I got a watch.
It’s silver and gold; my brother gave it to me. It wasn’t a gift so much as a hand-me-down, but I take what I can get, I’m not too picky. We were in a restaurant when I slipped it around my wrist and clicked close the clasp for the very first time. We clinked wine glasses and said cheers then I shyly added a thank you and took a long hard gulp. I looked at the time and squinted at the dates and turned the outer dial and stared as the hands crawled across the face of it. I imagined each tick was for me. Every second now my own. Time was finally on my side.
It wasn’t until the next morning that I noticed it. The changes it had invented. The modifications it had made. The watch had sparked a superstition in me; it had created a puzzle I couldn’t solve.
[I’ve been trying not to update lately; writing has become my bully. An uncertainty looms beneath each key on my laptop. The string of words that a sentence assembles pull and unravel the distress inside, like a coil of alarm squeezing my intestines. I go to type and fear curls up in my throat. To unfold these impressions with any sort of forced wordplay, dexterous or otherwise, would be to poke and prod at a wasp nest or open a window during a hailstorm.]
I take it off when I’m in the shower. I take it off before I go to bed. If I wake up with it or get it wet, the delicate chemistry that composes the day is altered and distorted, ruined. So I switch up the combination. Maybe if I get it wet again, the shape f the day will return to a favorable form. Maybe if I sleep with it twice the invisible curse is lifted. I become haunted by time. Every moment from I have lived and every moment I will live burdens upon my head and shoulders and I fight with every cell in my body the urge to collapse under the weight of it.
Then there is what I do with the watch on and what I do with the watch off.
Time loosens with it off. I play Frisbee, watch porno, smoke cigarette after cigarette and look out into the city waiting for my live to come home. I watch television. I listen to music. I play records. I stare into space.
With it on I reply to emails, answer the phone, make calls, make appointments, get to appointments on time, sometimes 5 minutes early. I work through processes. I keep files. I create spreadsheets. I brainstorm.
Then I wake up one day and I work half the day furiously then I glance at my wrist and see it naked and cold, timeless. Shit. Now what have a constructed? A fortress of wonder and bewilderment. A bastion of dilemma. I have disturbed the constitution of the afternoon, surely to weaken the evening. I’m paralyzed in between ticks. The rest of the day incalculable.
So now what do I do? Do I put the watch on, in hopes of saving patterns left in the fabric of today? Or do I leave the watch off, letting the cycle of unease play itself out until tomorrow morning?
Fun for the kids: Check out Rock and Roll confidentials Hall of Douchebags for about 4 hours of hilarity. Then watch Thom York being interviewed about the making of his new album, The Eraser.