Saturday, April 28, 2012

The large antique wall clock that hangs above the Saveur test kitchen is the same as the one that hung over the door to my mom’s office in her grocery store. It took all of my focus to pay attention to the editor giving us an office tour instead of staring transfixed on that clock, daydreaming about its twin back on Kauai. That clock kept the time of the moments in my life. I’d stare at it, while waiting for her to finish a meeting, check in a vendor, talk story with a long-time customer, or whatever else it was that kept me from getting the attention that I wanted. That clock told me when I had to finish eating my snack on the counter beside the register, and go to soccer practice at the ballpark behind the building. And later, when I ended up working there, it told me what time my shift was over. The aging brown face and antique hands presided over that neighborhood hub, keeping time of all the lives of which that grocery was a part of everyday. It timed the milk delivery, the start time of the farmers market in the parking lot next door, the time the movie started in the adjacent theater, then the church service when it was converted from an art house to a house of worship. Residents of the town moved in and out, old-timers stopped coming in for their newspapers in the morning, and the ownership eventually changed, but the clock remains, keeping time for Kilauea.