Time now is twelve minutes past ten...

So, in the dark Hit FM studios, Kelly finds herself biting her lips? Bad time for a photo, as always. And to think Karla said my photos are always of everybody's most awkward phases.

Has anyone noticed that all analog clocks and watches in television advertisements are set to somewhere near ten minutes past ten? They say that the position of the arms make the clock look like a smiling face, with the numbers eleven and one acting as the eyes. It's some subtle way of conveying happiness - not in-your-face, not subtle even. Maybe subliminal.

Today I claimed the wall clock I won on Kelly's show. Indeed, a wall clock. Although my mom's frowned at me for a bit for calling up the station using my mobile, at least I gave myself an adventure, rather than I leave school an hour after I arrive. Sometimes I wonder why I decided to call when they were giving away a wall clock. I should've preferred the New Order DVD set, with me rediscovering (to an extent) the newly-disbanded band's music, but I figured I need a clock more, especially since the one in my room isn't working.

I got my prize from the guard, and it was set to twelve minutes past ten. The smiling face, right in front of me.

It's been exactly eight months since I stepped into the Hit FM studios. It was the thirteenth when I auditioned (unsuccessfully) with Ella, and consequently met Kelly out of impulse. Since then I auditioned again and did not receive a phone call. That wasn't in my agenda, however. Probably because I am still fatigued after so many things for so many weeks, which meant when I arrived at the studios, after the greetings - it's the third time, by the way - I literally plopped on the sofa entertaining everybody's questions.

Or, maybe it's because it's been my third time there, which meant I wasn't as excited as I was before. Blame me for being giddy in that Internet café that night, when all those glowing statements came out of my fingers. Things happen when you know people more, and if at the start you want something to remind you of whatever happened, now all you want is conversation, and it flows much better.

I finally met her co-host Tin, the one who's all blushes when the Green Archers won, and today she was complaining of a bad wisdom tooth, until cornstarch - err, Ponstan - was given to her. There was the other visitor, Angela, who sent in a hand-drawn Christmas card, like the ones I did when I was much more idealistic. And Lexi, a student DJ from "next door", was also there, offering us pastries and braiding Tado's hair. And Tado, him from the latenight show, who was the day's guest. And Neil, who Trix interviewed at the start of the term, who was being a "bitch", as Kelly put it, during his show. And me, being the usual self, only less restrained, so to speak.

Although eventually it was a bit hard for me to finally leave the studios - I spent four hours there, and only to claim a wall clock - well, I don't know. Sure, we all got tired of laughing. I was just taking photos and walking around while seeing Winner and Sonny come in and out of the booth. The donuts eight months ago were now Angela's kutsinta, in the usual Styrofoam packages like we see in the community markets. I was even helping them sorting out the dates until the end of this year, since we all got confused as to which day's Tuesday and which day's Monday. Call me weird for looking like I'm finding solace in radio presenters who's job description is to smile while talking, so that they won't sound so pissed off even if they are, but it's merely circumstance.

Eventually we'd all talk about my wall clock. It was just lying around the studio during that four hours, waiting for batteries to be placed before it can finally spring into action. Neil joked about wanting the one I got, in all its largeness, because he can use it for bling. For some reason, though, the things we chatted about revolved around time - past, present, future, what could have been, what we aspire, what we want to be (although not mine, thankfully), where we go next, where we live, whatever.

Kelly was the first to leave, and eventually I had lunch at Paragon's fifteenth floor, as the duo had suggested, with Tin extolling the wonders of mefenamic acid, and Neil feeling a bit powerless over requests. I was then traveling south with the wall clock, which doesn't have a second hand, which means you'll actually doubt for a moment whether it works or not. And then you realize that, when you're in the right place at the right time, time actually stops and you lose track of it. In fact, I did have a camera but didn't take a photo with anybody, even if signs say it could be, err, the very last. When I got home, for some reason, I was thinking of offering screenplays to those who might need it, if things happen as planned. Thus there is a need to stay tuned while I am out of the country.

The moment I put the batteries in the clock, I was assured that it was working. Slowly, but surely, it did. Time now is forty-six past nine, and it is brought to you by fifteen years at work, a seventeen-year gap, and the obvious disregard for it.

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