Time and I have an interesting relationship. Some would find it perplexing, but I find it perfectly reasonable and normal. This is most evident by the myriad of clocks I encounter on any given day. Take, for example, my typical work day.
My alarm goes off at 4:00 AM. That would be local time, as in local to my bedroom. I usually hit snooze twice before silencing the alarm for good on the third ring at 4:14. (Most alarm clocks seem to have a nine-minute snooze interval, but mine is seven.) If I’m extra tired, I go for an extra snooze, giving me until 4:21.
Dragging myself out of bed, I put the bows of my glasses in my mouth and grab my phone. The glasses go in my mouth because it’s faster and easier than putting them on. Besides, at 4:something in the morning it is so dark that whether my vision is corrected is irrelevant. That’s where my trusty HTC HD7 comes in. Its 4.3-inch capacitive touch display lights my path well enough for my uncorrected eyes to see any obstacles that may lay in my path. (It does have a flashlight app, but the light is bright enough to rival the sun. More than a bit much for 4:something in the morning.)
The shower is a dangerous place, time-wise. Especially when my sleep deprivation is a little on the high side. A quick check of my phone drags me kicking and screaming into “real time.” If it reads before 4:30, I am doing OK. 4:35 or later means I probably visited la-la land while standing motionless in the spraying water, and I need to move with a purpose.
Fully dressed, next stop is the kitchen, a trichronal wonderland. The microwave and stove are close in time to each other and real time. The clock over the sink is somewhere between five and ten minutes ahead of the appliances. Yet, somehow I manage to know what time it is by looking at any one of them.
Then there is my car, the inside of which I am convinced exists a bubble of time that is always about 15 minutes into the future. No matter how you set the clock, it creeps until it settles on 15 minutes ahead of real time. And then it stays that much ahead. I am grateful that my car’s clock behaves this way. If I am running a few minutes late, by car time, I will still arrive at my destination early.
During the day my watch keeps me enveloped in a tiny bubble of time about eight minutes in the future. The offset from real time varies gradually farther and closer to real time. I tend to look at it as math practice. I am now really good at subtracting eight from another number.
All other clocks I regularly use are computers, all synced to real time by an internet time beacon. My phone, mentioned above. My laptop in the guise of a tablet. My workstation and assorted servers at work. These all temporarily bring me back in sync with real time.
I prefer to be a little out of sync, a few minutes ahead, so I can see what’s coming before most everyone else.