Don’t Forget

Tick-Tock. Tick-Tock. I observe the sleek quartz, the staccato stroke of the second hand, counting each beat of life as it passes the crystal twelve, marked by golden hours. It ticks onward; the rhythm hasn’t skipped a note. Nothing has slowed, nothing has stopped – keeping pace with the bustling schedules, reminding us of these precious moments, lest we lose track of time. A professional, this one. So accurate, so on-point it has perfected its sole purpose. So reliable and so dedicated, it will beat until its heart stops. With this much work, one would think it necessary for it to care, for it to know its owner, or to understand its purpose. For it to be filled with a passion so strong, that only the most devout of workers would labor this hard without ever resting. Even just to recognize how monotonous its duty truly is. And yet, it does not care. It does not understand why. It does not know the arm that wears it. It is composed of indifference. It needn’t take note of who owns it, who looks back at it, or who relies on it to keep doing its job. It just keeps ticking away, counting those moments, grouped to hours, marked by gold.

The date – moving forward with each passing of the sun and moon– peering back at me from that cream face.  I often stare at it, wishing it had frozen on that day, in that hour. Cursing it for not taking notice of the moment it no longer needed to keep counting.  So bittersweet, to see today, and to wish it had been stuck on yesterday. It reminds me. But only of the literal time, the time that keeps going. But not of that hour. The hour I wish not to forget. And here I sit. Noticing the motion, the accuracy. Filled with conflict, I hold back emotions as they battle inside me. Why couldn’t you just freeze dammit! And yet, that opportunity has passed. Now I must adjust to the fact it is still going.

There is life to it, reflecting back to me the life that once existed, the life that gave this watch meaning. And as I struggle acclimating to the resilient tick-tick-tick, I now am apprehensive of that final wave of the hand before it ceases to keep counting. I wanted it to preserve that moment in time so I could always remember. But since it is still alive, I have grown accustomed to its routine, and I go to bed each night, expecting it to keep me updated when I wake the following morning. I now dread the day that hand waves goodbye. I am not ready to see it fall into its permanent slumber—for the brilliance to fade, in those hours, marked by gold. Please don’t stop ticking, I pray with silent desperation. If it dies, it’s almost as if it never lived. Then more-so, it’s almost as if he never lived. As those ticks are the symbol of when he was here. And I want to remember.

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