The very best kind of watch.

The one I own was a graduation present from my mother and my dead stepfather. It is a 95th anniversary limited editon Harley Davidson watch. Who ever heard of a Harley Davidson pocket watch? I like it that way though. An interesting mix of sophistication and redneck. I think it suits me somehow.

My stepfather died shortly before I graduated from college. Needless to say, it was a hectic time. I'm not completely sure, but intuition tells me that the watch was not bought specifically for my graduation. I imagine that my stepfather bought it long ago, and that amidst everything happening that spring, mom just couldn't muster the time or money for a graduation present. But there was the watch, and she knew how I loved pocket watches. I would rather get it that way, I think. Not with the death of my stepfather, but in that it was not bought in a simple run to the store, almost as an afterthought. This makes it infinitely more valuable to me.

The watch itself is beautiful. It is made, I believe, of steel. The front and back covers are brushed, and the body stainless. I like the way that it feels in my hand. Cold, heavy. It has a firm weight to it, surprising for its size. It is well crafted, with a thick chain. This is not one of the $10 pocket watches you get from the watch stand in the mall. The dial is simple, elegant. White face. Black numbers. Silver hour and minute hands. Inlaid dial for ticking away the seconds. I like the way that I have to tilt my head over and down when I look at it. It feels good to wear. The almost unnoticed bump of the chain against my hip as I walk is like a keeping of time in itself. Bump, bump, bump... it's a steady rythym, a ticking. When I sit for long periods, talking or waiting, I take it out and handle it. I weave the cold chain through my fingertips, and let the body dangle, spin, flash light against the walls. It is an addictive activity.

One of the most pleasant memories I have is of watching the girl that I love do the same thing with it. I was trying to get her not to smoke (my stepfather died of lung cancer), so I gave her the watch to hold, to occupy her hands. She leaned back in her chair, and wove it though her fingers like I always do. She loves pocket watches. Watching the chain dangle from her fingertips, stretch between her hands, was one of those simple pleasures that make life worthwhile. That's my pocket watch.

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