Simply put, the narrator's insomnia, combined with small bright lights in an otherwise pitch-black room, is causing him to hallucinate. Furthermore, the narrator is well aware that he will be unable to distinguish the hallucinations from reality. This finally occurs when his clock reads 13:72, which would not be possible on any clock.
A clock can never read "72 minutes," as there are only 60 minutes in an hour. While a clock can read "13 hours" on a 24-hour clock (which is common on most digital clocks in Europe, but not in the US), the thirteenth hour does not occur immediately after the fourth hour.
We know it must not be a 24-hour clock. On that setting, 4:31 would be in the afternoon, not at night.22.214.171.124 15:11, 22 December 2013 (UTC)
- I cannot tell if you are misguided, trolling or just hallucinating in the style of this comic. So - well done! 126.96.36.199 18:18, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
- What's even more well done is that your IP addresses are .021 away! aoijgpisbHtejsykl7ekderhtsjk6r64os4kys\\\jsrtjgdrghtvgwrhtejyku5dli6;78t7l6rk5j4h|||||#Rty-----WWWWWWfflfllfllfllfeogk0q9wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww4-cv;c;;c;c[;]z\]d;v[\]????????OH GOD IT'S CRASIHNG MY PC����������������������������������������������� (talk) 13:35, 3 November 2020 (UTC)
Quite the opposite. 13:00 is 1 in the afternoon, and 4:31 would be 4:31 at night. 188.8.131.52 04:48, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
I know it's quite a long shot, but polish writer Bruno Shulz wrote a novel "Cinamon Shops", which surprisingly have a style of insomnia-crazy visions. More : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Street_of_Crocodiles
184.108.40.206 11:48, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
A typical situation with insomnia is when you blink your eyes for just a moment, then look at the clock and find that in reality a couple of hours have passed (with you asleep though all this time even though you didn't feel like it). Focusing the eyes on the clock afterwards is not an easy task either, so the creative readings are not unusual. Overall, the situation is much more realistic than it seems at first. 220.127.116.11 22:27, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
This happens to me all the time actually, I wake up in and check my watch, but since I'm not really fast at waking up I fall asleep for a few minutes before actually checking the watch, and I dream about it. So maybe I've dreamed that it was 6:30 when in fact it is still 4:30. But only real numbers so far (Miguelinileugim) 18.104.22.168 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
- Once it's not only real numbers, prepare for the most confusing 4.71 - 2.38i hours of your life. Promethean (talk)
There's a problem with part of the explanation. The clock doesn't say "SLEI" upside-down, it says "ZLEI." This is a common perceptual error, often seen with those inverted face illusions where the head is upside down and the mouth and/or eyes are right-side up. If you don't know to watch for it, the face looks normal until you turn it over. 22.214.171.124 21:32, 21 May 2020 (UTC)Sammael
- Should have been a '5' not a '2'. SteveBaker (talk) 16:04, 22 May 2020 (UTC)
...actually also a problem with the parenthetical "or perhaps a 2." That digit would then presumably be a full 7-segment LED array and could easily display the E. 126.96.36.199 23:39, 21 May 2020 (UTC)Sammael
Could this be a reference to Buttercup Festival cartoon featuring a clock that reads "13:72" and several jellyfish? Sugarfi (talk) 17:18, 14 December 2020 (UTC)
I have a crappily designed microwave oven that, when you set its timer in 10-second increments, goes from 0:40 to 0:50, 0:60, 0:70 etc. It's thus possible to get the timer to display 13:72, although it's minutes:seconds, not hours:minutes. 188.8.131.52 08:18, 19 October 2022 (UTC)