Don’t stop, or you will see the Tik-Clack Man


Everyone has them I suppose. Those times that I have dubbed “Frantic Enjoyment”. Those times between dinner and bedtime for the kids, after work and while your spouse is occupied. Those times when you can breath and want nothing but the height of personal joy before things return to their stasis. Before the demands of our environs and company outweigh any hope of self. Those moments where you frantically fill an hour to ensure you that the whole of your life is worth living and that you are whole, complete, and everlasting.

It was in one of these moments that I finally saw him. The Tick-Clack man. I had been let out of work early due to scheduled construction. It was a rare treat. Furthermore Carolyn was scheduled to have picked up the kids from school an hour earlier and drive them up to her parents for the night. I was responsible to nothing. To no one. Cruising home in my car I began to map out the plan. Rushing home to heat the frozen pizza’s in my freezer, while watching netflix on my mobile, and afterwards some gaming on my computer followed by a bath and some scotch, leading to downloading and reading a new Stephen King novel,

That is Frantic Enjoyment.

I sped home, I rushed, I made my meal and watched my shows as quickly as possible. I rushed upstairs to my computer. I was so frantic that there was no real enjoyment. As I said I think we’ve all been there. All of us have done this. Unfortunately I noticed,

I came to the realization of what I was doing halfway through a match of Overwatch on my PC. There was no light, no bells ringing or angels on my shoulder. Simply, and quite suddenly I just saw it. I was filling every spare moment with the sole intention of depriving myself of quiet.. To avoid being alone with myself. Afraid of what I might find when I shut out the light and the fire. And it’s true. I was. I should have been. There is something… else… in that place.

I stopped. That’s all I did. In that very moment> At the very moment that the idea struck me, I stopped. In the middle of an online match, in the midst of the dance of frantic joy, I simply stopped. I must have breathed but I did not think. And even the breathing must have been shallow as to not disturb my body, which fell away in time, as my mind swam through concepts for which there are only smells and shadows, but no words. As my surroundings melted in azure tides of disregard. It all fell away in the moment. Until I heard those clicks.

There was no room around me. There was no light. Hell, there was no “me”. But he was there. Quite clearly he was there. HIs fingers. No his claws. No his talons tap tap tapped against…. Something. There was nothing to tap. Nothing in this place of nowhere and flow. Empty black skies prevailed here, yet he tapped, clicked, tacked at them. Those invisible borders. Those walls of nothing barring our way eternal, from nowhere to no place.

Clik-tak-Clack, his long spears tick-tacked at infinity, and I knew him for what he was. He was that thing. That thing that keeps us rushing to work in the morning. Tearing through life. Engaging the call of the winds as they came. Letting ourselves be carried on the back of time. Because we know. We know that without that, we would see him. We would see the Tik-Clack Man tapping, striking, drilling at the walls of much more than the pittance that we hold dear. We know that behind the veil is a slow confident attack upon “greater than us”.

I see him always now, though I’ve returned. I see him in the face of my co-workers as the blame others for their shortcomings. I see him in the ones who are drawn to drama like moths to a flame. I see him behind those that finally break, turn, and wreak havoc during their own self destruction. He is with us. You just can’t see him.

The Tik_Clack Man is here with us all. Just waiting. Knowing that we cannot see him. Knowing that his victory will come regardless of pace. Knowing that our eyes are empty, and we refuse to see what is most dangerous to us.

And he stands. Waiting. Simply Click-Tacking on the walls until we come to him.

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D.M. Blackwell

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By D.M. Blackwell

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