On my travels, I acquired a new watch. My grandmother gave it to me. It was my grandfather’s watch.
I know this seems like the sort of thing that should tug at a young man’s heartstrings, but it really wasn’t any big deal. Me: “Hey, this watch still works”. Grandma: “You want it?”. No symbolic passing-down gestures, no wistful tales of how he wore that watch through the Korean War and countless several-alarm fires in the hamlets surrounding Burlington. None of that.
My co-workers notice the smallest changes in my wardrobe (a statement of A- how desperate these kind souls are to find something to talk with me about and B- how rarely I shop for clothes), and I am concerned someone will notice the watch. “It was my grandfather’s” is sure to give the impression that I have ponderous and beautiful feelings regarding this watch, and when it turns out I don’t have them, the legend of my jerkitude will simply expand to include this new anecdote.
Yet, every time I wind it and hear its ticking, I think about my grandfather listening to the exact same thing.