The first thing I do when I walk into his apartment is take off my watch. Usually, I lay it on a coffee table, next to my phone, which is on silent. Sometimes, I put it in that mystery pocket in my purse so I don’t forget it like I did that one Saturday. I like my watch. It’s a classic silver and gold Raymond Weil that was a 21st birthday present. I take it off as a courtesy – I’m letting him know I’m not in a hurry to leave (and I wouldn’t want the clasp to get stuck on his belt buckle, if things go that way.) What happens next is still to be determined, but whatever it is, it starts with a refusal to acknowledge time.
Between now and when I put my watch back on, there are not minutes or hours.
There’s just us.
The world stops for two people in love, or lust, depending on how you want to look at it. A romantic concept, no? Did you know I was that much of an idealist? Clearly, you weren’t there when I cried during that scene in that movie…
“You’ve been going non-stop,” a boyfriend said to me as I plunked down on his couch. “Tonight, you’re here. I want you to pretend you’re on vacation. We’re going to do whatever makes you feel like we’re somewhere else.”
It was probably the last romantic gesture he made before becoming an ex-boyfriend, and it was probably one of the most meaningful. Part of what we look for in a significant other is someone who will share life’s challenges with us, but also someone who will help us escape from them. When the going gets tough, he helps soften the blow. It’s not simply that we need someone to vent to. It’s that we need someone to distract us, to remind us everything is really very good, or that it’s about to be very good.
Tomorrow, I need to take my watch to Torneau for a new battery. The date has fallen behind by two weeks and the second hand only moves in increments of 7 seconds now. If I wait any longer it’ll stop all together. If I were a student on assignment, I’d probably try to make a metaphor here — say something like, maybe my watch is trying to tell me something about this new guy. I only just got the battery replaced, after all. Be thankful I’m not a student on assignment.