Kumquats and Timepieces, part 2
Welcome back, my favorite watch. (Written in August, forgot to publish )
Watch, I can only imagine what you’ve been going through. When the kumquat finally admitted you were in his possession, and even indicated a willingness to return you, I was so relieved.
Getting you back was, however, a trial by fire. Which I have failed. You are now being worn by a pile of sad ashes. I don’t care though, because I have you back, so even though I am in pieces I am somewhat whole.
After an attempted meeting went badly because of a failure to communicate, which, is utterly absurd (between a writer and a professional journalist dealing in the same language there should be no communication barriers), I begged for you to be mailed back.
I asked nicely. Then, asked not as nicely. I pointed out the ridiculous logistics of the situation, because why on earth would anyone hold on so tightly to a piece of me when they didn’t want it and had no use for it? It makes no sense! Anyone else would have disposed of you either by returning or tossing you to the wind.
I am so glad to have you back. What a journey we’ve had together.
I wanted you mailed so I could avoid seeing the kumquat altogether. I thought he would have preferred the same. But he refused, for reasons unknown.
I swore up and down I was never going to the city to see that damn kumquat, bitter and sweetness combined and hidden behind brown eyes, ever again. I swore, because I know that every time I do it, I am left with questions and left wanting a world that doesn’t exist, and hating myself to a degree for not having whatever quality I am missing, or for having whatever fault created the chasm between us that neither of us is willing to completely close. I wanted to keep myself from seeing what’s out of reach, from wanting the unattainable. I wanted to keep my dignity, by not coming running, like I always do, the moment there is even the faintest hope of seeing that damn kumquat again.
Watch, for you, I threw away my dignity. Not only did I go to the city, I also went there on a different day than I was planning, knowing I would likely be ruining my weekend and waiting around for someone who was only offering a “maybe”. I went down armed to the teeth, dressed for a war that was likely one sided.
You would not know this, but I always dress my best for confrontations. When I gave back what passed as an engagement ring to my ex fiance’ many years ago, I wore a lovely summer dress and demanded to be met in public rather than swept under the rug after all I’d been through and done. When I said my goodbye’s to a later ex, and his mother, and, most heart-wrenchingly, the dog, my hair was done, my eyeliner was perfect, and I wore my favorite v-neck sweater, the one I was wearing when we’d first met: one last reminder of what he was fool enough to toss away.
So: on this occasion, I was drenched in flowers, wearing a new romantic dress I’d just received, a loveliness that was picked out for me by a very determined stylist (Thanks, Stitchfix!). Between my ghost pale hair and the daring dress, I knew that even if I wasn’t pretty in the conventional sense I was damn sure unforgettable. I was armed.
I was also having a panic attack. I left the train and was dizzy, trembling, and could hardly walk straight. Everything was a blur of people, people who were better than me and knew it, people who were thinking I looked ridiculous, people who were farther ahead in life than I.
And there I was, desperately trying to get you back and end a chapter in my life that had gone on far too long, staggering up the street, aimless, feeling ridiculous in a dress being blown about in the breeze, waiting for a text that would likely never arrive.
My space pilot, my senpai, how I wish he were here instead of the kumquat! A better person in every respect, and I will never stop admiring him or believing in a world that allows him to exist, to be happy, and be there for me of all people. I will truly never be worthy of him, but I can be content admiring from afar, like watching a star in the sky. I am glad enough to be even on the periphery. Kind words were the only reason I didn’t completely give up and go back on the train, mourning that I left you behind for good. I regained control of my breath as I walked along, and stopped feeling like I was going to faint. My vision settled, my heart stopped racing.
Eventually I stopped in a park to rest, and read.
Watch, you know what happened next because you were there. You saw my failure to grab you back, say “Thanks, fuck you and goodbye”, and walk away as I planned. You saw my heart, which I’d placed in the freezer overnight for this occasion, thaw out under a gaze that was bright even if it wasn’t warm.
After saying I was never going to gratify his ego again, I did exactly that.
I am an idiot. I just wanted a piece of me back, I wanted my time back.
Well. I have you back, watch, and you will always be a reminder that I should be more selective about trusting anyone with any pieces of me, no matter how small.
Welcome home, watch.