I have a strange relationship with watches.

When I was little, I would intensely love a new watch. They were always brightly colored, and this was in the time when having a stopwatch or a little light on your watch was a huge deal. I pretended it gave me powers, like Batman. But, because I was a kid, I would invariably lose the watch within a week. I distinctly remember my dad voicing his frustration over this.

Then I grew up, as people often do, and I started holding down a job, as people often do. I wore a watch for its functionality, and I started being able to hold on to it for a long time. I still did get the occasional goofy watch, like the huge, clunky, blue Bart Simpson watch I got from Burger King that had a button to make it say, “Cool your jets, man.” I loved that watch. My girlfriend, now my wife, did not.

I took a lot of pride in not losing my watches anymore. So much so, that I never lost another watch. I have a half-dozen of them sitting in my nightstand at home. They all have dead batteries, but they’d still work. And now that we have iPods and computers everywhere, and I work in an office with clocks on the walls, I no longer need a watch. I stopped wearing them a few months ago in an experiment at freeing up my mind, and now I can’t go back. I’ve tried, but it hurts my wrist. It’s like my body is telling me not to enslave myself any longer.

And I suppose that’s sort of like our relationship to time. It’s precious when we’re young because we’ve seen so little of it, but it’s intense and bright and magical. We learn to harness it to some extent as we grow older, then we reach a point where we realize it’s controlling us. We try to step away from being slaves to it, with varying levels of success. Hmmm.

I don’t know, just musing.



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