November 7, 2021
Reflections, Daay 30
“He declined to be categorized. He regarded himself as an independent thinker, who by a happy chance thought the same as everyone else.”
When I was little, I remember sitting around the dinner table in Silver Springs, Maryland. My mother said, “Tonight is the night.”
My dad said, “I dread it. No one likes a change.”
I sat and listened with a sense of foreboding. I got tears in my eyes.
My mother looked at me and asked, “What’s wrong, dear?”
Mom said, “Poor Baby, what’s the matter?”
“I don’t want to know what’s going to happen at two o’clock.”
Mom laughed. “It’s all right, baby, that’s just when the time changes from Daylight Saving Time to Eastern Standard Time.”
Then mom told her annual joke, “I get so tired this time of year because I have to stay up until two o’clock to change the time.”
I took her seriously. “But what would happen if you don’t change the time?”
My dad answered that one in his deep, foreboding voice, “If you don’t get it exactly right and change the clocks properly at the correct time, then the time police come get you and throw you in time prison.”
This has haunted me twice a year ever since.
When this happened, we lived in Washington, D.C. where they had daylight savings time when very few other places observed it. We moved to Georgia and for a few years I didn’t have to worry about the time police, but I never forgot. I knew they were out there.
Then, I think in the late 60s, they brought the time scourge to Georgia. I had to worry about it again. I started staying up until two o’clock twice a year so I could set the clocks and essentially change the time. I had a few close calls but I never even got a warning from the time police. I know they are watching, though, especially with that chip that I got with my Covid vaccination.
Last night, I dozed off while I was waiting to set the clocks. I woke up at exactly two o’clock and feverishly set the clocks back one hour. Then I dozed off again sitting at my desk.
I woke from my dozing and looked at the clock. I didn’t remember whether I set it back again or not. It was 2:30. “I must have been dreaming,” I told myself. So I set the clocks back in a mad rush to stay away from the time police. I set the clocks to exactly 2:00. That was the closest I ever came to violating the time laws. I hope they don’t come get me. Somehow, though, I feel like something is wrong with the time this year.
—john schulz Photo by Tommy Cobb