become more frequent. Now, roughly every 10th word he thinks will be expressed as actual speech, and the words he chooses have begun to unnerve me.
Grandfather clock maintenance requires wisdom, not words. A person’s suitability for the job can sometimes be measured by the wrinkles on his or her face. This is such a well-known fact that it almost borders on cliché. Right now, The Hare is wishing he didn’t talk so much.
I told the old guy, from whom we are expecting a visit, that we spend most of our time drinking coffee and eating substandard dinners from packets. In return, he offered us a story about a War which is apparently so infamous it does not need a name and is known simply as The War, even though there have been many, not to mention those occurring right this moment in my living room.
The Hare is preparing for the wars he thinks are yet to come, whereas I wish they would hurry up, for want of something better to do. This is the nature of our conflict. I wish the man who is coming to fix the clock was here now, fixing it. The Hare should live with time and not words for time, like “minutes”, “hours” and “days”. I am not making sense; he would articulate it better himself if he was all here. Sadly, he is matching into the wallpaper, and the breakfast cereal, and the coffee and, for the first time ever, his dreams about nothing.
It shouldn’t be like this on my Birthday. It is not my Birthday today; if it was I would tell you. But on my birthday, I will have a Super Mario Bros. cake, for a sense of semi-ironic nostalgia. Everybody reading this will send me presents. Everybody will be invited to our living quarters, where a ceasefire will be arranged for the occasion. I will allow all my friends to light up indoors, even though there is a new law against it.
The Hare lives for Birthdays and Christmases. The rest is unlabelled time which should, I suppose, be a glorious thing.