Annemarie Parsons

Chronophobia

Clocks are frightening as a symbol of time. A constant reminder of time passing. Because that’s all time does is pass by you, leave you, move on without you, without looking back, without coming back, and you can’t get it back. Without waiting for you to keep up, time moves on, whether or not you’re ready. 

I’m not ready. My heart’s beat jumps when it hears the beat of the grandfather clock. I wring my hands as the clock’s hands move across its face. I want to pause time, to hold it, to keep it with me. Like a child carrying around an old blanket, I desperately grab at the sands of an hourglass. But they always slip through my fingers.

And with each moment that slips past me I have to wonder – did I spend that well? There’s a suffocating pressure to value something that’s so fleeting.


Freddie Freeloads in My Mind

Knock          knock,
          Knock              knock,
                    KNOCK              KNOCK,
There’s someone outside the door to my mind, and he’s getting impatient,
He’s tapping his foot.
And now I’m tapping mine.
I’m tapping along to the reliable snare drum,
I’m letting his rhythm wash over me,
I know what’s coming
So I’m waiting, just waiting, for that right moment
To go
          And o
                    pen the     door

Freddie prances in.
He’s joyous, carefree, dancing across my temporal lobe.
With a twirl he drops his carpetbag,
And free of its weight
He drag steps across the dance floor he’s set up in my head,
Punctuating the air with his cane
Once, twice, almost a third time
Before kicking back on the now-present couch
Setting his two-tone jazz shoes on the table in front of him.
He’s relaxed, sitting there for a while.
But he can’t stay still.
He’s tapping his feet, he’s swaying his head, his movements are getting larger
Until

Lis  ten  up!
He calls for my attention with the blast of a trumpet.
He’s up again,
Dancing.
But this time
He’s slowed down.
There’s a sadness to his dance.
Freddie’s lonely,
He wants me to join him,
He’s imploring me
He cries out–
Please!
His futile entreaties color his dance.

Freddie becomes desperate.
He becomes shrill
His dance is feverish
one       step       falling
right after the other
It’s-dizzying-spiraling-I’m-reeling-to-keep-up

Until, mercifully
He runs out of energy and becomes less frantic.
I’m given a moment,
To catch my breath.
But Freddie isn’t done with me.
He’s merely collecting himself,
Reorganizing
So that

He becomes irresistible.
He takes over from within me.
His melancholy wail pulls me in.
Less frantic, but just as urgent– 
It’s breathless.
His spiraling has become hypnotic,
And each step, each note
Grabs me by the heart and tugs me along whatever journey Freddie has planned.
With a sly grin, and with his hips swaying,
Freddie struts on, leading me to

Joy!
We’ve found it together!
And Freddie is gloating.
He’s captivated me and he knows it.
So now he pulls me in more,
Because he can!
He cries out again!
But this time his cries are joyful!
Sated,
Relaxed.

And now I can relax.
The tension I carry in my chest cavity dissipates
And Freddie’s work is done.
After a taxing emotional odyssey
We’ve found peace.
So Freddie can leave me
(like he came to me)

With knocking.
And with the snare drum mapping out my heartbeat,
I find solace in the familiarity of the resolution and
I feel
          Be tter
                    Than be     fore.


Annemarie Parsons is a first-year student at the College of Arts and Sciences at Boston University. She is hoping to major in Pure and Applied Mathematics and Linguistics. Her passion is for Spanish Literature, Syntax, and Calculus.