|Closest possible approximation|
Miss Tock lives in a house full of clocks. Her walls are plastered with time, her drawers brimming with thrift-store wristwatches. Miss Tock once bought seven wind-up alarm clocks from my store, had me wind them up and fix them until they were working in perfect sync with each other.
"I want them all to go off at the same time, one in every room." she said. I made sure not to ask why.
I was at Miss Tock's house today, to do the usual annual windup and some basic maintenance on her clocks. The cuckoo wall was 15 minutes behind today. Half the Swatch drawer had run out of juice. Miss Tock couldn't handle dissonance. If her entire apartment didn't explode with a sound of ringing bells at 6:30 in the morning, then she couldn't even muster the strength to get out of bed.
"It's important to establish a routine. Artists need routine." she said to me, as I struggled with the weights on a grizzled Swiss cuckoo clock.
Miss Tock has never composed any music. According to a customer who used to work with her, Miss Tock barely even taught music. She'd spent the entire hour whiling away at the piano, creating non-melodies and the students had to shut up and take it. When people would offer critique, she'd blame the metronome.
"Goddamn thing's against me. Messes up my tempo on purpose." she'd exclaim and people would nod and not press the issue any further.
Once, a tennant wanted to sue Miss Tock, have her driven out from the premises. Apparently having the house next to you explode in a cacophony of noise at the crack of dawn every day can be particularly vexxing. Miss Tock responded by locking herself inside the apartment to keep the police away, then climbing to the neighbour's balcony, threatening suicide. A compromise was reached, in the end: Miss Tock would give up half her clocks and pay half the price for installing the tenant's new sound insulation.
"Some people just can't handle Art." she said to me "they see a creative mind and they want to destroy it."
I had no choice but to agree. After all, her hands were hovering over an unattended box-cutter on my workbench.
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