Friday, August 21, 2009

inherited no. 5

it's that time of year that time itself seems to speed up. i have a feeling these last months of 2009 are going to pass me by quickly and all the sudden it will be 2010, which i hear we're supposed to call "twenty-ten." i've only just gotten used to prefacing years with "two thousand..."

having always been overly conscious of the passing of time, the way years keep flying by is somewhat disconcerting. (and yes, i know, it's only going to get worse.) i'm pretty sure i almost annoyed m.d. to death by making the following kind of statement A LOT: "this is the last monday i am going to brush my teeth at home before i go to camp for a month." or, much later, "this may be the last breath my father is ever going to take." it doesn't matter what it is, i have always been obsessed with being aware of time, of firsts and lasts, of where i am in it all. i want to feel it between my fingers, and i want to remember it all. luckily i have a few things that help me out with this.

this small clock is more substantial than it looks, cast entirely in metal and still ticking away, despite having been patented in 1894. originally my great-grandmother's, the paint has worn away in places and the color on the details has faded. it's just the way i like it.

i'm wearing this little watch as i type. it was my grandmother's, and i remember finding it many years after she died when my mom and i were going through a suitcase of things we had taken with us while cleaning out her house. it was mixed in with cufflinks and clip-on earrings and tie clips and costume jewelry. when i saw it i fell in love with how delicate it is, the tiny stones framing the watchface, the fact that it has to be wound everyday and never needs a battery. the crystal was all scratched up, so m.d. had it replaced for me, and it's been in my watch wardrobe ever since. i think of grandmother every time i look down, only to realize that too much time has passed.

the last of my inherited timepieces is the least functional of the three but perhaps the most beloved. my father never wore a watch, maybe because it would have made his work more dangerous (he'd already gotten his arm caught in a machine once). or maybe because pocket watches are exponentially cooler. and in case you haven't noticed, my father was, um, kind of really cool. so he always had his pocket watch, hanging heavy and worn in his jeans pocket. my mom gave me the last one he had not too long ago, and i had forgotten its weight, its smooth, cool metal casing. needless to say, i love this thing, but i REALLY cannot figure out what on earth is happening in the narrative on the front. the back is a swirly art nouveau floral pattern, but then, flip it over, and there is what appears to be a native american male, mounted on a horse, and next to him is a woman, also atop a horse, wearing a voluminous dress and sporting a headdress? a tiara? a veil? two dogs run in the foreground. so maybe it's a man and his bride, sort of new world business? clearly ethically questionable, yes. okay, but then why are there medieval looking castles in the background? i'm telling you, there are some serious anachronisms going on here. if you've got any ideas, please let me know.

i suppose if he were here, i would ask my dad what is going on with this watch. although, of course, if he were here, it would probably still be resting warmly and comfortably in the pocket of his jeans, and i wouldn't be holding on to time quite so tightly.

listening to: lightning dust. buy it. immediately.

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