English 101 Literacy Narrative Creative Writing.
Tick Tock Ding Ding!
My names Grayson I’m a 22-year-old salesman working full time and struggling to find my true purpose in life, so I simply exist. Like clockwork I wake up, shower, brush my teeth, dress, coffee, and on the road to work. I skip breakfast because I get lunch in four hours. The same empty complaints and echoes of kids screaming inside the store. Am I stuck inside this white box, confided to these four walls 8am-5pm Monday through Friday? Every two weeks, I wait until Friday for payday because that means the friends and I will head to the bar. I think I’ll need that after this week. It’s been rough, boss is mad that we aren’t meeting our sales quota. Ever since High School it’s just clockwork.
Tick Tock “Hey Grayson! Are you okay man?” Startled, I turn and see Nick come out of the back room “yeah was just spacing out.” I do that a lot, getting lost in my thoughts as they consume me slowly. Ding Ding, the sound of the door being opened and I snap back to this reality. The same empty and hollow “Hi welcome! How can we help you today?” Another sale later, my boss now comes in for the day it’s almost lunch. Work is structured well like an old grandfather all the cogs, us, play our roles and are oiled and tuned correctly.
Tick tock! Why do I feel this way so hollow and empty? What is the cause? Nick comes excitedly from the back room again, “Hey Grayson! You are still coming tonight right man?” to which I responded with “Its payday right? Of course I am, we always do…” Happy with my answer we do our best to try and pass the time but I get consumed with my thoughts. I think to myself, “Why am I hollow and empty? I have friends, coworkers, and a steady job why do I feel like I’m missing a part of myself?” It is 5pm now which means time to get off work
Tick Tock. I head home to change and prepare for the biweekly bar visit. “It’s like a ritual now, is this how we get through life?” My thoughts ring inside my head again. It’s raining tonight so the moon isn’t in the sky. I love the rain it’s always so peaceful. I park my car and sit there for a minute listening to the gentle Tap of the drops hitting the roof of my car. Everyone finds it weird that I find comfort in rain but I don’t care. Opening the car door Ding Ding!, I have to shake my head and realize it’s not my work’s door sound. Heading inside I go to the closet and grab the Usual outfit I always wear out to the bar, Black T-shirt with a smoke logo on it, dark blue jeans, and my Nike Airforce ones. I go to check myself out in the mirror then I hear it, Tick Tock! “Like clockwork baby!” I say to myself grab my keys strut over to the door and embrace the rain as I walk to my car.
I get to the bar and sit in my car continuing to listen to the tap, tap, tap, tap of the rain on my roof as I wait for everyone to arrive. I see the same familiar headlights that I see every other friday. Nick pulls in his car right to me, I opened my car door Ding Ding. Everything flashes white and I am back at work.. But how? “What happened?” I thought to myself. “What is going on?” I see a customer walk in but its the same face. “Hi welcome! how can we help you today?” My manager walks in now just before im supposed to go to lunch. Day ends and I go home. It starts to rain again. I sit and listen to the rain tapping against the roof of my silver sedan. “What the heck is going on? Am I experiencing major dejavu ?” My thoughts slowly consuming be. I open the car door ding ding it’s my car but its making the sounds of my work door. “Am I going insane? What am I experiencing?” I go inside grab my change of clothes and get ready for the bar. I drive the same drive I did earlier. Park my car and watch as the rain leaves streams down my windows. “Like clockwork” I say to myself. Nick pulls up again parks his car and opens his door. And I mine.
Ding Ding! Everything flashes white again and the same customer walks in… “ok I am losing my mind” I think to myself as I go to greet the customer. I continue through my day the same way I did before. Sit in my car listening to the rain, going in and changing and then driving to the bar. “Like clockwork… clockwork” echoes throughout my thoughts. Nick pulls up into the spot next to mine again. Opening my car door Ding Ding! everything flashes white again “Back at work again! What is going on?” My head is pounding now and the only thing that I can clearly think about is “Like clockwork.” I am beyond words at the moment and cannot believe what is going on. I’ve seen things like these in movies but why is it happening to me? “Like clockwork” It echoes in my head again. I think this is the answer to what I was looking for. I get nicks attention and tell him “Hey man I am not feeling well today, is it okay if we go out next friday instead?” he responds with “Yeah man no problem I heard it’s supposed to rain tonight anyways no point in driving home that late in the rain!” Suddenly the echoing “Like clockwork’ slowly fades and I the intimidating sound of a grandfather clock. I go home don’t change into my clothes and write, Do not go to the bar today, with today’s date. Regardless of everything I go to the bar out of curiosity. I park my car as the rain taps against my car roof it slowly turns into the sound of a ticking clock. Tick Tock. “Like Clockwork” echoes in my head again. I opened my door Ding Ding and everything flashed white again.
“Hi welcome” as I greet the customer again. I go straight home on my lunch and see what I had written in my journal, Do not go to the bar this Friday, and it had today’s date but with a time stamp of 6:15pm and its currently 2:27pm. I know I am not crazy now so what is going on? I head back to work and ask nick about next friday again and he agrees. I stay home my thoughts are empty. I can’t sleep, im fearful that I will wake up back at work and have to great the same customer again. Trying to stay awake I got outside onto my balcony and sit in the rain and watch the city lights. The rain starts to lighten up and a break in the clouds foar, the bright white light emanates from the moon shines straight down onto me. I am familiar with the moon, when I can’t sleep I will often stare at the moon and just accept that life is like clock work… I look up to the moon and it’s not the same moon I look at. There are twelve numbers around it with two big hands. Staring at It I watch as the time slowly changes. “Is this what I have been looking for? A change in the flow?”
