The Watch

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
It's amazing how the most complex emotions a person can feel, can be embodied in a single object.

Submitted: April 20, 2007

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Submitted: April 20, 2007

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One day I received a watch, not an ordinary watch, not one that is simply picked up hurriedly with no thought put into it concerning the person it will go to. No, this watch was perfect; it was beautiful and just right for me. The way it fit, the way the thin gold links touched my skin, the way the opal shined in the light of day, the way I could barely tell that it was there until I needed it; all of this made it a perfect watch for me. From the moment I saw the watch I loved it.

You may know how that feels, to have something at one point in your life when you really need it, to have it right there for you. It’s always reliable, always exactly what you need to put you back on the right track. Consider what you would do if the watch that you timed your life by suddenly became the most treacherous object you own. What would you do if for some reason or another, your watch was giving you the wrong time, if it was set for being in a different time zone and because of that, it was making you late for everything you hold important day after day? What if it began to rob you of your attention and make you forget all that you knew and loved save the things surrounding it?

Most of course, would probably decide that it was broken, worthless, and not worth keeping, and go find another watch but with me, I just couldn’t let go. I could not let go of the one thing in life I had counted on for so long, even though I realized that what had once attracted me to the watch so much was no longer there. Even when I realized that I had become what I had always scorned others for becoming, my perverse and stubborn nature would not allow me to admit it was so on any level that could help me. And so, I kept the watch, and I continued living, until the day that I lost my watch.

Such a feeling as what came upon me at that time I had never felt before and have since then only felt one other time. I searched everywhere for my watch but never really expected to find it. I knew that it was lost to me, to my eyes, to my perception, and that I would not have it again unless someone found and returned it to me by some miracle. I was lost. I didn’t know what to do or what I even could do. (whom am I describing? Has this actually happened to me? I don’t think so. ??) I felt useless to myself and everyone around me, what do you do when a part of your life has been taken away, when you don’t know how to help anyone around you anymore than you know how to help yourself? I knew without a doubt that when you find something that special, that important, that perfect, and you lose it, you can never get it back again the way that it was before because you are unworthy. I was unworthy to have my watch back in my life, to be able to count on something because I knew that I could not be counted on, for anything except to hurt those close to me even more than they hurt me. I had finally resigned myself, after all of the work I went through to find my watch, that I never would get it back.

However, life never works out the way we expect it to. A short time later, I received a call concerning the award I had posted for the return of my watch if ever found. A man named Robert Toller had found it sometime back, by the creek I had often walked by and occasionally waded in, but had only recently seen my advertisement. He wanted to arrange a time to meet so he could give me my watch, and I could give him his reward, but I did not want to meet him. I knew I couldn’t look at the person who was giving me back my most precious watch, without hating him. So, I arranged for a very close friend of mine to meet, talk with, and thank Mr. Toller. When I got my watch back, I realized how unrelieved I was.

Because it was not immediately before me, I had allowed myself to forget the deficiency of my watch. It still fit me perfectly- the gold still felt cool on my skin and the opal still shimmered- but that feeling of security it used to wrap around me was no longer there. When I looked at it, I couldn’t help but think of how it no longer did what it was supposed to do, no longer told me what it was supposed to tell me, how I could no longer depend on it to be there all the time, like everything else in my life, how it now symbolized something that I no longer had, that security that everyone looks for.

One time and I had lost all faith in my watch, and all assurance that it was right and true, but I still wore it although I no longer relied upon it. It became an obsession for me. An obsession I loathed for showing the world the weakness in me. It got so that whenever I would chance to see my watch, peaking around the sleeve of my shirt, I felt a hatred for it. Silly of course, to fell hatred towards an inanimate object, but it had come to be a source of bitterness for me.

I began to mistrust and be suspicious of the reality of my watch. I became suspicious of the gold links that rubbed my arm so daintily, so smoothly. I began to wonder if others saw that the opal shimmered in the light, or if I wanted it to so much that I deceived myself into seeing it that way. I became unsure of all memory connected to the watch. I no longer could tell if anything about or around it, or me, since I had started wearing the watch was real. If any of it had actually happened or if I had simply seen and heard what I wanted to see and hear the same as I was trying to do with my watch, making myself believe that it was still the same watch as it always had been, that it was still the perfect watch for me even though I could clearly see, when I allowed myself to, that it was meant for a different time zone.

The only thing I was sure of, was that I had lost the watch, or that it had lost me, left me, that it lied to me, and that I could no longer rely upon it. I was nervous and unsure, and began to suspect all around me of the duplicity I had encountered in my watch. I no longer laughed or acted freely. I lived in fear of seeing those around me change or leave and so decided that not seeing them at all would be better than having to watch the eventual deterioration of them. I became reclusive, in fear of even speaking to the closest of my former companions. I stopped receiving calls and allowed word to inconspicuously reach all who knew me that I no longer lived, and indeed, it was as if I did no longer live.

I spent hours, days looking at the watch on my arm, the watch that had so utterly betrayed and destroyed me. I kept looking to make sure that it was still there, and at the same time hoping it wouldn’t be there. I became pale and thin because I no longer cared. Everyone already believed me to be dead, so why come out now, even if I had wanted to? I had destroyed all of my previous relationships by willful sabotage so that my not being there would affect none too painfully, or at least not so painfully as them seeing my weakness and my vulnerability. And so I lived, for a short time, with the knowledge that no one in the world knew or cared to know that I was slowly withering away, by myself.

It’s truly amazing what that knowledge can cause you to consider. I began to look inside myself, instead of simply at the watch that I had believed for so long to symbolize everything that I was. With no one around any longer to realize what a pathetic failure of a human being I was, I began to live. I wanted to live long enough to realize the thought that seemed to be slowly forming inside of my dulled mind.

One day, I suddenly found what had been so strong to pull me out of the hurricane I was allowing myself to become wrapped up in. I took off the watch and looked at it again, for the last time. I then took it to my window and dropped it into the dumpster below that was emptied not ten minutes later.

Gone was my timekeeper, gone my trustee, gone my feelings of failure and inadequacy. Finally, I was able to breathe; finally I was able to see.


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