I've never been good with watches. Watches tend to break on me, and the ones with the metal bands tear out the hair on my wrist, and I just don't like the feel of them there. The one time (well, maybe there were two times) that I had a girlfriend at Christmas, we--without any foreknowledge--exchanged gifts of watches, both engraved on the back. She lost hers within a week, and mine broke. (Yes, it was a sign.) In recent years, I've used my cellphone to tell time.
After my uncle died, mom asked if I wanted his watch, and after a bit of thinking I said yes. A few weeks ago she sent it, in a box of clothes that didn't fit me. I was sure she'd forgotten about the watch until it dropped out when I dumped the box onto the bed.
Roger had worked at GE for 25 years or so, and somewhere in there they gave him a Swiss Army watch. It's a nice watch. Leather band. Hands glow in the dark. The first time I put it on I cried, again. When it comes to Roger I'm still made of glass.
I wear it every time I leave the house. This past weekend my sister got married. I flew back to the Twin Cities and did all the rehearsal stuff and it felt . . . weird. Because, I realized, Roger wasn't there.
It was a small wedding, so they held it in the backyard of my parents' house. Tent and all that. Since I was at the house I figure I didn't need to carry my keys or my wallet or anything in my pocket. But just before we started taking pictures I started to get really upset about Roger not being there, and I remembered the watch. I'd left it with my wallet and keys.
I went up to my room and found the watch, and put it on, and for a moment I was sad. But it helped to wear it. It felt, a little bit, like he was there. I don't know that I believe in spirits or in talismans or what have you. I think it's just a security blanket that ticks. But it feels good there, and I will not lose it. If it breaks I will have it fixed. I will not forget.