Friday, November 19, 2004
In the fall I bought a real pocket watch with a spring loaded stainless steel cover. By Thanksgiving I had lost it and was back to the Bug's Life watch. It's green, by the way, and shaped like a leaf.
I bought another pocket watch in the spring, but left it in my pocket when I did the wash that weekend. I bought another watch that summer, but it disappeared when I moved to Illinois.
It first occured to me that there might be a curse when I left the Bug's Life watch beside a fountain and found it again, unmoved, nearly a week later. I was sure when I left the watch, not entirely by accident, on the quad and it found its way to my mailbox.
Another time I handed my watch to a five year old. She'd come with her father to meet me at an airport and wanted to help carry my luggage. My bags were too heavy for her, so I let her carry the watch. Heedless of the danger that the curse held for her, I neglected to get it back. Months later, when I came back to town (watchless, due to an unfortunate accident) I asked her if she still had my watch. She ran to her room and produced it. Elapsed time: 36 seconds.
I've lost track of many of the ill fated watches I've owned in the last six years. They've all been lost or destroyed in seemingly explicable circumstances. The Bug's Life watch, with it's well worn hearing aid battery, has kept on doing whatever the digital equivalent of ticking is.
Recently, I thought the curse had been broken.
This summer a friend of mine gave me a new watch, a pocket watch, with a chain and a clasp and even a little case that slid onto my belt. The case broke on the second day and, like a fool, I thought that the curse had missed its mark.
A few weeks ago I was playing basketball with some friends. While chasing after a loose ball my feet got tangled up with those of another player. I went down, hard, bouncing my face off the floor and sending shards of my front teeth scattering across the court. Ouch.
You're wondering what this has to do with the curse, aren't you?
Hours later, after a trip to the emergency room for stitches and to the dentist for obvious reasons, I did some laundry. I wasn't at my best and didn't check my pockets. The upshot is that my watch is in worse shape than my teeth.
This was the first time that the curse of the Bug's Life watch had operated through a direct injury to me.
Frankly, it was a little off-putting.
The next day I took the Bug's Life watch out of the drawer. After six and a half years it was still going strong. I started to put it in my pocket but couldn't. A curse is a curse but enough is enough.
When I came home that night the Bug's Life watch had stopped.