The Watch

In keeping with the Plague Upon My House, I have now lost my watch. It is a small, delicate antique watch with a rose gold case and some tiny rubies. There are only three places that I keep that watch, and it isn’t in any of them.

I keep going back to each of the three places, obsessively looking for the watch that isn’t there. I feel a pervasive longing for the watch even though I didn’t wear it every day. I’ve tried calling out to it, like a mother calling her child in from outdoors, but it doesn’t appear. I would say I’m heartbroken, but I hate to sound materialistic. Let’s say I’m “annoyed.”

When I complained to my sister last night about the watch, I attributed it to the Ongoing Plague. She stunned me by suggesting a root cause: I don’t have a Mezuzah.

If you don’t know what a Mezuzah is, it’s a metal thing that observant Jews are supposed to put by their front door, I think to ward off bad luck. I really don’t want to know more than that, because that’s stupid enough. The very notion that somehow I could have prevented bad things from happening by performing some ritual is just infuriating. It’s worse that The Secret! It’s superstition packaged in guilt. Maybe I’ve just stumbled upon a definition for religion; In any case, a god that would put a curse on me for not having a Mezuzah is just a total fucker who I want no part of.

Thinking about superstition, I asked my BFF if she would have any problem in reciting the words: “I will probably lose all my teeth and get pancreatic cancer in the next year.”  I think most people would hesitate, fearful of tempting fate through some system of cosmic wrath. She dazzled me by reciting the words in a strong, godless voice, and I fell in love with her for the millionth time.

But back to the watch. The missing watch will continue to bother me, probably for eternity, but it reminds me of my favorite line from Pulp Fiction, when Christopher Walkin tells the young Butch the story of his grandfather’s watch. It’s a long, sentimental story that takes a wild turn with the revelation: “Five long years, he wore that watch up his ass.”

The word “wore” in that sentence is the difference between writing and poetry.  It’s the best choice of word, one that I could never come up with, one that gives me a fresh thrill of pleasure each time I think of it.

So the moral of this post is as follows:  Art is consolation in the face of chaos. (Wear that up your ass!)

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20 Responses to The Watch

  1. hammie says:

    jeebus Sis. Why don’t you try putting the Lesbian stick on the front door instead?

    something’s gotta change xxx

  2. Dru says:

    ^seconded! Also, I’ll try petitioning St Anthony (Saint of Lost Things) on your behalf- it can’t hurt, right?

  3. Jill says:

    Your BFF sounds like a cool chick. Your bad luck will run out soon…I promise. I think it has jumped to me! I actually wrecked both of our cars yesterday. I, not paying full attention, sideswiped my husbands car. I still have not quite gotten over his withering look.

  4. Suebob says:

    Ask St. Anthony. It’s not a religious thing – I’m not a Catholic but he always helps me.

    say “St Anthony, St Anthony please come around. Something is lost that must be found – my watch. Thank you St. Anthony.” In about half an hour, your watch will appear.

  5. Deni says:

    Out of losing a watch comes a beautifully written blog. There’s always the give and take of the universe, and who is to say in the end what has more value?

    Now, if only I could write a line like, “Five long years, he wore that watch up his ass.”

    P.S. I’m getting a Mezuzah, (and you know I ain’t Jewish), but I like the thought of something artful (I have seen some very pretty ones), with a long history of tradition, out side my door. It’s like having a Buddha or wearing a St. Christopher medal attached to a rocket ship. I embrace all the good things from all the religions and accept non of the dogma, the fear, the guilt, the evil, and the tithing!

  6. Deni says:

    P.S. where’s the edit button on this site . . . and why can’t I ever write w/o some stupid mistake/typo in my writing? I must be dyslexic, or just plain lazy, or stooopid????? Oye Vey! I’m still getting a Mezuzah and I’m still going to wear my St. Christopher medal, and I’m still going to support all Atheists, and Jews Against Circumcision.

  7. Ann says:

    I always enjoyed the way Walken said the word “uncomfortable” in that whole monologue, which is also my favorite part of Pulp Fiction.

