time is a number if you read it right

Nighttime again. All the windows open, hot air invading the apartment. The Palinode and The Lotus reading in bed, aware of the flaw in their window strategy but willing to wait out the warm half of night. The Lotus looks over at the clock radio on Palinode's nightstand.

Lotus: I never realized that ten o' clock looked like one thousand.

Palinode: (looks over) Oh my god. You're right. I've never noticed that. It's a thousand just sitting there.

Lotus: That's so cool.

(They watch the clock for a few seconds, unaccountably fascinated. You think they're stoned, but no. They're actually fascinated.)

Palinode: And you know what? When it's one minute after ten, it's going to look like a thousand and one.

Lotus: You're right. It really will.

(They go back to watching the clock, happily spooned. Suddenly, unexpectedly, the minute turns over. It's ten oh one.)


Lotus: It's a thousand and one!

Palinode: That is so great.

Lotus: Totally.

Palinode: But you know -

Lotus: What?

Palinode: When it hits two after ten, it just won't -

Lotus: It won't look like a thousand and two.

Palinode: Exactly. It'll just be a time. How does that work?

Lotus: I think it's the symmetry.

Palinode: Sure, there's symmetry, but other forces are at play here. There must be only a few times that look like numbers on a digital clock. We were lucky to catch two of them.

Lotus: What do you think the other times are?

Palinode: Good question.

(They go back to staring at the clock, but the joy has been replaced with anxiety.)