Sunlight fills my eyes now. Squinting I can see it is really the sun, I made it “It’s tomorrow!” I shout at the top of my lungs. I changed things! I didn’t go to the bar and that is what allowed me to continue through my week the same as I always do. Then the next Friday comes, I feel my face go pale with dread of what happened last week with my days repeating. No rain in the forecast tonight. Nick and I finish our shifts at work. I rush home grab my clothes change and put on an extra spray of cologne. I get to my car open the door and hear it Ding Ding! I sigh heavily because it was just my car. I put the key in turn the ignition. My engine revved with excitement I looked up to see the moon, it’s a little less than a half moon forming a smile. I park get out of my car and lean against it waiting for nick to arrive. That’s when I saw her the most beautiful girl in the world. Her hair straight and down falling perfectly onto her shoulders, her eyes like the starry sky. I feel like im in a trance, a trance quickly broken by Nick revving his engine to startle me. I see her enter the bar with her friends. I look up at the moon as it smiles down at me. I go in with nick and tell him about the girl I saw. He points her out across the room. He said to go try and talk to her that a girl might be a good thing for me right now. I was nervous But Nick convinced me to go.
`“Hey, um… Your hair looks amazing and I just wanted to say that you have the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen” She smiles and right then and there her smile reminded me of the moon. We talked for a while and I asked her. “Do you go out often for fun?” and she replied with I am here every second and fourth Friday of the month like clockwork. I explained to her that I was always here every first and third Friday because that’s when me and Nick would get paid. Like clockwork we planned to go on the same Friday the next week. She expressed her love for the moon and how she would find herself getting lost in it at night when she couldn’t sleep. She always felt like she was missing something. We became really close and flirty, maybe it was the liquid courage we call whiskey, but I asked her on a date. Two months later and she was my girlfriend. Now every night I look up to the moon and say thank you. I found what was missing in my normal 8am-5pm. I no longer have the hollow thoughts that slowly ate away at me because she makes them fade and life is beautiful. It’s all like clockwork, until it isn’t anymore, Tick Tock.
A retold version with a twist of the short story “There was a man and there was a woman” Written by Sandra Cisneros
The Short story, “there was a man there was a women” while only being a single page long left a much bigger impact with me. It was smaller things in the story such as the moon, laughing with friends but not wanting to say what was on their mind, and feeling empty on their own when both characters returned home. I was able to feel an immense amount of emotion and meaning from this short story and decided to retell it in a way that was more eye opening and relatable, but to also give it a greater meaning and purpose. I specifically wanted to target that men suffer through depression and to also encapsulate that we can change a situation if we do not like it.
The first thing I changed about the story was to bring it into the males perspective to show people that men too can suffer from depression and that many people may not even know it. Its a hidden killer and according to Helene Schumacher, a psychology reporter for BBC news, the suicide rate in males was triple what the females suicide rate being 15.5 in every 100,000 while the females were 4.9 in every 100,000. While she also states that females attempt suicide more often than males the males are more successful because they are more determined to complete their action. This is a topic that is swept under the rug and we are told as a society that men need to “Man Up” whenever something happens that could be emotionally distressful. In my version of the story we see Grayson suffering through a wave of depression and with a little help from his friend the moon he is able to make the changes in his life to improve it.
The second thing I changed was that the two characters meet. I decided to go this route because who doesn’t like a happy ending? I pushed this narrative with a little help and inspiration from the movies’ “Groundhog Day” and “Edge of Tomorrow”. In these movies we see two characters who are stuck in a constant time loop repeating the same day over and over again until they make the correct decisions that will ultimately change their lives. Pulling this inspiration I used it as a way to help push the two characters to meet and as a way to help Grayson out of his feeling of being “stuck”. This change allowed both the characters to meet and help guide a change in life to live instead of simply existing.
The third change I made to the story was with the moon. Changing the moon to be the very thing that is causing graysons day to reset was a unique and great way to unite the moon that is mentioned in the story with the importance it signified to me. This was another great way to introduce the two characters together because in the story at night once they are alone and in their thoughts and feeling lonely it is the moon that both the male and female character look up into the night sky. Using this connection they both had I tied it into ultimately the entity that would bring the two lonely souls together.
Making these changes allowed me to show a side of the male perspective that not many see. I was also able to bring inspirations from movies that required a change in action from the character in order for them to change their lives. I brought the importance of the moon in the story and used it to bring the two characters together and changed the outcome of the story. I made the characters live instead of simply existing.
Cisneros, Sandra. “There was a man and there was a woman” Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories. Vintage Books.
Liman, Doug, director. Edge of Tomorrow.
Ramis, Harold, director. Groundhog Day.
Schumacher, Helene. “Why More Men than Women Die by Suicide – BBC Future.” BBC News, BBC, https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20190313-why-more-men-kill-themselves-than-women.
Zakharevich, Igor. “The Concept Of Time. The Moon In The Form Of A Clock Against The Stock Illustration – Illustration of Flow, Dirty: 108500502.” Dreamstime, 27 Jan. 2018, https://www.dreamstime.com/concept-time-moon-form-clock-against-concept-time-moon-form-clock-against-image108500502.