The End Of Time


Shel’s watch stopped today. After keeping faithful time for the 854 days, 20,496 hours, and 1,229, 760 minutes since his death, elle a rendu l’âme, it gave up the ghost.

It’s not like it’s a pretty watch, or a valuable one. I can’t even wear it, the band was painfully reduced in size to fit Shel’s shrinking wrist, that last year. But I’ve kept it, because he wore it every day for 17 years, and I got used to seeing it. When he died I can’t say that I looked at it every day, or even with any particular regularity. Sometimes I would just need to see it, and would pick it up to find that time was still scrolling along, Shel-style.

But today I picked it up and it was running, then in the barest flicker of a moment, it went blank. Stopped for good, right while I was watching. Just like Shel did.

And now I don’t know what to do with it. It’s different from keeping and wearing one of his sweaters. The watch is a thing that was alive and moving and is now dead. It outlived him. It has no utility. What is a memory worth, anyway? It had only one function, one that it can no longer perform. Should I take it as some sort of sign? Is it one further piece of proof of the randomness of the Universe?

I’m thinking about whether to keep it. And about how no one else would want it, and about whether I would dare to throw it away. I wonder whether to maybe put a new battery in it, and let it remind me of him. Or would it always remind me, more truthfully, of stopping, of flickering out, of the life being sucked right out of you?

Of course every moment in time becomes just a memory, only an instant after its birth. I could let this memory go, but I don’t know what I would be losing.



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7 Comments on “The End Of Time”

  1. Chuck Says:

    So hard, but it was part of Shel and I would keep it.

  2. Catanea Says:

    There is no hurry to decide.

  3. LuAnne Wiles Says:

    Oh Abra.. what a sweet, sweet story.. I believe you already know that answer.. and I believe in signs. When we finally meet I will tell you a story in my journey of “letting go” when my mom died.. Not as beautiful and poetic as yours.. my heart goes out to you.

  4. barrytwyman Says:

    Put a new battery in it …Shel and I shared the same bug “If it can work , it shall”. I still really miss him , guess I always will , but he loved things to work xx

  5. Fabienne Says:

    cette histoire de montre me touche vraiment. depuis 20 ans j’ai gardé les montres de maman que je ne peux pas donner à Emmaus. Une montre c’est vraiment tres personnel

  6. Abra Bennett Says:

    Fabienne, c’est toi ! Super de te revoir ici.

  7. Gail Says:

    I gave my husband’s watches (1 everyday, 1 dressy) to a very special nephew. My thought was why keep them in a drawer? He proudly wears them for courage when he gives presentations before large groups.

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