    I can’t help but feel that the watch will turn up. Hope springs eternal. Keep us posted, please?

  8. erika says:

    Art is consolation in the face of chaos.


    Ahh, I know you don’t beleive in superstition however do not be afraid of the power of positive thought. It really works. You will find your watch. If you don’t however just let go.

  9. Moda says:

    Hammie that’s a great idea!

  10. Dru says:

    I don’t want to be annoying, but might it be in the pocket of any of your clothes, Sister? I sometimes do that with my watch, and end up digging through a lot of pockets afterwards.

  11. Alicia says:

    Yeah, I like Hammie’s idea too.

  12. hoochiegucci says:

    Has Alec’s Brazilian wife been to the house recently? Maybe it got sucked up into the vortex of her bountiful bubble butt…kind of like that Curb episode..same same but different…

  13. LOL ref lesbian stick solution.

    However, this is not a religious or superstitious thing to the best of my knowledge but blogger Skye of Skylark and Son mentioned her elephant thing in a blog once. So I asked her about her ‘lucky’ elephants and she told me how they’d always had one and something about protecting the home. The reason I asked was because we’d moved and I was finding it hard to settle into the new house blah blah.
    Then I forgot about it but last Christmas (08) I was browsing in St James outdoor market in Piccadilly and there was a stall selling African stuff and I saw this lovely hand carved elephant. It was a bit pricey given it was Christmas so I walked away. I only manages a few paces and ran back bought it and she’s sat in the hallway ever since and I’ve always felt happier in my home since that day.

  14. dust says:

    In the time of chaos, if one looses the time, chaos is soon to follow…

  15. slimeylimey says:

    I’m not a religious person but I wish i was there right now to massage a little god into you sister. A little brown river god or a big juicy desert god, any god you want. These shitty times will pass. Assume the position now and pray for this plague on your house to pass, stop acting like you deserve this or expect this or that more bad shit will happen! Beauty is your duty.
    I see that watch back on your slim wrist within days…

  16. Shira says:

    Well, as a Jew (though not a religious one), I would only like to comment on your explanation of what a Mezuzah is (I know you said you didn’t want to know more but still..) – it’s not really about the metal thing, and actually it doesn’t have to be metal. It can be plastic or whatever. It is about a prayer written on a spacial kind of paper rolled inside of it, that’s supposed to protect the people who live in the house. Of course, like in any custom of religion, you can either believe it or not.. I personally have one, but it’s really a matter of tradition for me. ANYWAY, I hope your luck changes soon..

  17. TheShoeGirl says:

    I had Mezuzahs on all the doors of my house growing up and I was always embarrassed of them because none of my Orange County friends knew what they were and I was even once asked if that “thing” was a tampon dispenser.
    I’m serious.

    I hope you find your watch.

    Love from cold cold China!

  18. alittlelux says:

    has the watch been taken out of the house? i HATE losing jewelry and am terrified. once i lost a pair of studs matt bought me and became HYSTERICAL. ransacked my room, the living room, overturned couch cushions, and my sister’s room. even running around the house with a flashlight looking to see of they had fallen into any dark crevices. weeks later i found them in my jewelry box. i SWEAR i looked there.

    here’s hoping your watch turns up and the END of this plague!

  19. rollergirl says:

    Oh god, we MUST find the watch. Did you look EVERYWHERE? Look again. There is nothing (NOTHING) worse than losing things, drives me up the bloody wall.

  20. Simone says:

    Slavoj Zizek related this on Democracy Now in October: ‘You know Niels Bohr, Copenhagen, quantum physics guy. You know, once he was visited in his country house by a friend who saw above the entrance a horseshoe, you know, in Europe, the superstitious item allegedly preventing evil spirits to enter the house. And the friend, also a scientist, asked him, “But listen, do you really believe in this?” Niels Bohr said, “Of course not. I’m not an idiot. I’m a scientist.” Then the friend asked him, “But why do you have it there?” You know what Niels Borh answered? He said, “I don’t believe in it, but I have it there, horseshoe, because I was told that it works even if you don’t believe in it.”’

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