This antique German cuckoo clock has been in my family for generations. It was in my dad’s bedroom when he was a boy and then it came to our house. I had it repaired and restored in 1974 and I’ve had it in every house I’ve lived in ever since. But here’s the thing: I rarely run it. It’s tick-tock is loud and so is the cuckoo, and it needs to be wound every day. So for the last ten years it has hung silently in my house. Until last Saturday afternoon.
I was sitting in the living room watching TV when I was startled to hear the cuckoo strike five o’clock. I went into my office where it hangs, and there it was, ticking away, the pine-branch pendulum swinging, the hands moving. I was alone in the house and haven’t been near my office all afternoon. I have heard of clocks stopping. But I have never heard of one starting spontaneously. I stared at it for a good minute.
The only thing I can think of is that somehow the air conditioning made the pendulum move and then it took off on its own. Or…
Allen loved the clock. Maybe it was his German ancestry, maybe because it was kitschy, whatever. And maybe… Well, I don’t believe in ghosts or poltergeists, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist and maybe this is his way of saying, “Hi honey, I’m home!”