I Want to Hear it Tick

I used to be very much in love with my grandfather’s watch. It wasn’t a pocket watch or anything unusual. Gold face, gold band, analog, not digital – he liked the weight of real workings inside the case, I think – wrapped around his sturdy, tanned wrist like something precious.

My thumb would brush across it sometimes, when he reached down to hold my hand, crossing a street, or walking down the beach. It would catch my attention and I’d look up at him and ask, “Let me hear it tick, Grandpop,” and he would patiently remove it from his wrist and hand it to me, and I would hold it up to my ear, and listen to the steady ticking sound.

Tonight at a dinner party I watched an old woman go from giddy to weepy, overwhelmed by friendly faces, and sad for all the things she doesn’t have, and while I completely empathize with the friend who is her house-mate, and bears the brunt of her many sour moods and bitter words, I also understand the sense of loss she probably feels every day, and can’t adequately articulate, and so gets angry and cruel.

There is no time limit on grief.
There is nothing more beautiful than making someone smile.

Right now, I’d give anything to sit with my grandfather, and wait for him to give me his watch.
I want to hear it tick.