1989 — Death of Salvador Dali
On the anniversary of the great surrealist’s death, all clocks melted.
Outside a country estate, an elderly gentleman reached into his vest front to consult his pocket watch. The clock face wriggled in his hand, began to ooze through his fingers. His startled wrist jolted upward, flinging the watch toward a nearby tree, where it drooped over a stray limb.
Wristwatches came next. Metal bands grew warm as watches poured off people’s arms; leather bands oozed with the smell of burnt hair.
In a high school classroom, a teenage girl ignored the drone of her English teacher as the numbers dripped slowly out of the wall-mounted clock.
Her classmate always used her cell phone instead of a wristwatch. As she tapped the screen, the digital image of an analog watch distorted under the swipe of her finger.
In Columbia, Pennsylvania, at the National Watch and Clock Museum, the tall faces in the grandfather clock exhibit slid down the walls and formed a great pool in the floor.
In quaint gardens around the world, sundials bowed mid-gnomon, their shadows meaningless. In Paris, inside the Church of Saint-Sulpice, the famous obelisk gnomon curled like a giant’s crooked finger.
As one, people stepped outside to determine the time of day. In the sky, the sun burst and ran like the yolk of an egg.