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Sing With Me If It's Just For Today...
If I should fall behind, Guyster, wait for me.
It was a Friday night in the summer of 1999. Billy and I usually took Friday nights to have dinner out and roam around the Santa Monica mall or the adjacent Third Street Promenade, a closed-off street of shops and street performers frequented by the upscale west-siders in search of an urban setting. It falls far short of a bustling city feel but it's the best Los Angeles has to offer by the beach.

After dinner we walked around window shopping. In the center of the street was a tent for KLSX, the local hot-talk station. They were having a promotion for Swatch and a chance to win one by spinning a big carnival wheel. Put down your dollar and spin. After our third try, I won a great looking Swatch, black with a red dial. I turned around to a beaming Billy and handed it to him.

"No-ooooo," the elongated response of course, meant yes. He was always reticent to take something for nothing, even from me. He smiled at his new watch, took it out of the plastic box and frowned when he found it too big for his wrist. He carefully returned it to its perch and we went home. Billy went upstairs and put the boxed Swatch next to the computer where it remained.

"I'm going to use it as a clock," he said.

"You can take it to a jeweler and get the band reduced, honey," I offered. He thought for a moment and we went back downstairs to bed and watched television. The watch sat in its place for a few months.

I had to go to New York on business later that year in September. I was going to have to be there for a few weeks to babysit a client through her opening on Broadway. The phone rang one morning and Billy was crying on the other end.

"Someone broke in my truck!"

"Shit! What did they take?" I wondered if they ripped off his radio.

"They broke the window and took my watch," he was now in full tears.

"What was it doing in the truck?"

"I was taking it to the jewelry store!" in his tears, his pronounced it "jewry."

"Aw honey bunny. I'm sorry," I said knowing how badly he felt.

"I loved that watch and some fucking crackhead stole it," he came to that conclusion because of where his truck was parked at the time of the robbery. Living in Venice, one block can make all the difference.

"I know," I said softly. He went on to rant about how someone could just break into another's car and take what they want. His tears turned to anger and finally, after talking a while, he calmed down.

Later that day, I went to Macy's on 34th Street and headed to the Swatch section. Luckily I found exactly the same style. I got a card and hurriedly wrote "This watch won't go away. Just like my love," and headed to the FedEx office nearby.

The next day Billy called and was crying even more. "I can't believe you!"

"I love my honey bunny," I smiled with pride knowing how happy I made that moment for him.

When I arrived back home in Venice, I found the watch back by the computer. The time of having it properly sized had passed and it would rest there until Billy's funeral.

I brought Billy's wedding ring, a small porcelain angel he painted, a necklace we had just bought at the Rose Parade a few weeks prior and the Swatch to the first night of visitation.

I draped the necklace around his throat but I asked the funeral director to please put the ring and the Swatch on my baby. It wasn't that I was afraid to touch him. I did that as often as possible over the next three days. It was I just wasn't sure how to do it without disturbing something.

The last time I saw the watch was right before they closed the lid on the day of the funeral as we went to the grave site. I gave my Guyster one last kiss and noticed his Swatch was keeping the correct time.

Current Mood: weepy
Current Music: Sweet Soul Dream - World Party

10 comments or Leave a comment
From: inkprincess Date: April 18th, 2003 03:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
oh man. **crying**. that is a great, but sad story! Thank you for sharing it.
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: April 18th, 2003 03:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for reading it, Kris. I hope you all have a wonderful Easter and I bet the Easter bunny is going to be good to Megan this year.
(Deleted comment)
From: inkprincess Date: April 18th, 2003 04:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
try being pregnant and hormonal reading his entries! lol
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: April 18th, 2003 10:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
A friend called and we made plans to see a movie on Sunday on the Promenade. Then I thought of the time we won the watch. I started to write this entry with that in mind and I also wanted to capture the moment of happiness we both had when I sent Billy the second watch.

The problem when I write these memories is I land in the same awful spot. I intended this post to be a joyful one but damn it, Vance, I just keep searching for a happy ending and there isn't one.
jlamou From: jlamou Date: April 19th, 2003 01:48 am (UTC) (Link)

tears of emotion

I want you to know how truly effective your writing is to some of us out here. i sit here as I read this with tears flowing down my face, picturing every little vowel and letter as though it were my own. I can only imagine what it does when you write it. Thank you for sharing these moments with the rest of us!
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: April 19th, 2003 11:03 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: tears of emotion

Sometimes when I start writing, my initial intention shifts somewhere in the process. I meant this post to be fun and joyful but I realized while writing it, and crying during it, it would have an unhappy ending. But writing these memories for me is really helpful.

I really appreciate you reading and responding. I means a lot to me. I'm sorry I made you cry.
From: pit6steve Date: April 19th, 2003 03:14 am (UTC) (Link)

Saying Goodbye

I've read this post over and over again and words simply fail me for a reply as I am so moved and touched by your love for Billy. I know it was that love that made you strong and able to take care of Billy all the way to the end.
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: April 19th, 2003 10:43 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Saying Goodbye

Thank you Steve. The thing is, and I know you will understand, I am still taking care of Billy. With these posts and flowers at Rose Hills and letters to him and any other way I can. I miss spoiling him. It is one of the things I miss most on that endless list.
From: crvbear Date: April 19th, 2003 03:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Just want to give you a hug.
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: April 19th, 2003 10:45 am (UTC) (Link)
If you did, I'd give you one right back.

I hope your trip was somehow healing and you are sleeping well at night.
10 comments or Leave a comment