The brassy horn blows, stirring him from slumber. Not a horn, he realizes as he opens his eyes — an electronic drone, the tone on his “gentle wake” alarm clock that rises a notch up in volume every ten seconds until the sleeper turns it off. He lifts his heavy eyelids and confronts the clock face. 6:56 am. Too early. He hates this whining clock. Its siren creeps on him. Its soft tone deceives him.
He’s not sure if he wants to get out of bed yet. He watches the digits on the clock — the boxy numbers burning like three blurry gold bars into his eyes. He hesitates to turn the alarm off. Doesn’t want to acknowledge the coming day. But he doesn’t want to snooze, either. Politics is a tough game, and he’s not done with it yet. Even if he wins today’s election, he’ll have to make a lot of changes. Not sure he wants to. Not sure the time is right. Not sure of anything. It’s all in the hands of those who cast the votes, anyway.
6:56. The horn blares.
The waiting, he thinks, is unbearable. Always is. His wife finally groans beside him, tossing covers. He wonders if he’s just awakened the new first lady or the wife of yet another has-been.
The clock finally turns the next minute with an audible click. He presses the button. Silence. He gets up and puts on his fancy suit.
The numbers on the clock read 6:66.