I’ve had this watch for a little over three years, I think. I know that I got it just after Christmas, about a week after I had LASIK (yes, those of you who know me well know that I have been wearing glasses since I was 15 years old, except for the past few years), and I think that was almost three years ago. Who’s counting? By now I probably could have, but I’m busy writing here.
Sara and I were in Vegas with some family after the holiday and decided to buy each other watches, since we did not exchange presents that year. I got this one, she got a different one, that’s probably obvious. It’s been a good watch. It tells the time when I need it and it gives me something to look at when I’m walking past a person I don’t want to speak to, or when I’m wrapping up a conversation and pretending like I have somewhere I’m supposed to be (I probably should work on my social skills).
It’s a dirty watch because I’ve never cleaned it (you should see my truck) and it has quite a few surface scratches from bumping it on this and that from here and there, the largest one being right across the VII mark where it collided with a wood chair at my brother’s wedding two years ago as I was dancing the night away. I guess it’s a smart watch, not because Apple or Samsung are controlling my thoughts with it but because it has three other tiny watches inside of it. What they do – who knows? One could assume that there’s a stopwatch of some sort, a 24 hour timer and a 60 minute countdown, but I like to pretend that one tells me the time in a parallel universe, another is the amount of brain cells I have left and yet another for estimating the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow. African or European? Well that depends on which hemisphere you’re in and whether or not the watch is calibrated to the metric system. But it’s Fossil watch, it’s not that smart.
However, it hasn’t been a very good watch as of late. Right now it says that it is 11:24.
It most certainly is not.
Well, that may not be true. Perhaps by the time you’re reading this it will be 11:24, or perhaps the time zone you’re in differs from mine, or maybe I’m just a really slow writer and by the time I’m finished with this piece it will be 11:24. Either way, let’s pretend for all intents and purposes that you take my word for it that this watch is broken.
I should have just said that from the start, it certainly would have saved some time. Moving on.
It has stayed at 11:24 since January 21, 2015. This is, of course, the day that Sara and I checked into the ER at Los Robles hospital after receiving word from our primary physician that we needed to check in immediately after discovering an enormous soft tissue mass on Sara’s CT Scan that morning. I recall trying to fall asleep in the massive explosion of noise that is an Emergency Room that night, glancing at my watch before taking it off and noticing, Hm, I need a new battery.
No matter, I said to myself, I’ll fix it later. I placed it in my backpack with all of my other belongings and fell fast asleep, praying for good news in the following days and asking the wings of destiny to carry me aloft to dance with the stars. And so there it laid for weeks, undisturbed, untouched and forgotten, exactly as I had left it, while Sara and I began a journey that I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy. Along with many other belongings in that backpack the watch disappeared. Some things that should not have been forgotten were lost. History became legend. Legend became myth. And for what seemed an eternity, this watch, along with the rest of my life, passed out of all knowledge. It wasn’t until some months later that I would discover it again, along with many other forgotten remnants of comfort, when I went digging through this backpack to begin putting the pieces of my old life back together, searching for something that would resemble “normal.”
If you’ve been reading the latter paragraph in the head-voice of the Lady Galadriel whilst simultaneously replaying the opening thematic music of The Lord of the Rings then my mission has been accomplished.
So, basically, I found the watch recently and started wearing it again.
I understand your probable (and quite understandable) frustration, because you just spent a very long time reading this, and truthfully, that’s all I really have to say. I’m wearing my watch.
Well, not really. I started wearing the watch again, yes, but it still says 11:24. I haven’t fixed it, which many find interesting. I’m sure you yourself are scratching your head, wondering, “Why do you wear a watch that tells the wrong time?”
I’m glad you asked.
Because I’m waiting for it to be 11:25.
The silence is quite deafening; I’m sure you just did a half-nod while, pausing mid breath while crinkling one eyebrow and cocking your eyes to the side, “Why,” pausing momentarily, “don’t you just set your watch for the right time then? It’ll say 11:25 when it’s… 11:25, won’t it?”
Rightly so. Two reasons, really:
1. You’re too smart.
2. That wouldn’t be nearly poetic enough.
I’ll come back to that. Sara is fine. She just finished her 5th round of chemotherapy and we’ll be doing the 6th and FINAL round within a week. In 11 days we’ll be done with chemo and the PICC line she has burdened with for four months will be removed from her arm (you can research PICC line if you’d like, I won’t explain it here). In about 40-45 days or so we’ll do another PET scan to find out if she’s in remission yet. If she is, then we’re done. If she’s not, we’ll have to seek further treatment (unlikely, but altogether possible).
One would think That’s great news! and surely, to an extent it is. But the part I’m not excited about is waiting another month+ before getting an answer. 40-45 days of not knowing, waiting, hoping, praying, dreaming, waiting, waiting, waiting… Yet another thing that I wouldn’t wish upon my worst of enemies.
Enter the poeticism.
When we get the green light, when the Doc gives us good news, when we know for sure that Sara’s cancer has retreated, tail between its legs, and there’s no other treatment required (which is, God willing, in the next 40-45 days), then I’ll fix my watch. Then, and only then, can I move on to 11:25. Granted, it’ll be five months overdue, regrettably, but it is often said that anything worth having is worth waiting for.
So we wait. Waiting is the name of the game now, and what not a better way to do so than with a watch that has, theoretically speaking, of course, stopped time altogether? Defying the laws of physics is an immense feat and seemingly impossible, as I’m sure you can imagine. But then again, Sara has done so much to astound and amaze since January 21 that I have no doubt she is capable of even that.
The past four months have been horrible, and I’m not looking forward to more waiting, more not-knowing and more patience. But you already know what I am looking forward to, don’t you?
It’s only one minute away, isn’t it?