When I was a Sophomore in college, I rented a room with my friend Natasha in an old farmhouse about 5 miles from campus. My room was itty bitty and came with pink gingham walls and pink carpet. I was in my minimalist phase and was so happy with my surroundings forcing me to keep my worldly possessions to a, well... minimum. My first night there, I realized that I had been sharing my old roommate's alarm clock and no longer had anything to help me get up for class in the morning. I called Natasha who was at Wal-Mart buying things for her room (which was much bigger than mine because she wasn't as good of a person as I was, evidenced by all the space she needed for all her STUFF) and asked her to pick up an alarm clock for me. She came back with the sweetest olive green alarm clock and that night was our first night together.
That alarm clock has been on my bedside ever since. She lived at that farmhouse, both of my apartments in Denver, both of our apartments in New Orleans, both of our apartments in DC, both of our houses in Pennsylvania, and still bravely lit up the time and alarmed at the proper time at our home here in Pittsburgh. For the last month. Yesterday, she alarmed three random times during the day while the switch was still at "off"- I think because she was afraid of not alarming at all and letting me sleep through something important.
She has watched while people cycled through my bed (Grant, then Purslane and now Knox), she survived Hurricane Katrina, has been dropped on the floor multiple times by curious babes, has been plugged into knob and tube wiring sockets (which I'm sure is scary for an electrical item), has been cursed at, smacked around and admired by her single owner. She has put in her time. (pun intended)
And now it is time to let her go into eternal sleep. No alarms set, no time to display. And even though she is only a cheap Wal-Mart alarm clock, there aren't many material things that stick around for that long. Upgrading can be fun- I certainly didn't look back when we left our orange Chevy cobalt at the dealership and drove away in our family friendly (and admittedly yuppie) station wagon. I stretched out my legs and looked in the rear view mirror at Purslane who was now able to ride facing forward in her carseat. But this clock has been loyal- and replacing loyal things gives a twinge. Even if it is a cheap alarm clock.